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HIE Operations Manager Takes Alternative Path

4th September 2008

Photograph of HIE Operations Manager Takes Alternative Path

One person taking advantage of the recent round of voluntary redundancies at Highlands & Islands Enterprise is former operations manager, Donna Booth, who recently launched her wellness practice, Alternative Vitality. Says Donna, 'During my many years in high pressure corporate positions, I became increasingly aware of the importance of 'wellness' on both an individual and an industry wide basis. Many people are running on empty, suffering from stress, lack of motivation, poor nutrition and an inability to relax. For many years, the focus has been on stress management, but I believe the issue is wider than this and I wanted to develop a company which would provide resources and programmes for anyone who wanted to tackle their wellness issues.'

So, what does this actually mean? Alternative Vitality provides a range of services, including natural health & beauty, complimentary therapies, meditation training, nutritional advice and supplements, herbal remedies, light therapy treatments and life coaching. Much of their business is done through their website with therapies on offer at their treatment centre in Wick's Miller Avenue.

'I myself suffered from an extended period of illness as well as a lifelong battle with eczema and was particularly impressed by the health benefits of complimentary therapies and the use of chemical free skincare. I wanted to make it easier for everyone to have access to these resources. Since moving to natural and organic skincare, my eczema has completely cleared and regular meditation, massage and coaching sessions help me to stay motivated and focussed. I am sure, that without these, Alternative Vitality would still be a pipe dream and I would still be working in an area which did not make full use of my abilities.'

Donna is also working closely with well established local medical herbalist Brian Lamb to further develop and promote his range of skincare and herbal remedies.
'I work with many of the well known and best quality brands in the organic skincare industry and I can honestly say that Brian's products are right up there with the best of them. I really relish the opportunity to bring the Carmel Herbals brand to a wider audience and to help it fulfil its potential. Brian is extremely knowledgeable and I think that our partnership will have great benefits for both businesses'

While working for HIE, Donna was very involved in business and individual coaching and wanted to ensure this was included in the Alternative Vitality remit.

'Coaching empowers people to take charge of their own lives - I built on my corporate coaching skills by retraining as a professional relaxation therapist and life coach and am currently working with Donald MacNaughton, an internationally renowned corporate and sports coach, to develop a wellness programme for business'

Donald says, 'I'm absolutely delighted to be working with Donna, she has a wide range of skills and I'm very enthusiastic about her plans. Employee absence is an ever increasing issue in business and tackling wellness is the way to resolve it.'

For more information about Alternative Vitality and the services they offer, please contact Donna on 01955 604759 or


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