A CENTRE is celebrating its 20th anniversary, after previously being told Ryedale was not ready to embrace natural methods of healthcare.

The Natural Health Centre, in Kirkbymoorside, was established in 2000 by Jules Watson and three other practitioners - Sue Stewart, Jill Sampson and Angie Hopper.

All four practitioners were working as therapists and were placed around Ryedale in different workplaces, above hairdressers, in rooms at home and doctors’ surgeries.

The group were keen to organise resources to create a centre for natural health where people could come along and get advice, information and treatment for a wide range of health issues.

After looking at various properties in Ryedale, the group discovered the old Bethel Chapel in Tinley Garth, Kirkbymoorside.

“The chapel ticked all the boxes, a lovely spacious light filled building, peaceful atmosphere and quiet inside its thick stone walls,” said Jules Watson, the remaining original practitioner.

“The building, belonging to Bill and Sally Gamble, was converted, a large reception room and three treatment rooms.”

In February 2000, more than 300 people came to the opening ceremony of the Natural Health Centre with the mayor, Tony Clark, and Dr David Williams, the previous head of Kirkbymoorside Medical Practice, giving a speech about the benefits of the different approaches of medicine.

Ten practitioners began to work at the centre covering a range of treatments, including McTimoney chiropractic, acupuncture, reflexology, massage, kinesiology, homeopathy, nutrition, reiki, osteopathy and hypnotherapy.

“We were warned that Ryedale was not ready to embrace natural methods of healthcare when we first opened, but here we are 20 years down the line,” Jules added.

“The centre is going from strength to strength, we have a brilliant team covering all the therapies now.

“We are very grateful to the local community for all their support, many of our clients have been visiting us since we opened.”