Our People

Our team are all committed members who volunteer their time and expertise to promote Friends of Yoga and it’s aims.

Executive Officers | Administration | Area Officers | Areas by County

Executive Officers

The Executive Officers are Friends of Yoga members who are elected to office at the Biennial General Meetings, usually held in September.

The last Biennial General Meeting was held on Saturday, 3rd October 2020. 

Read the full minutes of the meeting in the Members News Area. (You will need to be signed in to view)

Vicky Bedford

Chair

Vicky has been practicing yoga for 21 years and teaching for 12. She qualified in July 2008 with The Friends of Yoga Society International and has not looked back since, teaching classes to all abilities from gentle restorative yoga to advanced, challenging, strong and energising classes. She is extremely passionate about the way yoga leaves you feeling and its benefits. Vicky loves sharing her knowledge and was approved as a tutor for FRYOG in September 2013 in which she continues to run FRYOG’S Foundation, 200-hour and 500-hour Teacher Training Diplomas, and feels these compliment her weekly classes.

Shortly after being approved as a tutor Vicky became a Practical and Theory Assessor for FRYOG. She has represented FRYOG at The OM Yoga Show, teaching in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2016 and was honoured to speak at their 2014 Yoga Show Teacher Training Conference.

Whether it’s emotional, physical or mental Vicky caters to each individual’s needs. Every single one of her students are important to her.

Ann Zielonka

Secretary

FRYOG logo

Lesley Hilton

Treasurer

Lesley first became aware of Yoga as a child in the 1970’s when her mum attended Yoga classes with one of FRYOG’s early tutors, Mary Davis. When a Yoga book appeared Lesley became fascinated by the grace and beauty of the Asanas. However it wasn’t until some years later when Lesley attended her first class that she realised Yoga was so much more than just the physical postures.

Lesley has been a member of FRYOG since the 1990s, she trained with Mary to complete FRYOG’s teaching diploma in 2002. She has taught Yoga and meditation classes and took up the role of Treasurer in 2018. Lesley has over 35 years experience of working in business, she has managed budgets and teams and currently works in the care sector. Lesley’s practice is now very much focused upon the philosophical and spiritual aspects of Yoga.

Helen Sutcliffe

Director of Education

Helen has been practising Yoga since she was a teenager and qualified with FRYOG in 1979. She runs weekly classes and workshops, including CPD days in Derbyshire and is an assessor and tutor trainer for FRYOG. Her teaching expresses her firm belief that Yoga is beneficial for all and should be accessible to everyone. Because of her long experience and involvement with Yoga her style is eclectic but with roots firmly in the traditional. Among Helen’s specialisms are Tantra and Ayurvedic Yoga.

Helen is also a complimentary therapist running her own practice ‘Serenity Yoga and Therapies’ in Matlock offering a range of therapies, one to one Yoga and Counselling. Please contact Helen for further information including details of future Diploma Courses and Yearly Retreats in Lancashire and France.

Rachel Sutcliffe

Membership Officer

FRYOG logo

Sheila Coombes

Diploma Board Officer

Sheila is a Fryog teacher training course tutor and theory assessor.
She welcomes this opportunity to join the Executive Committee and to be generating diplomas for students on completion of courses.

‘Being a theory assessor, I get to see how much love and commitment goes into the theoretical side of training, it will be a pleasure to be providing the proof of their work. ‘

Sheila has practised yoga and meditation for most of her adult life and has been teaching others since qualifying with FRYOG in 1984. Her main interest is in health and healing through working with the elements and this has led her to study with leading Viniyoga and Ayurvedic practitioners. She is also trained in Thai Yoga Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Reflexology. All these skills are now combined into ‘Integrated Yoga Therapy’ which she offers from a practice near Totnes, Devon.

Her other passion is growing food for the family using organic and bio-dynamic methods. ‘Conscious cultivation…… caretaking the land through mindful relationship – no different to caretaking our physical and mental being through focused yoga practise’.

Simi Sandhu

Internal Communications Officer

Simi is super passionate about empowering women by providing them with simple tools that they can incorporate into their daily lives. She supports her clients to get to the root cause of whatever is holding them back so that they are able to manage their overall well-being in a more positive way.

She is qualified in a number of modalities: Yoga & Meditation (200 HOURS, FRYOG, 2009), Reiki 1, Master Practitioner of NLP (including Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis) and she is currently studying Diet and Nutrition ITEC level 3 Diploma. Her educational background includes a BA (Hons) in Leisure Management and a HND in Business and Finance from the University of West London in the UK.

Zoe English (née Smart)

Public Relations and Events

Zoe completed a BWY foundation course in 2008, and immediately discovered a passion for yoga and its benefits. With a new found appreciation for how yoga can address and support modern day life, there was no hesitation to her training with Friends of Yoga to become a teacher and spread the word!

In 2010, Zoe completed her 200-hour teacher training with Amanda Coulson and has gone on to enthusiastically teach her students the mind body connection. She qualified as a Yoga Therapist with Real Yoga in 2019 so as well as teaching group classes, also provides therapeutic yoga practice to individuals living with a medical condition.

Now living in West Sussex, she has two whippet-cross rescue dogs that are adored by her and her husband, and who enjoy being walked on the beach near their home every day.

Jo Standen

Website Officer

Jo trained with Gemma Grinter. She qualified with Friends of Yoga in 2013 and also trained with Charlotta Martinus to gain her Teenyoga teacher status.

Together with Zoe English, Jo has spent many hours developing the website to streamline the administrative tasks involved with running the society.

”If you have any ideas or suggestions to improve our website I’d love to hear from you!”

Administration

Aimee Newton

Facebook

Pattie Sandham

Child Protection Officer

Sarah Swan

BCYT Representative
and
CNHC Verification

Area Officers

Vacancy

Scotland

Helen Sutcliffe

North

Amanda Green

Midlands

Miranda Shaw

West

Michelle Busuttil

East

Vacancy

London

Could this be you? If you are interested in taking on this exciting position or wish to find out more please contact Helen Sutcliffe who is our Director of Education.

Tamasine Hoad

South East

Kamna Sarna (Kay)

South West (North)

Beth Davis

South West (West)

Denise Hazel

South West (South)

Victoria James

South

Helen Gilhooly

Overseas

Areas by County

North

  • Cheshire
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Durham
  • Lancashire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Eire
  • N. Ireland
  • Tyne & Wear
  • Northumberland
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Yorkshire

Midlands

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Oxfordshire

West

  • Gloucestershire
  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Worcestershire
  • West Midlands
  • Wales

East

  • Bedfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Norfolk
  • Rutland
  • Suffolk

South East

  • Essex
  • Hertfordshire
  • Kent
  • Middlesex

South West (North)

  • Avon
  • Berkshire
  • Wiltshire

South West (West)

  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Somerset

South West (South)

  • Dorset
  • Hampshire
  • Isle of Wight

South

  • Surrey
  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex