Meet the Brighton Holistics Team
Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are the Brighton Holistics team:
Jon Matson – Principal & Senior Tutor of Brighton Holistics
I was born and raised in Peterborough and moved to London in 1992 where I worked in a very demanding high profile job. Eventually this lifestyle took its toll on my health and well-being – an all too familiar story these days.
It was because of this that I decided to give up my life and career in London, and move to Brighton for a more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle by the sea, and cherish the time with my family and friends. I love being by the sea and on the edge of the South Downs National Park and have found this incredibly calming and energising.
Before moving to London I was training as a nurse and realised very quickly that the general route was not for me. Instead I went on to train in body massage at Peterborough City College. In 2006 I re-sat my qualifications, and have added new therapies and treatments since developing my skills and knowledge of the holistic and beauty industry.
Without even realising it, holistic health and the holistic approach has always played a part in my life, it was after my Reiki ‘attunement’ that my life pathway changed, and over the years my personal growth has been incredible. This wonderful energy has helped me to develop calmness and stillness and has helped me to recognise compassion for other people’s needs and give me the understanding for me to be a better person, practitioner and tutor. Also teaching me that being a dyslexic is not a problem, but a gift.
I have met many wonderful people on this very exciting journey and I have realised how powerful the gift of holistic energy really is and how rewarding life can be as a holistic practitioner and tutor. I was honoured to be awarded Commended Tutor for the Federation of Holistics Therapists in 2012. In 2015 I was humbled when the Federation of Holistics Therapists made me a Fellow Member, also in 2015 I was awarded FHT Excellence in Practice – Advocate.
I have worked within the training industry for a number of years, training people of all ages and with very different learning needs. I am now very fortunate to own and run three training schools, Brighton Holistics, Brighton Holistics On-Line and Brighton First Aid. Brighton Holistics is the highest accredited complementary therapy training schools in Sussex with all courses being accredited by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), the Federation of Holistics Therapists (FHT), and Qualsafe. Brighton Holistics is also a Habia (Hair and Beauty Industry Authority) endorsed provider. I’m a great believer that training should be fun and informative. I hold a City & Guilds Certificate in Education & Training (CET) Level 4, and am also a qualified A1 assessor and Internal Quality of Assurance Officer I am also registered with the Institute for Learning (IFL).
Ryan Higgins – Deputy Principal & Assessor
I’ve worked for Brighton Holistics since the very start, offering administration support to Jon and the team and helping out where I can.
I also work full time as long haul cabin crew and as part of my training I have completed a full first aid qualification and do annual refresher training as well as regularly dealing with first aid situations on board. I have found that I became very interested in first aid and the importance of knowing what to do in emergencies and would love to be able to pass on that knowledge in the hopes that it will help other people to know what to do.
Being a fully qualified first aid instructor for Brighton Holistics, I hope that I will be able to teach as many people as possible these important first aid skills.
As well as teaching first aid, I am also qualified in many complementary therapies and help Jon and his team teach some of the courses when needed.
Donna Winwood – Reflexology Tutor
I was born in the Caribbean and moved to London then onto Essex where I grew up.
I left school to work as a Nursery Nurse for a holiday company before joining the NHS as a cervical and breast screening manager.
After having children I realised I wanted to spend time with them so returned to work with pre-school children within a private nursery where I was a deputy manager. I continued to work with pre-school, primary age, and children with special educational needs as my family grew up. I continue to teach parenting classes and work with families providing advice and support through schools.
Having had an interest in alternative holistic therapies I decided to retrain in 2007 following an introduction to reflexology and a personal experience of its benefits. Since then I have continued to train in other holistic practices including palliative care.
In 2011 I began volunteering with the local hospice offering reflexology, I went on to be involved in the forefront of developing community services for the local hospice and visiting people in their homes providing relieving therapies for patients with life limiting illness and their families.
I have also been running my own practice offering a range of complimentary therapies since 2008.
Jenny Wood – Complementary Therapy Tutor
I was born and raised in the Brighton area. My working life began by qualifying as a dental nurse at Guys Hospital in London, and over the years in dentistry I worked in post-operative recovery and as a Dental health educator.
In 1990 I married and in 1997 gave birth to my son. After having him I got involved in education and studied as a Dyslexia and Dyspraxia specialist at the University of Brighton, I have worked for many years in a large primary school as a nature and pastoral support leader. I am still actively involved in the school as a parent support worker and until recently was a school governor.
I decided a few years ago that I needed to have a change of direction and to be my own boss. I went back to the University of Brighton and studied for a science degree in complementary healthcare, it was during this time that my passion for many therapies came to the fore particularly an interest in Reflexology and Aromatherapy. I have studied Chinese medicine and find that I use my skills a huge amount in my own practise. I opened a small business locally and have an ever increasing client base.
Natalie Soane – Beauty Therapy Tutor
I originate from Kent and moved to Sussex when I met my husband.
From an early age I had an interest in fashion, make up and beauty. After leaving school I studied Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy at The London College of Fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my course and went on to work in Knightsbridge, London.
I changed career direction for a while and joined The Metropolitan Police as a constable. This experience gave me valuable life experience and extreme working variation.
Having always continued with my Beauty Therapy whilst pursuing another career I decided to return full time and ran my own small.
I now work part time as a Spa Therapist at a local spa and live with my beautiful family including my Sussex spaniel, Lewis, whom I enjoy walking and attempting to train.
Michelle Gibbins – Massage & Sports Therapy Tutor
I was born and raised in East Sussex and moved to Warwickshire in 2003 to study for my Equine Science Degree. Graduating in 2007, I had every intention of pursuing a career as an Equine and Human Physiotherapist and Chiropractor. However, a bad accident in 2007 meant that I was unable to follow this aspiration and I found myself following a different path.
I have worked across a number of professions, including the Stock Market and Investment Banking, the Construction Industry, Executive and High Level PA positions, Charitable Fundraising and Business Development and as a Brand and Communications Consultant for an International Charity. Whilst these roles gave me invaluable life and work experience, I always sought out the opportunity to train and develop my skills within the area I was still interested in, Health and Wellbeing.
In 2010 I decided to move back to East Sussex set up my own Health and Wellbeing business and qualified as a Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Motivational Coach, Pilates Instructor and Kettlebell Instructor, to name but a few!
I was sought out by the NHS to deliver weight management groups across East Sussex, which continues to run to this day. My want to help people take control of their health and be free from the symptoms of pain I was all too familiar with led me to qualify in Body Massage and Sports Massage, along with a host of other complementary therapies.
I work alongside the Motor Neurone Disease Association to deliver massage therapy to terminally ill people and am actively working towards a programme to deliver Pilates and wellbeing sessions within Primary Schools within the local area.
Holistic and complementary therapies have become my passion and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have found a profession that I really do love!