Laura Ashurst Cert.Ed Consultant Aromatherapist


  • Beauty Therapy Certificate (City & Guilds)
  • Certificate in Education Further Education (Cert.Ed)
  • Certificate in Management Studies (CMS)
  • Diploma in Management Studies (DMS)
  • Aromatherapy Body Work Certificate (Shirley Price Aromatherapy)
  • Breathworks Mindfulness (TTi)


Laura trained as a beauty therapist upon leaving school. She developed a large clientele in a local hotel, where she was famed for her facials and massages, but then left to work as a sales representative for a large beauty equipment manufacturer. Laura quickly realised however that her dream was to teach. She studied for her Certificate in Further Education and after working as a visiting lecturer at the college where she initially trained, she took up a full-time teaching post at Hartlepool College of Further Education with a remit to write and develop a HND in Beauty Therapy. Laura progressed to Senior Lecturer within the college’s Department of Health and Care where she also gained her Aromatherapy qualification from the renowned Shirley Price Aromatherapy College. In 2004 she co-wrote the first Foundation Degree in Complementary Therapy (Aromatherapy) in the North East for the University of Teesside, and subsequently taught on the course. 

Laura retired from teaching in 2007 when she was unfortunately diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer, after her breast cancer had spread to her lung and pleural lining.

Since then, she has focused on her family and works with a number of charities including Cancer Research UK. 


After co-writing the North East’s first ever Foundation Degree in Complementary Therapy Laura went on to help develop an IFPA approved Aromatherapy Programme with another of our aromatherapy consultants, Christine Fisk.  Since retiring from teaching, she has been committed to raising awareness of and supporting people with cancer. She is a Cancer Research UK Ambassador for her local constituency, and campaigns nationally for improved standards of care for breast cancer patients. She is also Patron for the Trinity Holistic Centre at The James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough which offers supportive complementary therapies to patients alongside their conventional treatment.

Current work:

Laura is passionate about cancer care and the impact on mental health following a cancer diagnosis. She is a public speaker and has spoken across the country about her experiences of living with cancer and the things that she has learned along the way. She took part in Being The Story in October 2018 after being invited to share her story by Jude Habib from Sound Delivery. Her inspirational talk ‘Becoming Friends With Hope’, can be watched on You Tube

Alongside her charity work she has a keen interest in using essential oils for wellbeing. She is also a mindfulness meditation practitioner and has undertaken a Breathworks Teacher Training Programme to further develop her expertise in this field. 

She is now part of Professor Naz Derakshan’s administration support team at Building Resilience in Breast Cancer (BRiC) and runs monthly meditation sessions via their private Facebook page to help support women on their breast cancer journey.

In addition to her cancer work, Laura is also involved with the Halo Project, a charity that provides support for victims of honour-based violence, forced marriage and FGM. She has written and runs a trauma-informed wellbeing programme called Halo Exhale, which includes the use of essential oils for self-care.

Other interests:

Laura’s other interests include creative writing. She is currently researching, writing and developing a book proposal. 

Her motto is ‘living with hope’. To find out more about Laura and her work please click here.

To read Laura's articles for Base Formula please click here!