Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year… Stephanie Quigley, MFHT

Stephanie’s journey as a therapist started in 2007 when she completed a HND in complementary therapy, closely followed by a degree in complementary healthcare. Initially working in private practice, Stephanie took up the role of Patient and Family Support Complementary Therapist at Beatson Cancer Charity, Glasgow, for five years.

She is now the Lead Complementary Therapist at Cancer Support Scotland (CSS), where she is responsible for developing the therapy service, training volunteer therapists and delivering treatments to people affected by cancer. When the pandemic meant that those who usually accessed hands-on therapies through CSS no longer could, Stephanie developed a range of free, remotely accessible services, which many still use today. These include a telephone support service; online self-help guides, audio guides and videos; sending out personalised aromatherapy nasal inhalers; and live online mindfulness sessions. More recently, she developed The CSS Training Academy to provide oncology massage training, which helps to fund the charity’s wellbeing services.

A huge well done to Malminder Gill for achieving the Highly Commended 2021 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year award!

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Basma Gale, Caroline Purvey, Alexandra Skanderowicz and Angela Vigus.

Please revisit our blog just after 2pm, when we’ll be announcing our 2021 Local Group Coordinator of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Local Group Coordinator of the Year… Jackie Hamilton, MFHT

Jackie Hamilton has been Joint Coordinator, with Beverly Chilson, of the Norwich local group since its creation in 2018. The group has gone from strength to strength over the past three years and has excelled throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Jackie was quick to adopt virtual meetings when indoor gatherings were not possible and ensured her group had a varied calendar of events, including baby massage, ear reflexology, marketing and crystals, meaning her attendees could continue their learning, whatever their specialism.

Jackie also runs the very interactive FHT Local Support Group Norwich Facebook page, with over 320 members. Here she uploads recordings of Norwich’s virtual meetings, creating an extensive library of videos that are presented by experienced therapists and tutors, which all members are free to explore. Jackie continues to thrive and work hard for her group, creating a connected and inclusive environment, even when therapists were missing the sense of community they had originally enjoyed at physical meetings.

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Alison Brown, Janet Cairnie and Sarah Holmes.

Congratulations to all our finalists and winners! Your work is outstanding and hearing about the positive impact you have on your clients and local communities is inspiring, the FHT are extremely proud to represent all our members.

Don’t forget about 2022 FHT Excellence Awards! More details to follow in the new year…

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Student of the Year… Suzanne Julian, MFHT

Already a qualified therapist and former owner of a successful salon, it wasn’t until Suzanne lost a very dear friend to an illness stemming from work-related stress that she recognised she had a gift that should be used to help others find their work/life balance. To enhance her existing skills, Suzanne registered onto Butterfly Touch’s Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care course, but faced her own personal health crisis part-way through the training: she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Initially putting her training on hold, she decided to resume just a month later, working through each module at her own pace.

When nominating Suzanne, her tutor, Marie Duggan, wrote: “Although she was going for her cancer treatments during the pandemic and lockdowns, Suzanne also wanted to continue expanding her knowledge and experience so that when she was well again, she could support others going through the same journey. It was my pleasure and honour to give Suzanne her final certificate and nominate her for this award.”

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Tracy Butler Simmons and Anya Rae

Please revisit our blog tomorrow morning at 10:30am, when we’ll be announcing our 2021 Complementary Therapist of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Tutor of the Year… Sandy Newbigging

During the pandemic, Sandy offered extra support to his students and graduates including twice-weekly webinars and a free online masterclass on how to host webinars, so that they could offer uninterrupted support to their clients and sustain their own businesses. He did this, despite himself being stuck in Mexico for seven months, during which time he taught a series of online workshops and donated all of the revenue from these events to buy food for struggling local families.

Sandy created the Mind Detox Method in 2007, to help others resolve the possible mind-based causes of their physical, emotional and life issues. Since then, he has delivered hundreds of 1-2-1 consultations, authored 12 books, created the Mind Calm and Body Calm meditation techniques, and appeared on three television series, demonstrating the power of his methods. He founded the Mind Detox Academy in 2008, where he has taught practitioners from over 25 countries, as well as the Mind Detox Online Club in 2016, offering weekly webinars, expert interviews, masterclasses and meditations.

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Marie Duggan, Sally Kay, Clare Riddell and Elaine Wilkins.

Please revisit our blog just after 2pm, when we’ll be announcing our 2021 Student of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Inclusive Therapy Business of the Year…Ana Bott, MFHT

Ana runs a massage clinic in Brighton and specialises in supporting transgender and non-binary clients, as well as therapy students and practitioners who want to create a truly inclusive practice. In addition to creating a treatment environment where her clients feel safe and relaxed, Ana has led seminars with national charities and created free resources for other bodywork therapists, to raise awareness about how massage can help a range of health and other issues that specifically affect the LGBTQ+ community.

She has also amassed a strong online following, in the UK and overseas, and provides free information and self-help videos for transgender and non-binary people to help them better understand their body pains; reconnect and feel safe in their body; and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, fear and intense gender dysphoria. She has also written a chapter on transgender inclusion for the most recent edition of Mosby’s Pathologies for Massage Therapy and a co-written and lectures on the world’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive healthcare course for manual therapists.

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Hinna Bashir, Farrah Idris and Beverli Taylor.

Please revisit our blog tomorrow morning at 10:30am, when we’ll be announcing our 2021 Tutor of the Year!

Congratulations to our Highly Commended 2021 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year…Malminder Gill, MFHT

Malminder is a hypnotherapist, NLP master coach, life-coach, accomplished author and speaker, who regularly features in the media. She was nominated by one of her clients for providing complimentary mental wellbeing support to a women’s abuse charity, as well as a free coronavirus anxiety management programme, available to all on her website.

The overall winner of the 2021 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year award will be announced on the blog and across our social media channels at 10:30am on Thursday, 25 November.

Please revisit our blog just after 2pm, when we’ll be announcing our brand new category 2021 Inclusive Therapy Business of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Green Therapy Business of the Year…Lucy Stevens, MFHT

Since setting up her own therapy business in Somerset in 2006, Lucy has gone to great lengths to try and place sustainability and ethics at its very core. As well as making her own range of plant-based skincare products that form part of her natural treatment offerings, every aspect of her business has been carefully thought through and considered. Among many other things, Lucy uses a green energy supplier; prints her publicity leaflets on 100% recycled paper; uses biodegradable, plantable pencils to write her notes; wears ethically produced therapy clothing; uses blankets made from recycled plastic bottles; and cleans her treatment room with eco-friendly cleaning products from independent companies. She also sourced locally-made, eco-friendly paint to decorate her studio and reclaimed furniture, and has created an aromatherapy garden outside, to encourage birds, wildlife and insects. The fresh flowers and herbs she grows are also used to decorate and scent the therapy room.

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Glynis Finnigan, Philippa Lee, Hannah Lovegrove, Melanie Price and Rima Shah.

Please revisit our blog tomorrow morning at 10:30am, when we’ll be announcing our Highly Commended 2021 Complementary Therapist of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2021 FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year…Geraldine Flynn, FFHT

Based in Northern Ireland, Geraldine has been working in the field of beauty and holistic therapy for more than 20 years, specialising in semi-permanent make-up (SPMU). A mum of three, she has worked hard to attain numerous qualifications and awards throughout her career, and trained with some of the best technicians from around the world to continually improve her techniques. She regularly attends industry conferences and has travelled extensively to use and demonstrate her SPMU skills.

Each year, Geraldine offers discounted and free treatments to cancer survivors and is currently working on a survey with people affected by hair loss, to gather more information about the effects of alopecia. As she explained in her nomination, ‘semi-permanent make-up is not just used for cosmetic enhancement but can be life changing for those suffering hair loss and going through treatment for cancer’. Going forward, Geraldine has a plans to support regulation in the industry, so that SPMU technicians are accountable to best practices.

