The Isle of Avalon Foundation

Learn, Heal, Inspire.


Meet the people who will be teaching you.

Jude Bestwick is a humanistic counsellor and supervisor of twenty-five years’ experience and adult education tutor of thirty years. She has worked in a number of settings in Devon and Cornwall including agencies involved in drugs and alcohol, autism, youth work and civilians in the Navy as well as private clients and supervisees. She has trained counselling students and run women’s groups. She relocated to Glastonbury two years ago and enjoys exploring the esoteric/spiritual and climbing the Tor with her dog.

Jude Bestwick

Initiation into the way of the Shaman began for Elsa with total paralysis following Polio at 11 years of age. She had a near death experience at this time, one of many throughout her life. For three years she was in a wheelchair unable to walk. Gradually with the help of guides and teachers from spirit, she managed to walk and overcome many other obstacles. Those years of struggle have given her a compassion for all people and a desire to work with those who need support and help.

As a young woman Elsa was a natural physic and for many years sat in a healing circle at her local spiritualist church, until one day she became disillusioned with what she was doing. On a physical level the results were outstanding, but she knew there was more to do. She knew she was here to help and teach on a very deep soul level.

There followed many years of confusion and disillusion with society and authority. She never stopped working with and for those in need, those with a soul need, but it was only upon reaching a major crossroads in her life, when she met Howard and they started a journey together that she realised what she was doing had a name: it was called Shamanism. Elsa is also a Director of the UK branch of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners.


Elsa Malpas

Being sent to a Boarding school in Ireland as a 9 year old was a very special opening for Howard. This school was run by his first Shamanic teacher, and much time was set aside for attunement with nature. It was at this time he opened to his passion for nature and everything natural. He was able to sit quietly in that beautiful ancient Celtic land, communicating eye to eye with the various animals and birds that approached him, these communications gave him a deep understanding of the natural world.

After training as a Chemical Engineer, he spent years fighting the opening he had had as a child, until he could deny it no longer. This was at a major crossroads in his life. The route he took has led him to meet amazing teachers and to sit in a place of wonder and acknowledgement of the spiritual world. The Shamanic way is the cloak he wears that blends his deepest desires with those of helping others find their soul healing. With his partner Elsa he also works in the NHS using complementary therapies to help those with mental health difficulties and those suffering with addiction problems. Howard is also a Director of the UK branch of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners.


John Lockley is a Xhosa Sangoma, medicine man or traditional African Shaman from the same tribe as Nelson Mandela. He apprenticed for 10 years under his teacher Mum Ngwevu, from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He has been given permission by his Sangoma elders to teach people how to pray and reconnect to their Ancestors.

For it is believed that when people know who they are, there is no need to take from others, but only to show humanity [Ubuntu] and compassion. Nelson Mandela demonstrated this beautifully. He was a shining example of a Xhosa elder.

Visit his website.

John Lockley

Mark is a Shamanic Practitioner and teacher. He is a skilled goldsmith and Shaman Smith. He runs the Warrior in the Heart journey circle in Glastonbury and has taught in both the UK and Canada. He is currently working with Howard & Elsa Malpas as a teaching assistant on their various trainings.

Mark Loman

Shahrukh Husain writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. She also writes screen plays and the occasional theatre play. Her adult fiction, published by Virago Press, can be described as re-worked myths reflecting a universal theme of modern relevance. She thoroughly enjoys writing for children because its demand for simplicity, clarity and brevity hones the craft. She likewise relishes the craftsmanship that goes into creating a screenplay and her adaptation of Anita Desai's Booker nominated IN CUSTODY, for Merchant Ivory Productions, won the President of India Gold Medal and got an Oscar nomination.

Currently, she is working on an exciting historical screenplay commissioned by Gurinder Chadha of Bend It Films and is completing a series of mythological books for children. Her latest book, The Wit and Wisdom of Mulla Nasruddin was published in the summer of 2006 and has been very well received. In her "other" life she practices as a psychoanalytical psychotherapist specialising in transcultural work Shahrukh was born in Pakistan and lives in London with her husband and her two children have flown the nest. To read more about Shahrukh, reviews of her books and her company Narratives Ltd, visit her website.

Shahrukh Husain

Leo Rutherford is a renowned healer, teacher and pioneer of shamanism in the West. He was one of the first people to re-awaken the teachings of shamanism to the UK and founded the Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism in 1987. He received his MA in Holistic Psychology from Antioch University in San Francisco and has studied with many gifted shamans. In his work he seeks to bring the ancient techniques of shamanism to help in guiding people of today to find their ‘Path-With-Heart’ and to ‘Walk-in-Beauty’.

Leo trained in many psychotherapeutic and bodywork disciplines before becoming interested in shamanism. His work derives from many sources and is eclectic and holistic, based on the understanding that a human being is a whole rather than a sum of different parts and is, in turn, a part of the Whole of Existence.

He has published six booking including:

  • "The View through the Medicine Wheel" [O Books 2008]
  • "Shamanic Path Workbook" [Arima Pubs 2006]
  • "Principles of Shamanism" [3rd Edition – Crescent Moon pubs 2014]
  • "Spirituality versus Religion" [CreateSpace 2011]
  • "The Book of Games and Warm-Ups for Group Leaders" [2nd edition pub by Singing Dragon 2014]
Leo Rutherford

Lesley Woodhead has worked as a teacher in a range of contexts including secondary, higher and international education. She has a general counselling qualification as well as a WEA Diploma in Transactional Analysis. She is interested in bereavement issues and has worked as a volunteer counsellor for a hospice. She was made redundant from her post as a lecturer whilst recovering from major surgery and found the techniques used in these workshops extremely useful in her own recovery.

Lesley Woodhead


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2-4 High Street

Tel: +44 (0)1458 833933