About Brighton Natural Health Foundation - BNHF (previously BNHC)

Brighton Natural Health Centre (BNHC) charity was founded in 1982 by Infinity Food Workers Co-Op.

Infinity Foods itself was a social venture committed to providing good quality organically grown and natural foods as cheaply as possible. When it began in 1971 these were indeed rare on the ground.

The vision behind Infinity was ‘individual, community and planetary health’ through the medium of sustainable agriculture and healthy diets.

BNHC was founded to further those aims. It served as an educational centre for practices such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, mindful movement, dance and healthy cooking. Many of these, also, were rare at the time.

We offered normally priced classes alongside low cost and free classes, as well as working with partner organisations to provide outreach classes for disadvantaged groups.

BNHC served the community for 40+ years until the economic impact of the pandemic meant that maintaining its premises in Regent Street was no longer viable.

After a pause for reflection it was relaunched as Brighton Natural Health Foundation – no longer with a building in town but instead, a commitment to take the transformative power of mindful movement in all its forms into every part of the Brighton & Hove community.

Trustees

Brighton Natural Health Centre was founded in 1981 by Infinity Foods and became a registered charity in 1984. It changed its name to Brighton Natural Health Foundation in May 2023 and has a board of trustees who are responsible for the governance and policies of the charity. The trustees are:

Robin Bines 3

Robin Bines

Robin is a co-founder of both Infinity Foods (1970) and BNHF (1981) and has spent his working life in the natural and organic products and environment sectors – as a retailer, distributor, manufacturer, importer, grower, campaigner, publisher and events organiser.

He founded the Organic Food Company to expand the range of organic foods in the UK and launch them into supermarkets. In the ‘80s he introduced Ecover into the UK and US, marketing the range through campaigns to raise standards and reduce consumption in the mainstream detergents industry. In the ‘90s he published Green Magazine and launched Natural Products News and Natural & Organic Products Europe, still the UK’s leading trade magazine and exhibition for the sector.

Robin ran the All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group at Westminster from 1993-2020 and continues to campaign on environmental issues. In 2019 he completed a long self-build passivhaus project in Brighton as his home and now acts as a business consultant to other small enterprises.

Gary Christie

Gary Christie

Gary has over 30 years’ experience of both working and volunteering for local and central Government departments in programme and project management capacities and for voluntary sector bodies.

He has focused on improving the lives of young people in the criminal justice system, in care, and with learning disabilities. Gary has co-created projects and supported participants to take advantage of health and well-being initiatives including basic cookery, substance misuse, personal budget management and physical activities. He has also worked in mentoring roles and facilitated and led group discussions.

With a personal passion for health and wellbeing, and using his strategic, operational and lived experience of navigating the challenges of a disadvantaged background, he seeks to make a unique contribution to the work of BNHF. 

Gary is dedicated to helping broaden opportunities and enhance outcomes for those who are socially disadvantaged, and to making a real difference to the people in the communities we work with.

Petra Coveney

Petra Coveney

Petra is the founder of Menopause Yoga and author of ‘Menopause Yoga – a holistic guide to supporting women on their menopause journey,’ (2021). She is a senior teacher and trainer for the British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance Professionals and yogacampus.com and runs courses, classes and workshops worldwide. 

Her Menopause in the Workplace clients include the NHS, corporate companies and the Menopause Charity. Petra’s teaching draws on Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine that reframes the menopause positively as a Second Spring opportunity to improve long term health and wellbeing.  She is currently writing her second book. 

Peter Deadman 2

Peter Deadman (chair)

Peter is co-founder of Infinity Foods and co-founder of and currently Chair of Brighton Natural Health Foundation charity. He has had a long career in Chinese and lifestyle medicine as practitioner, teacher, author and entrepreneur. He is co-author of A Manual of Acupuncture and author of Live Well Live Long: Teachings from the Chinese Nourishment of Life Tradition. He is a teacher of qigong and is currently working on a book (provisionally titled) Riding the Wave of Life: A Companion to Qigong and Mindful Movement.

Ben D'Montigny

Ben D'Montigny

Ben's professional journey has been deeply rooted in the healthcare sector, spanning over a decade in community pharmacy where he passionately advocated for self-help and wellbeing initiatives within local communities. 

Transitioning into paramedicine, Ben extended his scope of practice to provide frontline emergency care while also managing safety and medical services for diverse events across the UK, ranging from sporting events to festivals and venues.

Beyond his vocational endeavours, Ben dedicates his time to enriching the communities of East Brighton. His efforts include spearheading the development of a community centre in Bristol Estate, where he tirelessly works to provide advocacy, support for wellbeing, and opportunities for communal engagement. 

Additionally, Ben is committed to fostering environmental stewardship and sustainability in Bristol Estate. He actively collaborates with residents to develop green spaces through initiatives such as planting trees, installing birdhouses, and implementing other environmental improvements, nurturing a more vibrant and ecologically-conscious community. 

Through a collaborative and synergistic approach, Ben endeavours to unite communities while promoting environmental awareness and action.

Davy Jones 1

Davy Jones

Davy has been practising yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2008. He co-founded the annual Brighton Yoga Festival in 2014 and set up the Brighton Yoga Foundation (BYF) in 2016. BYF makes yoga accessible to those who would benefit the most from it but who do not currently have access to it.

He joined the Board of Brighton Natural Health Centre in Spring 2023 having helped to launch the fundraising appeal to keep BNHC going after it left its Regent Street premises. Davy went to school in Brighton at what is now BHASVIC college and his parents lived in Saltdean from the 1960s to the early 2000s.

He moved back to Brighton in 2002 and is married to Janaki, another yoga teacher, and has two daughters from a previous relationship. He is also an active member of the Green Party having stood for parliament for the Greens in 2015 in Brighton Kemptown.

Margaret mcHugh

Margaret McHugh

Margaret McHugh has lived in Brighton for over two decades, and has loved being part of this city’s vibrant community, and raising her young family here.  She has a profound belief in the restorative power of nature and the mind-body connection and regularly practices yoga, Pilates and sea swimming to enrich her well-being.

She’s excited to contribute to Brighton Natural Health Foundation’s mission of making mindful movement accessible to all, bringing her passion and her expertise in strategy, brand building and marketing communications for challenger and purpose led brands.

Jo Torode pic

Jo Torode

As a former barrister turned yoga and mindfulness teacher, and mental health advocate, Jo is committed to making natural healthcare in all its forms accessible to all. She understands the intrinsic value and the capacity that initiatives like BNHF have not only to heal, but also to create and nurture community.

Having been both a practitioner and teacher, and also as someone with lived experience of being a disabled service user with access needs, she in particularly interested in helping BNHF champion inclusivity and access across all areas of its work.

With her previous board and charitable experience, Jo also brings her professional skills in legal and regulatory frameworks to the board, helping the charity to deliver good governance and strategic growth.