The Team

Alison Winfield-Chislett: Chief Muckety Muck & Tutor

Alison Winfield-Chislett, founder of The Goodlife Centre

Alison Winfield-Chislett has a number of eclectic skills covering a wide spectrum of materials and processes.

She spent her childhood renovating her dolls house and playing with Plasticene. She went on to study three dimensional design for her B.A. and Ceramics and Glass at the R.C.A. while running her own prop making company for the fast paced world of special effects for TV and films.

In 1986 Alison moved to New York and worked as a staff designer for Tiffany and Co. While in the USA, she taught carpentry classes to women.

After returning to London, U.K., Alison became Senior Designer for Asprey during it’s relaunch and later worked to develop her own products for the gift market. She has worked as consultant designer to several independent museums and as Art Director/Costume Designer for a full length film shot in the monsoon in India.

In 2009, Alison started to teach Basic DIY skills, renting community halls to teach a successful ‘Tools for the terrified’ one-day workshop. In 2011, she co-authored ‘The Girl’s guide to DIY’, published in 6 languages by New Holland Press.

The Goodlife Centre has been styled and equipped to be the workshop of Alison’s dreams.

Besides creating beautiful objects at the centre, designing and leading workshops, Alison is the author of ‘The Natural History of Umbracula‘ – a quirky take on discarded umbrellas. She collects ephemera and vitally trivial knowledge about many things. Her patent anniversary blog can be found at Patent Du Jour. There is no rational explanation for her creation of The Good Lice Centre.

Click here to read about the daily developments at The Goodlife Centre. She is also currently chronicling the life of the nation’s first media handyman, WP Matthew.

Kelly MulcahyKelly Mulcahy: Assistant


Kelly is bringing order to the immense number of small but very important details that go into each of our workshops and the running of the centre. She has fled the exciting world of strategic analysis and is enjoying a fun time exploring her artistic side.


Louise RichardsonLouise Richardson: Assistant tutor and tutor


Louise had been travelling around the world before she came to work at The Goodlife Centre. As well as being a qualified upholsterer she also paints and is getting very nifty at woodwork.

She can think outside the box as well.

Glenford St Hilaire, Technician and assistant tutor at The Goodlife CentreGlenford St Hilaire: Technician and Assistant Tutor


Glenford is a qualified joiner and carpenter. When he isn’t tuning the planes and chisels for all our woodwork classes and helping to build The Goodlife Centre’s growing need for more more shelving, Glenford assists Andy Nicholl teaching ‘Carpentry for beginners’.

He supports Arsenal, but hey, no one is perfect.


Stephen EnglishSteve English: Tutor


His stories of being apprenticed as a French polisher adds a winning extra as he teaches a fabulously varied and expert restoration workshop.

Steve combines a passion for his craft and a clear teaching style.

Scott Stannard, tutor at The Goodlife CentreScott Stannard: Tutor


Scott helped build many of the quirky fittings while he was our workshop technician and assistant last year. The lure of cabinetry proved to be too much and Scott now works with Simon Kidd making beautiful furniture for the fortunate. He returns to teach at several workshops and  still pops in to enjoy our coffee.

Rachael South teaches upholstery at the Goodlife Centre in central London

Rachael South: Tutor


Rachael’s father was an upholsterer so she grew up watching how furniture was transformed from sad to stunning under his trained hands. Later, Rachael formed her own career as a designer and maker for a large trimmings company before returning to the family trade.

Rachael is a highly experienced upholsterer and runs her own business. Her workshops are relaxed and confidence-building. We manage to persuade her to share her skills as often as we can.

Paul Beaudoin is the electrics tutor at the Goodlife Centre in central London

Paul Beaudoin: Tutor


Paul is a qualified electrician as well as a busy IT guy for a big company. He simplifies the mysteries of electrics and teaches with confidence in his inimitable Canadian accent.

Don’t get him started on ‘Robertson’ screw heads.


Ruth Thomson tutors at The Goodlife Centre

Ruth Thomson: Tutor

Ruth Thomson is an experienced carpenter and enthusiastic teacher. She has headed carpentry departments teaching NVQ levels 1 and 2. Now Ruth enjoys teaching at Webber Street and our new workshops at Makerversity in Somerset House. When not teaching, Ruth explores the countryside on her motorbike and plays guitar and piano.

Andy Nicholl at The Goodlife Centre

Andy Nicholl: Tutor


Andy Nicholl is a master of many skills. He has to be- he has run his own handyman service in South London for many years.

When he is not helping people fix things in their homes and volunteering to help local communities, Andy finds time to make furniture using traditional hand tools and methods.

David Barker teaches a very special type of woodwork and furniture making at the Goodlife Centre in central London

David Barker: Tutor


David loves to relate to the wood he makes. He pointed out recently “There are two types of wood workers – The planner, and the person who starts with a feeling for a piece of wood. I am of the latter approach”

Besides being a whizz with traditional hand tools, David is a keen supporter of fixing and mending things instead of chucking and buying again.

He lives with his family in the Kent countryside.

Jan Dodd teaches upholstery at the Goodlife Centre in central London

Jan Dodd: Tutor


Jan has been teaching for 10 years. She is passionate about her subject & enjoys passing on her knowledge & enthusiasm to her students through her teaching.

She holds a City & Guilds qualification in upholstery & also has a teaching qualification.

Her other passion is animals, amongst her collection she keeps 3 chickens, Tikka, Bhuna & Korma.

Ian McQueen teaches Lampshade Making and Handmade Trimmings at The Goodlife CentreIan McQueen: Tutor


Ian is a City and Guilds trained craftsman who has taught for several years. He makes beautiful traditionally built fine lampshades for interior designers and high end shops. Some are sophisticated some are dramatic statements bejewelled with vintage adornments. All are hand stitched with precision so that they retain their shape and structure to give years of pleasure.

Steven Scott teaches Introduction to Woodcarving at The Goodlife Centre in central London

Stephen Scott: Tutor


Stephen was born and brought up in Barbados where he became an award-winning sculptor in mahogany. He trained at Camberwell College of Arts and studied historic woodcarving at the City & Guilds of London Art School.

Wood carving can become a relaxing habit. If you would like to extend your learning, Stephen also teaches during the Spring and Autumn in Greece. Read more about that here.

MaryMcGoewn teaches rag rugging at The Goodlife Centre in Waterloo

Mary McGeown: Tutor


Mary comes from a family of makers, and grew up watching her mother tailor, sew, silversmith and more. She is passionate about creativity and learning, and attracted to crafts that offer simple techniques that allow an individual’s creativity to flow.

Mary loves rug making because of its traditional simplicity and honesty, and the range of materials, colours, designs, textures and shapes it allows. It’s all about making unique, beautiful, feel good pieces…

Ben Rawlinson teaches Woodwork Skills at The Goodlife Centre

Ben Rawlinson: Tutor


Ben is a bespoke furniture maker and teacher. He has a relaxed and playful way of guiding the absolute beginner as they enjoy a day of tools and wood joints.

He has a BA (hons) in 3D Design and over decade of teaching experience, so we are delighted that he is bringing his experience to our woodwork courses.

Ben Rawlinson Bespoke Furniture was established in 2010. Learn more here

Michelle built the website and manages all the marketing for The Goodlife Centre Michelle Purse: Website & Marketing


While everyone else is sharpening tools and fine tuning the practical workshops, Michelle is in the virtual trenches making sure the website she built is up to date, reminders, thanks yous and press releases she has written go out on time and that the all important back-end (ooh-er mrs!) of the business is organised so that the workshops aren’t burdened with paperwork and paper trails.

As well as spending as many days as possible on the ski slopes, she runs her own business and you can find more about her here: