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Trustees | Senior management | Academic faculty | Optimum Nutrition clinic 

Trustees

The board of trustees are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of ION and upholding its value and ethos.


Jackie Lynch

BA (Hons), DipION, mBANT

Chair of the Trustees

An ION graduate herself, Jackie is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and runs the WellWellWell nutrition clinic in London. Jackie’s clinical work has inspired her to write Va Va Voom: the 10-Day Energy Diet (Headline 2017) and The Right Bite: Smart Food Choices for Eating on the Go (Nourish 2016). Her nutritional advice features regularly in the national press and on a range of well-being websites. An accomplished speaker, Jackie hosts regular talks and wellness workshops, as well as appearing as a guest expert at health events and conferences. 

Prior to qualifying as a nutritional therapist, Jackie spent over 20 years in the field of international sales, marketing and brand management. She spent a considerable part of her career in France, initially working for Oxford University Press, promoting and marketing English Language Teaching (ELT) materials, before moving to BBC Worldwide Paris, selling TV and film rights. She also managed the ancillary rights for BBC Children’s brands across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

On her return to the UK, Jackie joined Chorion PLC as Director of Sales and Marketing, where she recruited and managed an international sales team to launch TV, film and publishing brands to a global audience. While training as a nutritional therapist, Jackie worked part-time for the Environment Agency in the Commercial Development team, developing and implementing a commercial strategy for the Environment Agency brand. For several years, she was a part-time lecturer and examiner at the London College of International Business Studies.

Jackie joined the ION Board of Trustees in March 2011, and was elected Chair in January 2012. 


Rachel Hampson

BA, MA (Cantab)

Vice-Chair of the Trustees 

Rachel is a former Business Strategy Consultant with Bain & Company, working both from London and from San Francisco, in a variety of business sectors from Food Retailing, Venture Capital to Utilities. She has also been involved in the charitable sector for 20 years in various voluntary roles, originally for CHASE hospice care for children, which, following a successful merger, is now Shooting Star CHASE. She was involved with fundraising throughout and became Lead Trustee for Marketing and Fundraising. During her period as a Trustee, Rachel was appointed a Director and then Chairman of a joint venture Lottery Company to raise funds for the charity. She also set up and ran a successful restaurant in Central London for 11 years, which was sold in 2014.

Rachel’s first degree was in medicine specializing in Pathology. Although she did not go on to practice as a doctor, she has always been interested by food and later nutrition and is now currently studying for an MSc in Personalised Nutrition, as well as a Nutritional Therapy Practice Diploma (NTPD) completed in 2018.

Rachel joined the ION Board as Trustee and Vice Chairman in July 2016. 


Anita Wyles

BA (Hons), FCMA

Treasurer

Anita is an Accountant with over 20 years experience working primarily within the media industry. She started her career at Channel 4 while it was still in its infancy and left BBC Worldwide 8 years ago to pursue a lifelong ambition to paint.

During her time at BBC Worldwide, Anita worked within the finance function for 10 years before making the successful transition to general management becoming Commercial Director of Europe, Middle East, India & Africa. She managed a large team responsible for exploiting the commercial potential of cross media product produced both in house and by Independents.

As well as painting and providing local accounting services, Anita is a regular coach and mentor in her neighbourhood schools & colleges.

Anita joined the ION Board of Trustees in February 2014.  


Dian Shepperson Mills

CertEd, BSc, BA, DipION, MA Health Education

Trustee 

Dian is the Director of The Endometriosis and Fertility Clinic and author of the book "Endometriosis: a key to Healing and Fertility through Nutrition" published by Thorsons. She has lectured worldwide to health professionals and the public about the role of sound nutrition in the treatment of endometriosis and infertility. Dian is a Member of BANT (British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy); CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council); Member of the Royal Society of Medicine; Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and Chairs their Nutrition Special Interest Group; Member of ESHRE (European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology); A Trustee of Endometriosis SHE Trust UK, the leading Charity working with Integrated Functional Medicine, encouraging hospitals to work towards the ESHRE guidelines for the specialist treatment of endometriosis, and is a Trsutee of ION. She authored the ION Home Study Course.

Dian has spent her life teaching nutrition and researching the various aspects of endometriosis and the effects of nutrition on fertility and has presented research at world conferences. 

Dian joined the ION Board of Trustees in 1999. 


Sue Hillman

BA (Hons), DipCG, DipHR Management

Trustee

Sue spent 18 years at the BBC in the HR function, starting as a trainee and leaving in 2008 as Head of HR for Production. She has extensive experience of working with senior managers and advising on the change processes for setting up new areas and reducing existing ones, as well as the effective management of large departments. She worked across many areas of the BBC from News to World Service to Post Production, working mostly with creative staff. Prior to this she worked in the Essex Careers Service which provided support for school leavers as an Adviser, Service Manager and latterly as the County Trainer.

Currently she is working in tourism having set up her own company ‘It’s Your London’ which designs and organises tailor made tours of London for small private groups. She is also involved in charity work, abroad and in the UK. This includes building schools in the rural areas across a wide variety of countries in Africa and volunteering at Citizens Advice in Westminster.

Sue joined the ION Board of Trustees in January 2012 to bring external expertise in the field of HR and an interest in the field of nutrition. 


Jo Bridger 

BSc (Hons), PgDip Marketing, DipION

Trustee

Before qualifying as a Nutritional Therapist, Jo spent 15 years as Head of Marketing, responsible for marketing and communications within a niche financial services company, a legal services firm and then latterly for an IT services provider to the Higher and Further Education sector.

She came to marketing via international sales, graduating top of her year from the Chartered Instituted of Marketing with a post-graduate diploma in Marketing. This achievement was recognised by a medal award by the Worshipful Company of Marketers.

Jo became interested in nutrition after successful breast cancer treatment aged 40. She studied at ION, graduating in 2018 and is now a Registered Nutritional Therapist running her own clinic in Bath, providing health and wellness training for corporates and developing nutrition content for a project at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. She also helps to run We Get It, the cancer support charity for Bath and has a special interest in cancer and nutrition.

Jo joined the board of ION in February 2019.

 


Senior management

The executive team are responsible for leading the operational and academic staff who are dedicated to the day to day running of the organisation.


Chris Mansi

BA (Hons) PGDip

Chief Executive Officer 

Chris has over 25 years experience of working in the voluntary sector.

Chris brings a wealth of experience of building and developing organisations. As an Ambassador for Excellence her goal is to improve organisational effectiveness. In her previous role as CEO of Community Options (mental health charity), Chris lead the organisation to achieve a number of awards for people involvement and development (IiP Silver, London Excellence), leadership (London Excellence) and Sunday Times 100 Best Not for Profit organisations to work for (33). 


Heather Rosa

DipION fBANT fHEA

Dean 

Heather Rosa became Dean of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in October 2014. She is passionate about standards of education in nutritional therapy. With her she brings 15 years of experience as a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer in higher education. At the University of Westminster lead the first degree in Nutritional Therapy. Key additional roles included research supervision, working to embed academic integrity, leading learning and teaching, and quality enhancement. Heather is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Heather has a thirty year association with ION as it is where she trained as a nutritional therapist. At that time the ION diploma was revolutionary… the first course of its kind in a Complementary Medicine approach to nutrition. Now this approach is quite familiar to the public, in newspapers, magazines and on television.

Heather was involved in the setting of National Occupational Standards, the Nutritional Therapy Core Curriculum and its review. For services to nutritional therapy education and standards she was awarded Fellowship of the professional body BANT. Heather is also an external examiner, accreditation officer, and education advisor to the professional body and other education organisations.  


Rowena Wells

BA (Hons) ACA

Finance Manager

Rowena is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience of financial management within the not-for-profit sector.

Having qualified in 1987, she worked as an auditor at Stoy Hayward before moving to the not-for-profit sector. She was Director of Finance and Administration at the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals for 11 years.

Rowena joined ION as Finance Manager in 2014.  


Gareth Pritchard

BSc (Hons) PGDip FRSA 

Business Manager

Gareth joined ION as Business Manager in 2015 and is responsible for leading the corporate services department which delivers the shared services to support ION's academic delivery.

He has a background in management consulting, beginning his career with global consultancy Turner & Townsend LLP and has since gone on to deliver strategic and operational direction across SME, large, and international organisations, including delivering change management programmes for NHS England. 

Gareth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  The Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts is an award granted to individuals whom the RSA judges deem to have made outstanding achievements for social progress and development.  The Fellowship is a network of people across the globe working together to resolve some of society’s most pressing issues. The RSA’s mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.  Fellows must have demonstrated a high level of achievement related to the arts, manufactures and commerce.

Gareth is a trained business enterprise mentor, and was until recently a member and trained benchmark assessor for London Excellence, a not-for-profit organisation that delivered the EFQM Levels of Excellence programme in partnership with the British Quality Foundation. 

 


Academic faculty

Our passionate, highly experienced academic team provide an exceptional student learning experience, and ongoing course support.


Heather Rosa

DipION, fBANT, fHEA

Dean 

Heather Rosa became Dean of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in October 2014. She is passionate about standards of education in nutritional therapy. With her she brings 15 years of experience as a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer in higher education. At the University of Westminster she led the first degree in Nutritional Therapy. Key additional roles included research supervision, working to embed academic integrity, leading learning and teaching, and quality enhancement. Heather is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Heather has a thirty year association with ION as it is where she trained as a nutritional therapist. At that time the ION diploma was revolutionary… the first course of its kind in a Complementary Medicine approach to nutrition. Now this approach is quite familiar to the public, in newspapers, magazines and on television.

Heather was involved in the setting of National Occupational Standards, the Nutritional Therapy Core Curriculum and its review. For services to nutritional therapy education and standards she was awarded Fellowship of the professional body BANT. Heather is also an external examiner, accreditation officer, and education advisor to the professional body and other education organisations. 


Paula Werrett

MProf, BA Hons, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT

Head of Undergraduate Provision

Paula has been working as part of the academic team at ION since 2005. Initially employed as a lecturer, tutor and clinical supervisor, she became Head of Diploma Courses in 2013 and is now Head of Undergraduate Provision.  Paula is passionate about educating nutritional therapists and providing first class education.

An ION trained Nutritional Therapist with over ten year's clinical experience. Paula has a special interest in digestive health and autoimmunity and runs workshops and corporate sessions in addition to working one to one.

Paula has previously worked as a BANT accredited clinical supervisor and is also an assessor for the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission ensuring that educational standards are upheld within the Nutritional Therapy sector. 


Natascha Van Zyl

MSc, BA (Hons) PGCE. PGDip, rCNHC, CThA, RSM, MBPsS

Head of Course (Science Access) & Year 1 Leader 

Natascha is Head of the Nutritional Therapy Science Access Course and the NTDC Year 1 Leader. As a Senior Lecturer, Natascha teaches Human Biology and Health Psychology. She also delivers short courses on Behavior Change and has been in clinical practice, as a Naturopath, since 1995. Natascha’s passion to practice CAM was driven by personal experience of managing her own health, and working with acute/chronic illness.

Natascha met her first mentor, Swami Mataji Narayani (Guru and Homeopath) at Sohum Sanctuary in South Africa, aged ten. During the years which followed, she received training, both traditionally and non-traditionally, in the Eastern and Western Healing Arts. Natascha gained a Degree in Social and Biological Sciences and undertook training in Therapeutic Massage, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Counselling and Herbalism. She set up her CAM practice and worked in the community, doing teaching and outreach work in women’s empowerment, sexual health awareness and health promotion. During this time, Natascha actively worked with various institutions (educational and clinical) in South Africa, to broaden the understanding and recognition of CAM, and to train practitioners for professional registration with the South African Allied Health Professions Council.

Natascha relocated to the UK during 2001 and first worked in the medical field (Kings College London, St. Peters NHS Foundation Trust, and East Surrey Hospital) and then education (lecturing, leadership and management in FE and HE). She set up her CAM practice at the Hale Clinic in London. With the birth of her son, she relocated her practice to her home and also visits patients in their homes.

She is currently completing Doctoral training at the University of West England to become a registered Health Psychologist. She is a researcher with an interest in psychobiological medicine, behaviour change, obesity management, child health and Alzheimer’s care. She supervises CAM practitioners and students and has a thriving professional life. She brings her knowledge and experience to ION and shares her passion with her learners. 


Sally Lawson

MSc, MSc, BSc Hons, PGCert HE

Academic Support Tutor 

The consistent theme across Sally’s varied career in business psychology, mental health and as a Senior University Lecturer is facilitating adults to learn and grow. Sally joined ION in 2017 to take on the role of Academic Support Tutor. This draws on her academic and research experience, both as a student at Masters level in three London Universities, and as a Senior Lecturer. The Academic Support Tutor role also draws on her counselling and coaching experience and qualifications. Sally is keen to ensure students maximise their learning, combining academic and research rigour with discovering a joy for learning. Sally has recently completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 


Emma Rees

MProf, BA Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHCreg, Registered NT

Year 2 Leader  

Registered Nutritional Therapist Emma Rees is a qualified Nutritional Therapist with just under 10 years clinical experience.

Emma graduated from ION with distinction and a Foundation Science degree in Nutritional Therapy. Combining this with her teaching qualification, she currently leads the Clinical Practice One and Clinical Practice Two modules. She specialises in clinical skills and reflective practice. Emma is also the Year Two Course Leader.

Emma provides consultations in the North Essex/Suffolk area for clients with a wide range of health conditions, and gives talks in her local area. Emma serves as a Profession Specific Board Member of the CNHC. She also holds a Master's that focussed on research and reflective practice. 


Virginia Blake

MSc Nut.Med BSc Hons, DipBCNH, mBANT, CNHC

Module Coordinator

Virginia graduated from BCNH in 2008 and went on to complete an MSc in Nutritional Medicine in 2018. Since 2008, she has been working in the community, lecturing and running a private nutrition practice.

Lecturing work includes teaching on MSc, BSc and diploma courses in nutrition and in health.

She manages the social enterprise, Nutmeg Outreach, which has delivered NHS and local authority funded community health projects. In this role she has developed and delivered award winning obesity intervention and prevention projects..

She also runs a private nutrition practice where areas of interest include child health, obesity and autoimmune disease.  


Shirley Briars

BSc Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT

Module Coordinator

Shirley is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and graduated from ION in 2011 with distinction. She joined ION as a lecturer and module leader in September 2013 and currently leads the Practice Management and the Drug Nutrient Interactions/Pharmacology/Supplements modules. She is also personal tutor to a number of students and supervises students in the Teaching Clinic. Prior to changing career direction Shirley worked for several years in a primary school and has also previously worked at senior management level in Local Government.

Shirley practises privately in South Essex where she supports clients with a variety of health issues but her areas of interest are digestive health and women’s health. Shirley also lectures on food and nutrition at a college in Norwich and enjoys giving local talks to women’s groups including the Women’s Institute. 


Shoela Detsios

BSc(CAN), ND(Aus.), PGCEHE, mCNHC, fHEA

Module Coordinator

Shoela is a highly experienced lecturer and clinician. Her approach blends her academic and professional training; Bachelor of Science (Canada) and Diploma of Advanced Naturopathy (Australia). She is registered practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in the domain of Natural Medicine.

In addition to helping clients achieve their health goals, educating and training future practitioners is part of her profile. She has diverse experience of working with adult learners and empowering them with the skills for lifelong learning.

