FHT award winner profile: Sheree Phelps

Former Team GB rifle shooter, Sheree Phelps, MFHT, won the title of Sports Therapist of the Year at the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards ceremony.

Sheree Phelps - sports therapist of the year

The award was presented to Sheree at a prestigious FHT Excellence Awards Dinner held at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, on 17 November. Organised by the FHT, the Excellence Awards aim to bring much deserved recognition to high-calibre practitioners, students and tutors working in the fields of complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapy.

Having retired from a 13-year career in rifle shooting, Sheree has only recently retrained and set up her business, Podium Therapies, based in Cardiff. That said, she is already making a huge impression on the clients she treats, who range from triathletes and rugby players, through to hospital surgeons and families impacted by rare health conditions.

As well as providing massage in the corporate world – treating employees of British Gas, Barclarycard and Sport Wales – Sheree also provides a voluntary service to the Welsh Rugby Union’s Elite Women’s Programme, covering major campaigns such as Six Nations and Rugby Europe. With her sporting background, she can fully empathise with clients dealing with an injury, as well as offer lots of advice on training and competing, in addition to their rehabilitation and therapeutic treatments.

The letters of support submitted with her FHT Excellence Awards nomination clearly showed that Sheree thoroughly researches any condition affecting her clients, is committed to developing her knowledge and skills, and that her friendly and positive outlook boosts morale and enhances treatment outcomes.

Speaking about her win, Sheree says: ‘This award means so much to me. Coming from a competitive sporting career, it has always been important for to me to build a professional and welcoming practice for my clients. Having the knowledge to clearly explain why and how I am going to treat them, in an empathetic and relaxing environment, so that they can unwind from their daily stresses has always been my ultimate goal.

‘My business logo, which I designed myself, is effectively three logos in one. It shows three people on a podium, three people running through a finishing line, and a lotus flower. The aim was to blend sports massage with the therapeutic and relaxing holistic therapies I also provide. I will continue to strive in all areas of my massage skills and learning, and look forward to welcoming and addressing the needs of many more clients in the future. I’d like to thank my friends, family, clients and FHT for their support.’

For more information about the FHT Excellence Awards and previous winners, click here

President’s Award Profile: Professor George Lewith

In memory of Professor George Lewith – for outstanding contribution to the integrated healthcare

Prof George Lewith1A qualified physician and Professor of Health Research, the late Professor George Lewith was the first doctor in England to receive specialist training in Complementary Medicine. Between 1980 and 2010, he set up and partnered the largest practice of integrated medicine in the UK, with NHS contracts in both Southampton and London. In an obituary published in British Medical Journal, it was commented that, ‘George gained much pleasure from seeing and treating patients and was passionate about treating them as a whole, with great emphasis on holistic care. Thousands of patients feel indebted to George for the compassionate, often life changing, treatment they received.’

Alongside being a practitioner of acupuncture, nutritional and herbal medicine and homeopathy techniques up until 2011, he was also a founder member and trustee of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine in 1982. He also established the Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit at the University of Southampton in 1995, and founded the annual conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Strategies, Training, Research and New Developments – or CAMSTRAND, for short. He was a prominent researcher in the CAM field, and passionate about the importance of building the scientific evidence base for complementary medicine. Indeed, he had more than 350 peer review papers published, and raised more than £5 million in research funding – a huge accomplishment, by anyone’s standards.


FHT award winner profile: Cristina Coelho

Skin and facial specialist, Cristina Coelho, MFHT, won the title of Beauty Therapist of the Year at the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards ceremony.

Cristina Coelho - beauty therapist of the year

The award was presented to Cristina at a prestigious FHT Excellence Awards Dinner held at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, on 17 November. Organised by the FHT, the Excellence Awards aim to bring much deserved recognition to high-calibre practitioners, students and tutors working in the fields of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapy.

Cristina has been working in the beauty therapy industry for 12 years. For five of these, she has been running her own private clinic in London, called Cristina Coelho Bespoke Facials, where she specialises in CACI and Environ facials, creating tailored treatment plans for clients who have a wide range of skin challenges.

Cristina was awarded FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year for providing excellent customer service. She uses a non-invasive, holistic and person-centred approach when creating facials for her clients, taking into account the vital role vitamins play in helping to keep the skin healthy and vibrant.

Her award nomination was accompanied by more than 30 client testimonials, from male and female clients seeking treatments for ageing concerns, sun-pigmentation, hypersensitive skin and acne, amongst others. One client, whose face has a number of lesions caused by a condition called discoid lupus, commented ‘I feel Cristina is committed to helping me, which calms my fears and encourages me to be patient as my skin continues to heal’.

Speaking about her award, Cristina says: ‘I’m so pleased to have won FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year. My passion is to achieve outstanding results for my clients and make them look and feel their very best, so I’m truly grateful that this has been recognised. I carefully research and source the best technology and products available in order for my clients to attain and maintain excellent skin health, and my overall aim is for clients find my bespoke facials as effective as they are enjoyable.’

For more information about the FHT Excellence Awards and previous winners, click here

Becoming an FHT Fellow

Diane Leopard, FFHT, and 2015 FHT Advocate of the Year, talks about why she became an FHT Fellow in a new video.

Diane and her colleague Nia Roberts, MFHT, were also finalists at the recent 2017 FHT Excellence Awards, in the Complementary Therapist of the Year category.

For more information about the FHT Excellence Awards and previous winners, click here

President’s Award Profile – Gill Morris

Business and beauty therapy expert, Gill Morris, has received an FHT President’s Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the beauty therapy industry

gill morrisGill is highly respected in the beauty therapy industry, which she has been involved in for more than 35 years.

Initially training at North Warwickshire College in Nuneaton, she was among the first wave of students to receive an IHBC (International Health and Beauty Council) qualification in beauty therapy and electrolysis.

For the first two and a half years of her professional career, Gill worked in a beauty salon carrying out a range of treatments. However her employer was an electrolysis specialist and her passion for the subject rubbed off onto Gill. She became an expert in this treatment while running her own beauty salons, before going on to work for Ellisons then Sterex, where she was heavily involved in research and product development. This included the development of the Sterex Blend epilator, which Gill considers one of her career highlights. She is also the author of three electrolysis training textbooks and one on retailing skills.

Today, Gill is the Director of Commercial Development for Sterex, Chair of the City & Guilds National Advisory Committee for Beauty and an international trainer and presenter – indeed, she has just returned from San Diego where she delivered a lecture on motivation at the American Electrology Association’s annual convention. Her lively and often humorous presentations, talks and lectures are universally acclaimed.

Other influential roles Gill has had within the beauty therapy industry over the years include being a founding and non-executive director of beauty standards setting organisation, Habia; one of the first Employer Champions whose role was to bring vocational education and businesses closer together; and an advisor to numerous colleges.

Gill was also one of the very first in the therapy industry to recognise the need to develop and deliver business training to salon owners and managers. As a chartered marketer with a passion for helping beauty therapists to succeed, she founded her own business consultancy and skills training company, GMT Business Training, which she ran for many years.

Gill is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a past member of the Professional Speaking Association and Global Speakers Federation.

Speaking about receiving this award, Gill says: ‘As someone who is usually presenting awards rather than receiving them, I was really quite shocked when I returned from California and heard the news! Obviously I am very passionate about the therapy industry and I’ve loved every moment of my career. And hopefully I’ve helped others along the way, too – but it’s still quite overwhelming when your work is recognised as outstanding by one of the oldest and most respected organisations in the industry. A huge thank you for this very special FHT President’s Award. I feel truly honoured.’

Paul Battersby, President of the FHT, says: ‘The FHT has been promoting the highest standards in therapy education and practice for more than 50 years. The President’s Award aims to recognise individuals who have spent the best part of their career striving towards the same objectives, and have enhanced our industry. Our congratulations to Gill – she is a truly deserving winner of this award.’

About the FHT Excellence Awards

The FHT Excellence Awards were first launched in 2011, to showcase the enterprising and innovative work being carried out on a daily basis by practising complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists. The awards were also a valuable opportunity to inspire other therapists, to push forward the boundaries of best practice.

In 2012 the Excellence in Education awards category was added to the portfolio, as a natural extension to the existing awards, as so many members would talk about their inspirational teachers and outstanding students.

The FHT President’s Award is awarded to select individuals for their outstanding contribution to the therapy industry and/or integrated healthcare.

The 2017 FHT Excellence Awards were kindly sponsored by Psychologies Magazine, Shared Beauty Secrets and Zephorium.

FHT award winner profile: Barbara Scott

Barbara Scott, MFHT, won the title of Complementary Therapist of the Year at the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards ceremony.

Barbara Scott - comp ther of the year

The award was presented to Barbara at a prestigious FHT Excellence Awards Dinner held at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, on 17 November. Organised by the FHT, the Excellence Awards aim to bring much deserved recognition to high-calibre practitioners, students and tutors working in the fields of complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapy.

Barbara, founder of Seren Natural Fertility and Chair of The Association of Reproductive Reflexologists based in Carmarthen, specialises in providing reflexology treatments to couples who are having trouble conceiving. Her interest in this area was sparked 20 years ago, after treating her very first reflexology client, who was struggling to fall pregnant. As a result of supporting this one lady, many more clients – both men and women – started coming to Barbara, presenting with a range of fertility issues.

At the time, Barbara had difficulty finding any courses to further her knowledge in this complex field, and so she began to research the subject extensively and develop her own reflexology treatment protocols. Two decades later, Barbara has helped hundreds of couples struggling to conceive – through her own private practice, and by training other therapists in Reproflexology.

Barbara has formed collaborations with medical professionals, presented at major events, and authored a book, called Reflexology for Fertility, so that others can benefit from her vast experience. She is currently working with Cardiff Metropolitan University to extract data from a Reproflexology study and put together a research paper.

Speaking about her win, Barbara says: ‘I am truly delighted to have received this award in recognition of not just my own work, but the fantastic work that our practitioners do in supporting couples having difficulties in conceiving. My hopes are that it allows us to let couples know that there is support for them, that reflexology is an excellent tool and that making even the smallest changes can be beneficial to them on their journey to parenthood ’

Read an article by Barbara Scott on reflexology and fertility (first published in International Therapist, Issue 116, Spring 2016)

Best in the therapy industry recognised with 2017 FHT Excellence Awards

The FHT would like to say a big ‘Thank you!’ to those members and other special guests who recently joined us in Leamington Spa to celebrate the achievements of our 2017 FHT Excellence Awards winners and finalists.

2017 FHT Excellence Award winners

Pictured (left to right): Barbara Scott, Sheree Phelps, Stacey Radcliffe, Cristina Coelho, Anne-Marie Rose and Emma Holly.

Launched in 2011, the FHT’s Excellence Awards serve to shine a spotlight on those setting the bar in therapy education and practice, helping to raise the profile of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapies.

2017 FHT Excellence Awards logo

Once again, the awards judges were overwhelmed by the number of excellent nominations received this year, with 21 finalists announced in August, across six different categories. The overall winners and two highly commended were then announced and presented with an award at a special 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner, held on 17 November, at the historic Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa.

Sue Kinsella, RGN Head of Nursing Services at RedArc, says: “At RedArc we refer to the FHT’s Accredited Register to source qualified and professional therapists to support our patients. It was a great opportunity to attend the Excellence Awards and gain insight into how some of your members help improve people’s health and wellbeing and make such a difference to their lives.”

And the winners are…

2017 FHT Excellence Awards – Winners

  • Complementary Therapist of the Year – Barbara Scott
    For researching and developing a reflexology treatment protocol and training course, to support couples struggling to conceive.
  • Beauty Therapist of the Year – Cristina Coelho
    For her commitment to providing holistic and person-centred treatments to clients with conditions impacting their skin health and self-esteem.
  • Sports Therapist of the Year – Sheree Phelps
    For supporting the needs of a wide range of clients, from hospital surgeons to sports professionals, and her commitment to professional development.
  • Local Support Group Coordinator of the Year – Nicky Gee
    For her commitment to providing support and informative group meetings for local FHT members and the wider community in the Blackpool area.
  • Student of the Year – Stacey Radcliffe
    For her drive and commitment to completing a complementary therapy degree, despite multiple setbacks, including serious ill-health.
  • Tutor of the Year – Lorraine Senior
    For developing a framework for qualified reflexologists to support children and adults with autism, learning difficulties and special educational needs.

2017 FHT Excellence Awards – Highly Commended

  • Complementary Therapist of the Year – Emma Holly – in recognition of her work with clients affected by painful and unsightly scar tissue.
  • Complementary Therapist of the Year – Anne-Marie Rose – for supporting local carers and charities.

2017 FHT Excellence Awards - George Lewith2017 FHT President’s Awards

In addition, two special FHT President’s Awards were announced this year. The first was awarded in memory of the late Professor George Lewith, for his outstanding contribution to integrated healthcare and the complementary therapy industry. The second was awarded to Gill Morris, for her outstanding contribution to the beauty therapy industry.

A warm and much deserved ‘Congratulations!’ to our 2017 winners and finalists, and a special thank you to everyone who entered this year’s awards. Please keep up the excellent work you do in helping to support others and please enter our 2018 FHT Excellence Awards (to be announced).

Finally, we’d like to thank our 2017 awards sponsors for supporting this event – Psychologies Magazine, Shared Beauty Secrets and Zephorium.

Look out for more information about this year’s winners in International Therapist and online.

Sponsored by

Sponsor logo - Psychologies Sponsor logo - Shared Beauty Secrets Sponsor logo - Zephorium