Re-Skilling Workshop Facilitators

Ealing Transition’s Re-skilling Day is made possible by our ‘Workshop Facilitators’ giving  their time and skills for free, and we’d like to thank them sincerely for that!

If you took a workshop on the day, and would like to learn more, or if you missed out, details for some of our Workshop Facilitators for 2013 are listed below:

Pilates – Nicky Pallot

Nicky ran our popular Pilates workshop:

Nicky started practicing Pilates in the early 1980s at Alan Herdman studios in London. Since then it has become an essential part of her life helping with rehabilitation from a slipped disc and chronic pain and building towards a renewed sense of vitality.

Formerly a theatre producer she began to teach Pilates in 2005 and is qualified in mat work and equipment.

She has completed the Pilates Foundation’s rigorous training in both theory and practice. The Pilates Foundation sets the bar high for its teachers and has a stringent Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Neck & Shoulder Massage – Martin Kingston

Martin led a couple of fully-subscribed workshops on Neck & Shoulder Massage:

Martin-Portrait“Many professions stress the skills of the practitioner, but in this workshop I pointed out that the person receiving the massage is the best expert in their issue. The job of the masseur then becomes an practiced assistant listening to the client, and following their direction. It takes the pressure off the person massaging, and hopefully, could give people more confidence to practice.”

“Some people felt massage was only effective if it was heavy. This sometimes may help, but that requires practice at listening to the client. Some people may experience reflex muscle relaxation as a result of bruising, but there are better and safer ways to educate the client to relax!”

“Everyone had a couple of chances to practice, first focussing on just palpating (feeling) the tissues in their client’s neck and shoulders, and then experimenting with different movements and pressures, listening for feedback.
Hopefully people felt more confident to practice with family and friends in future!”

Keeping Chickens – Sara Ward

Hen logo goodSara introduced people to the joy of keeping chickens, in our ‘farm corner’ along-side Jono’s happy pigs! She’s a serial Re-skiller, and has helped us out on several occasions:

“…it’s so encouraging to see people enthusiastic to learn, develop, grow and seek a more sustainable life”

Sara runs a range of courses throughout the year, keeps a regular blog to encourage others, and offers a series of films to help people pursue the life themselves. All can be found at (she also Tweets as @hencorner)

Making Eco-Jewellery – David H. E. Coles

David hosted our busy little workshop, making eco-jewellery from found and scrap materials.

IMG_5764 (1)David began his career as an engineer at the age of 7 years (or probably earlier!). This started in a workshop built in his parents back garden. Following an industrial apprenticeship he served both further and adult education as a technologist, designer, ‘contraptionist’ and tutor lecturer.

Currently he is an honorary engineer for the national charity Remap. Members devise bespoke aids and solutions for the severely physically disabled. This is when commercial support is absent. In addition he is a visiting product design adviser for Brunel University.

His interests include his two fine sons, foraging, amateur radio and former cave and mountain sport. He offers tool instruction, basic electronics and practical support. Just ask!

David is happy to be contacted by email. More information below – click on images to enlarge.

aai_DSC00752   Achievement photos composite  U3A My life as an engineer

María Varela – Natural Cosmetics

María is a freelance massage therapist qualified in Holistic and Indian Head Massage as well as Aromatherapy.

She currently provides onsite massage at Cancer Research UK offices as part of their Health and Wellbeing offer as well as running regular low cost massage therapy session at the Bonnington Centre in Vauxhall.

She will soon be starting a placement as a clinical aromatherapist at the Mulberry Centre, helping people affected by cancer. The Mulberry Centre is an independent charity located in the grounds of the West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, Middlesex. For more information visit

María is currently a final year student of the Diploma in Naturopathy and Nutritional Therapy at the prestigious College of Naturopathic Medicine in Central London

To connect and get the latest tips and promotions please ‘like’ María’s facebook page:

West London Waste – Love Food Hate Waste

Sarah Ellis, Waste Minimisation Coordinator at West London Waste gave us a talk on how to stop wasting food, with great tips on using leftovers, safe storage, understanding dates, meal planning and portion sizing. Following these tips not only stops food being wasted, which has an environmental impact, but could also save households £50 a month!

West London Waste’s Food Waste Presentation – Click to Download

If you missed the talk, or want to see it again, Sarah’s been kind enough to allow us to put the full presentation, with her notes, on our site; download it here: Love Food, Hate Waste: It’s easy to save a few £’s.

If there’s a facilitator not listed above, who you’d like to contact, please email us at and we’ll do our best to put you in contact with them.

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