Shoela lectures for a number of educational providers in the area of Nutritional Therapy at undergraduate and Post graduate levels. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

At ION Shoela applies her expertise to the Biology Module of the Nutritional Therapy Science Access Course to aid learners to develop the skills for BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy Course.   


Ruth Taylor

BA Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT

Module Coordinator

Ruth started her health care career as an RGN and has many years’ experience as a nursing sister within the NHS, which has given her a broad experience and understanding of health and disease and the clinical encounter. In 1996 Ruth gained a post registration Bsc in Nursing studies.

Ruth trained as a Nutritional Therapist at ION in 2009 and has been part of the academic team since 2011. Ruth is currently the year 3 course leader and module leader for clinical analysis and functional and biochemical imbalances.

Ruth is passionate about the role of nutrition in health and is in clinical practice in Hampshire, she also works as part of a multi-disciplinary team in Winchester Ruth has a special interest in digestive imbalances.

Since 2014 Ruth has additionally been working as a BANT clinical supervisor and offers clinical supervision in Hampshire and Surrey.  


Katie Clare

BSc Hons, DipCNM, mBANT CNHCreg

Module Coordinator

Katie is a Registered Nutrition Practitioner leading the first year (level 4) modules in Nutrition Sciences 1 & 2. She is also an orientation tutor for first year students. Katie will soon be starting an MSc in Nutrition.

Previously Katie ran workshops on food fermentation with an introduction to gut bacteria and digestive health at a London nutrition college. She has worked in PR and Communications for inSpiral, original UK manufacturer of organic air-dried kale crisps, raw chocolate avocado mousse and raw nut & seed crackers.  She also helped them to launch their London plant-based café back in 2007. She has worked for the NHS: Blood and Transport in the clinical role of a Blood Donor Carer. 

Katie originally studied human geography and international development, then working with refugees and young vulnerably housed young people as a Healthy Living Advisor. Placements overseas in China and then also Australia and the Peruvian Amazon in the early 2000s opened her eyes to what a fully integrated system of orthodox and traditional medicines could look like and she began to re-evaluate her childhood diagnosis of asthma and how to start working with her body. 

 


Optimum Nutrition Clinic 

The clinic team provides the essential support to students whilst they complete their clinical practice modules in year 1 and 2, helping them to move from theoretical knowledge to practical experience.


Emma Rees

BA Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHCreg, Registered NT

Training Clinic Lead

Registered Nutritional Therapist Emma Rees is a qualified Nutritional Therapist with just under 10 years clinical experience.

Emma graduated from ION with distinction and a Foundation Science degree in Nutritional Therapy. Combining this with her teaching qualification, she currently leads the Clinical Practice One and Clinical Practice Two modules. She specialises in clinical skills and reflective practice. Emma is also the Year Two Course Leader.

Emma provides consultations in the North Essex/Suffolk area for clients with a wide range of health conditions, and gives talks in her local area. Emma serves as a Profession Specific Board Member of the CNHC. She is currently studying at Master’s level, with focus on research and reflective practice.


Ania Mason

DipION, mBANT, CNHC, IFM

Registered Nutritional Therapist 

Ania helps her clients feel the best they have felt in years by incorporating her scientific knowledge of human body and nutrition, up to date research and her coaching skills. 

Ania graduated from ION in 2018 with a distinction, set up her private clinic - Nutrified in West London and is now working at our clinic in ION. 

Ania’s special interests due to her own health journey are gastrointestinal health and its tight link to autoimmunity and hormonal health and she is also very passionate about brain health and fertility.


Leanne Gardner

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, DipION mBANT, CNHC, DipSpLD (Dyslexia)

Registered Nutritional Therapist 

Leanne is excited to be able to spread the word that food and lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life.

She believes that health is not just the absence of disease but a place of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Leanne is a registered Nutritional Therapist as well as a charted Physiotherapist.

She consults in her clinic in South West London and at the ION clinic. Leanne is a passionate family advocate and enjoys working with children and families.