Meet the Tutors

Alastair Hay

Before becoming a Homoeopath Alastair gained a degree in Physiology and Pharmacology from King's College, London so his understanding of the body and how conventional medicines influence it is balanced with his understanding of Homoeopathy and how this can affect the body.

Alastair has 17 years’ experience as a Homoeopath treating through a mixture of classical and flexible prescribing methods and enjoys integrating medical and complementary knowledge to help people get well and stay well.

Alastair has taught on our Introduction to Homoeopathy course for the past 6 years. Al’s teaching style is practical and hugely informative. It's taught in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of discussion and group participation. Homoeopathy can be perceived as a complex subject which has always been met with mixed reactions. Alastair aims to break the principal foundations down to be understood and appreciated by all, giving you enough information to feel confident about integrating Homoeopathy into you and your family’s lives.

Courses: Introduction to Homoeopathy |


Elaine Tomkins

After 11 years as a maxillo facial nurse, Elaine developed an interest in complementary health as she was able to make a positive difference to patients both pre and post-operatively using therapeutic touch. This inspired her to train as an aromatherapist at the Tisserand Institute, London where she was later appointed as Senior Massage Tutor.  She also went on to open London’s first aromatherapy clinic within a dental hospital.

Elaine also works as a remedial massage therapist within various health clinics in London, and also holds qualifications in pre and post natal massage, intra and extra oral massage, lymphatic drainage massage and has trained in the management of post mastectomy pain and rehabilitation after Breast Cancer surgery. Elaine finds it extremely rewarding to see the frequency with which massage therapy is being integrated into mainstream healthcare and utilised in chemotherapy units, cardiac departments, maternity units, GP surgeries and many other areas of medicine. Elaine feels very fortunate to be part of these exciting developments but more importantly, is passionate about empowering others with the art, science and power of touch through her work and teaching.

Courses: Massage | Deep Tissue | Digestive Health | CPD |


Fran Johnson

A passionate Cosmetic Scientist, Fran is one of the Formulators at Neal’s Yard Remedies, working in the Research & Development laboratory in Dorset. She is responsible for developing new products from shampoos to foot creams, and researching new raw materials, combining the best that nature has to offer with the latest technologies to create effective products with the least environmental impact possible.

Her particular interests lie in working with essential oils, creating natural fragrances and enjoying the challenge and limitations that using only essential oils can bring. Working closely with fragrances that have therapeutic benefits inspired Fran to extend her interest into further education, Fran completed the Neal’s Yard Remedies, Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Science Diploma course and is now a practicing Aromatherapist in her spare time, giving her relationship with essential oils an extra dimension.

Courses: Aromatherapy | Natural Perfumery | Natural Beauty | Lotions & Potions |

Jo Kellett

Jo trained as an Aromatherapist at the Tisserand Institute in 1996, and went on to run a practice at the Portland Hospital in London offering Aromatherapy and Yoga for women in pregnancy. She returned to The Tisserand Institute in 1999 to teach Essential Oil Therapeutics and remained there until it closed in 2004. Whilst at the Institute she trained to teach baby massage with the International Association of Infant Massage. She began teaching for Neal’s Yard in 2006 and is also a massage tutor at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine & Aromatherapy and Aromatherapy Lecturer at Morley College, London.
Jo has contributed to many Aromatherapy journals including publications in the USA, Taiwan and IFPA's In Essence' and often speaks at press launches about the efficacy of Essential Oils in products. She was a recent contributing author to ‘Aromatherapy for Health Professionals 4th Edition’ and was a key speaker at the IFPA conference 2010. Also in 2010 she obtained accreditation from IFPA to teach CPD, and offers courses throughout the year.

Courses: Aromatherapy | Massage | Pregnancy | Menopause | CPD |


Muriel Pichard

Muriel Pichard initially qualified as a homoeopath and during the course of her training was introduced to flower essences - a true revelation which changed the course of her life and work and now essences are the foundation of her practice. She has worked with leading creators of essences and has started the process of creating essences herself. She works on an intuitive level and aims at helping people follow their own intuition.

Muriel has recently completed the Neal's Yard Remedies, Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Science Diploma course and will soon be incorporating Aromatherapy into her flower essences practice.

Muriel is an inspirational teacher, dedicated and passionate about sharing her knowledge of flower/vibrational essences and how they can be a catalyst for transformation and change. She believes there is “a flower waiting to open in each of us”.

Courses: Flower Essences


Niki Lawrence

Niki Lawrence is a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster where she is the module leader for Botanical Medicine, Botany and Systems Pathology, as well as giving lectures in materia medica and physical examinations. Niki also works as a practitioner supervisor at the University of Westminster Polyclinic.

Niki has a particular interest in organic cultivation, taxonomy and herbarium development, with a research interest in Ethnobotany and therapeutic approaches to prostate diseases.

Niki previously practiced as a nurse in Cape Town and helped manage a farm in the Small Karoo, in the Cape district of South Africa. Her home interests include organic cultivation of medicinal herbs and botanical painting.

Courses: Aromatherapy | Herbal Remedies


Rowena Paxton

Rowena trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, completing their 3-year Nutrition Consultant’s Course in September 1999. She went on to build a general nutrition practice at Neal’s Yard Remedies in Salisbury and has recently opened another clinic in Tisbury. She finds digestive and stress related problems are the most frequent concerns that are brought to her. Rowena is a Foresight practitioner, helping couples with fertility problems and also has a special interest in sports nutrition, having worked with amateur enthusiasts, club athletes and elite international athletes. She has been a tutor for the nutritional therapy courses offered by BCNH and Premier International and this year has started lecturing for the nutrition course at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in Bristol. Locally she has worked with the Wiltshire NHS chronic fatigue support group, runs healing food lunches and gives regular talks. She collaborated on research and recipe development for five of 'The Food Doctor' books and also contributes to radio interviews and writes regular magazine articles.

Rowena came to nutrition from a lifelong interest in good food and ran a successful catering business before qualifying as a nutritional therapist.

Courses: Nutrition for Wellbeing


Victoria Plum

Victoria qualified as an Aromatherapist in 1996 and then went on to specialise in working with clients who have issues with addiction and other mental and emotional health problems. Working with these clients brought particular focus on the delicacy, and subtlety of being a practitioner, and the importance of connecting with clients. Consequently Victoria completed further training focusing on ‘energy work’ and bringing stillness and reflection into her practice. Victoria still practices within a general complimentary health clinic, with clients who are referred to her by psychotherapists and also works as a Reiki practitioner and Craniosacral therapist.

Victoria was invited to teach Aromatherapy for Neal’s Yard Remedies in 2007 developing our professional Diploma and Introduction to Aromatherapy Courses. Victoria is now the principal tutor for our world renowned Aromatherapy courses.

Prior to life as a practitioner Victoria was an actor, and endeavours to bring some of her theatrical enthusiasm into the classroom!  Victoria believes that learning should be fun, not just hard work.

Courses: Aromatherapy Diploma & Introduction