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. The last meeting was held on 9th October 2022.

The minutes of the meeting are being prepared and will be available shortly. Previous meeting minutes can be found in the Members Area, Members News.

Vicky Bedford


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


Details to follow


Details to follow.

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.

Cate Knott Carpenter

Membership Officer

Cate was a student of Carole Kerton and trained under her excellent guidance, qualifying in 2003. She lives on sunny Hayling Island with her one eyed min pin Geoffrey and her Andalusian horse Jaleo.

Cate has her own garden studio where she teaches 4 classes a week, and runs day and weekend retreats locally, donkeyoga being particularly popular!

She has been a practical assessor for FRYOG for many years and practices Thai Yoga Massage.

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!”


Aimee Newton


Pattie Sandham

Child Protection Officer

Sarah Swan

BCYT Representative

Rachel Sutcliffe

Assistant to the Director of Education

Area Officers

Victoria James

Victoria James

Chief Area Officer



Could this be you?

If you are interested in taking on this exciting position or wish to find out more please contact Victoria James C.A.O.



Could this be you?

If you are interested in taking on this exciting position or wish to find out more please contact Victoria James C.A.O.

Anita Howarth

Anita Howarth

South West (South)


South West (North)

Could this be you?

If you are interested in taking on this exciting position or wish to find out more please contact Victoria James C.A.O.

Beth Davis

Beth Davis

South West (West)

Areas by County


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


  • Buckinghamshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Oxfordshire


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


  • 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


  • Surrey
  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex