Who Are We?


Avant Garden are creative wellbeing specialists, for all ages. We seed, plant and grow innovative ideas for authentic living.  With a range of highly engaging activities, therapeutic interventions and leisure pursuits available,  our programmes are tailored to suit each client’s sense of adventure.  Whether one to one, community groups, private parties or corporate team building, we take a holistic approach in nurturing personal confidence, self-expression, heightened sensory and social perception through our original repertoire. As our name suggests, we embrace subversion, advocate ‘the edge’ and create real opportunity for growth.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” 
Neale Donald Walsch

Avant Garden Wellbeing is a Community Interest Company. The founding members (Rachel and Kirsty) are also the creators and directors of the principle brands, projects and training opportunities.

Consulted by the media on a range of subjects we have advised, written, and occasionally presented for many including: BBC2, BBC4, Radio 4, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5,  EMI, Sony, Independent News & Media, Dennis Publishing (Fortean Times, Bizarre) 125 Magazine and ‘Most Haunted’. Our corporate and educational clients further include  WITCH, Vodaphone, SKIN.NY, Circomedia, The British Library and a range of primary  schools and third sector support services.

Kirsty L Allan:

Kirsty-profileBoth ‘funny ha-ha’ and ‘funny peculiar’ Kirsty’s  portfolio plays on the fringes of both science and art.  From paranormal investigation, parapsychology research and psycho-therapy to having been an international magazine cover model, acclaimed burlesque comedienne and award-winning theatre producer (widely credited as a key figure in the burlesque renaissance).  Known for her wit and cat-like qualities,  she aptly acquired the moniker of “doyenne of feline femininity” (The List) during her sell-out, award winning Edinburgh Festival run of 2008.

More:  www.kittie.me.uk


  • BSc (Hons), Psychology – University of Glasgow
  • PG Dip Social Science Research, Parapsychology – University of Edinburgh (KPU)
  • PG Cert Advanced Mental Health Interventions in Primary Care – University of Manchester
  • Sekhem Reiki Master
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Other Certificates in Complementary Therapies (Crystal & Seashell Healing)


Rachel Thelwell:

rachel-profileLife long devotee of transformation and trans-personal experience, Rachel is a multi-faceted woman with an incredible skill-set ranging from chef to mermaid. Passionate about the power of choice, adult learning and the truth in challenge, she is a powerful inspiration to all she meets. A familiar face in the UK press and often found swimming the shores of the UK, Rachel is often interviewed as ‘Rayshell – The Welsh Mermaid’.

More: www.mermaidrayshell.com




  • Level 3 Diploma, Counselling – ABC, CPCAB
  • Certificate in Drug and Alcohol counselling skills – AQA
  • Level 4 NVQ, Health and Social Care
  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – BSY
  • HABC Level 3 Award in Education and Training (QCF)
  • Certificate in Adult Education – PTLLS
  • Sekhem Reiki Master
  • Other Certificates in Complementary Therapies:
    (Crystal & Seashell Healing, Usui Reiki, Indian Head massage, Thai hand & foot massage)
  • Lifeguard – Royal Life Saving Society UK
  • Free Diver, AIDA 2