HFI Training Awards winners announced


In the absence of the Health Food Institute’s (HFI) annual lunch and lecture – cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis – John Frisby, chairman of the HFI, speaks to NPN after announcing the winners of the 2020 Training Awards.

Recipients of the awards would normally be presented with their accolades at the HFI’s yearly awards ceremony in London; Frisby says it always gives him ‘great pleasure’ to ‘welcome the successful students and witness their pride’ as the audience of members and guests applaud their achievements.

“This year it is not to be, due to the pandemic” Frisby comments, “and it is a real shame. The council toyed with the idea of saving the presentations until next year, but that would not have been fair for the winners to have to wait so long for their awards. I now have to rely on our industry press to do them proud this year, and offer my congratulations, with those of all members of the Health Food Institute‘s council, to each and every one of those worthy winners.

“Winning a training award is a sign that an individual has put in considerable time and effort to present work to such a high standard. This is entirely due to their self-motivation and dedication to succeed and it is important that we take the time to recognize and reward their commitment, and to applaud the importance they attach to being part of a strong, qualified and professional retailer base.”

The 2020 winners are:

Jimmy Lee Richardson Award: Kathy Rogers of Health at Hand, Arklow in Co. Wicklow

This award is presented by the HFMA in honour of Jimmy Lee Richardson’s efforts to increase public awareness of natural health products in the 1960s.

It is awarded to the person with the highest marks in the HFI Professional Diploma Course, Part Two in the UK and Ireland. Rogers receives prize money of £300, presented by the HFMA.

Ian Martin NAHS Student of the Year Award: Ellie Musson of Elixir Health Foods, Wadebridge

This is awarded to the NAHS candidate with the highest marks in Part One of the HFI Professional Diploma Course. Musson receives a £100 prize presented by the NAHS in memory of Ian H. Martin, a ‘significant contributor to the early development of the health food trade’.



HFMA/Roger Lane Scholarship award: Cheryl Simpson of Highland Health Store, Perth

This is awarded to the student with the highest marks in the online and accredited HFI Nutritional Adviser’s Award. It recognizes the commitment of the HFMA and Roger Lane to the ‘importance of well-trained and knowledgeable retailers’.

Simpson receives a cheque for £200 presented by the HFMA.



Teddie Marston Award: Brigita Simkute of Evergreen Health Foods, Oranmore in Co. Galway

This is presented to the Diploma Part Two Candidate who showed ‘exceptional understanding of the principles and core values of health food and natural healing’, in memory of the work of Teddie Marston in promoting the health food industry. Simkute receives a cheque for £150 presented by the HFI.

HFI training activities remain unaffected by Covid-19; HFI Professional Diploma Parts One and Two and the Supplier Course are available online via a new course system launched in March. For more information please visit https://www.healthfoodinstitute.org/ or email [email protected]