And many congratulations to our finalists for this award, Alison Day and Nima Shah.

Please revisit our blog just after 2pm, when we’ll be announcing our 2021 Green Therapy Business of the Year!

FHT CEO, Monica Price, opens the 2021 FHT Excellence Awards!

We are celebrating our 2021 FHT Excellence Awards with a week-long virtual celebration! This year’s winners are being announced on our social media channels and blog from today, 22 November, through to Thursday, 25 November. 

Make sure you keep an eye out on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at @fht_org, and Instagram at @fht_media.

To get events underway, FHT CEO, Monica Price, opens the 2021 FHT Excellence Awards. Watch our fabulous CEO’s video to find out more…

Tune in at 10:30am today, when we’ll start announcing our 2021 FHT Excellence Award winners, starting with the 2021 FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year category. Good luck, everyone! 

FHT members win 6 trophies at The NMC 2021

The FHT was proud to once again sponsor the National Massage Championship (NMC) held at Olympia Beauty in October 2021, where four of our members came away with no less than six trophies! 

Now in its third year, the NMC saw over 50 qualified massage therapists and bodyworkers form around the world showcase their practical massage skills across six different categories. 

A huge congratulations to the following FHT members for gaining recognition for their excellent work and professionalism: 

Slav Marinov 
Winner: Judges Excellence Award
1st place: Freestyle Massage category

Csenge Kerekes 
2nd place: Freestyle Massage category  
3rd place: Swedish/ Deep Tissue category 

Tara Lee Oakley 
2nd place: Swedish/Deep Tissue category (joint winner with Gabriel Ionut Lihoaca) 

Ionela Eugenia Dogaru  
3rd place: Freestyle Massage category

It is fantastic to see your dedication and passion for what you do get such a great recognition, and we are incredibly proud of your achievements.


FHT member, Slav Marinov, won not one, but two awards at the NMC 2021, including the Judges Excellence Award and first place in the Freestyle Massage category! Slav gives us some insight into what inspired him to enter the NMC 2021 and what the future might hold for him after this success.

Why did you enter the NMC?

The NMC is much more than just a competition, it is a great place for networking.

I was able to meet a lot of new people and learn from them, whether it was fellow competitors or leading experts giving talks.

I think this two day “workshop” is a great opportunity if you want to grow as a massage therapist.

What it was like taking part?

I get really exited when I take part in events, conferences and competitions across the globe. The whole buzz, energy and ongoing learning is what drives me forward. This year there was even more anticipation due to the restrictions we’ve all been under these past two years. I was very impressed by the organisers who managed to create another successful event and attract a great number of participants in such a challenging time for the industry.

The UK championship is one of the toughest, not only because of the fantastic level of contestants but in addition you are judged under the watchful eye of the most skillful and experienced panel in the field. The UK judging team is like a “who’s who” of the most amazing experts from the world of massage. That makes me even more grateful and proud of my achievement. However, taking part in a competition gives you a super boost even if you don’t get a place on the podium. The process of preparation is a learning curve and seeing what the other therapists are demonstrating is like a free workshop! Everyone had talent and showed interesting moves and skills. That’s why I like participating, seeing old friends and making new ones was a big part of the event for me! The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed, but you can’t help but get butterflies when it’s your turn to show your skills. It’s worth it and I encourage all my colleagues to sign in for the NMC 2022 next year.

What does winning mean to you?

As a massage therapist with many years of experience, I have already built a long list of loyal clients who I know trust me and support me. Winning brought the added layer of recognition by the judges and the public, which truly means a lot to me.

I hope new opportunities arise from my win too. Teaching is something I was asked and encouraged to do and I may choose to explore that as the natural next step. In addition, I am looking forward to collaborating with selected companies and suppliers in the massage world to help them spread the word about their fantastic and unique products. Watch this space!   


Congratulations once again to Slav and our other FHT members, Csenge, Tara and Ionela, and well done to everyone who took part in this year’s competition!

To find out more about becoming an FHT member, visit fht.org.uk/join-us