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WHO WE ARE

A brief introduction to the people at the Centre ...


 

 

PERMANENT STAFF

Gretchen Stevens:

Gretchen was born in America a very long time ago, and her least favourite question at seminars and conferences is: "How did you find out that you had a healing gift?" The answer, basically, is that the realisation dawned upon her slowly in the same way that other people begin to recognise they have a natural ability to draw, or pick out a tune on a piano, or put words together entertainingly on the page. She doesn't believe that her ability is unique … rather that it's a talent we all possess to a greater or lesser degree, but with which most of us have lost touch. Her approach to healing is informed by her own Christian faith, but she never proselytises and expects no reciprocal belief from those who come seeking help. People who arrive at the Centre for the first time are often nervous, vaguely expecting something mystical or new-agey. They are always pleasantly surprised by Gretchen's - and indeed the Centre's - relaxed and resolutely down-to-earth attitude. The most common sound issuing from behind the treatment room door is that of laughter.

 

 Moira Briggs:

Moira is the Centre Manager (at least, that's what it says in her Job Description). She originally started as a Saturday morning volunteer in 1990 and nobody seems at all sure how or why she seems to be running the place 21 years later. They just turned their backs one morning, and there she was complete with office, computer and a large mug of tea. Everybody blames someone else and leaves it at that. She mostly hides in her office, with her Jack Russell Ben, communing with her keyboard; so you don't need to worry about her too much.

In her spare time she's Co-Administrator of the literary website, Vulpes Libris , which led to her being asked by the Romantic Novelists' Association (of which she is, inexplicably, a member) to be one of the three judges of The Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2010. Honestly.  Could we make that up?.

If you really have nothing better to do, you might like to visit Moira's blog:  From the Centre Manager's desk.

Andrea Takacs:

Andrea is the Centre's Volunteer Co-ordinator and bears most of the responsibility for - you guessed it - co-ordinating volunteers, organizing fundraising events and keeping the mountains of jumble that arrive at the Centre under some semblance of control.

She joined us several years ago as a volunteer and proceeded to make herself so indispensible with her boundless enthusiasm and organizational ability that we had no choice but to try and find the money to persuade her to stay put.

When not hauling boxes of jumble, craft materials and newsletters around, or knitting like a thing demented, Andrea is also our main beekeeper and can often be found at the top of the garden in her white suit clucking over her 'babies'.

She is also the person who usually answers the telephone, and so is often visitors' and clients' first point of contact with us.

 

Richard Harrop: Richard provides the muscle in the garden you'll usually spot him in a death grip with a wild rhododendron or fighting an unending (but doomed) battle with the hayfield we call our lawn.

Ralf Bidder:  Ralf does all the stuff Richard doesn't in the garden - weeding, planting and tending the vegetable beds.  When he isn't dealing death to caterpillars he's an extraordinarily talented woodworker with his own business - Silent Forest Creations - and a selection of his work can be seen at the Centre.

 

VISITING THERAPISTS:


Sonia Norton: 
Sonia joined the Centre in the Autumn of 2004 when she "retired" after many year of working within the National Health Service. She is a Chartered Physiotherapist and has had extensive experience in the treatment of orthopaedic and musculo-skeletal problems, neurological conditions (including stroke) and respiratory conditions. She has specialist knowledge in the management of COPD and asthma. We are delighted to welcome her to the Centre, as she not only brings with her years of invaluable experience as a "hands-on" practitioner but also adds substantially to our mix of available skills. We look forward to many years of happy co-operation.

Kay McMahon: Kay is a long-time friend of the Centre who is a Therapeutic Practitioner for Surestart Copeland. Kay offers Ayurvedic Massage by appointment. Ayurveda originated in India 4,000 years ago and is believed to be the oldest health-maintenance system known to modern man.

 

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