Jojous isle logo - dove flying over island

"Bringing your Self to Life"

Joyous Isle workshops, held in Dorset, range from the arts — singing, music, dance, painting, writing; to complementary therapies and healing; to personal development.

This is a time of huge change and transformation. A time when we need to find what is important to us, to allow our creativity to flow, and each to shine our own unique soul light in the world.

We hope that the workshops and training that we offer at Joyous Isle will do their part in supporting people through these unusual times, and inspiring them to find and follow their joy in their lives and in what they bring to the world.

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Who are Joyous Isle?

image of Jackie and JaneJoyous Isle was set up in 1997 by Jackie May and Jane Ashford.

Jackie is a Holistic Therapist, Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer.  She is also a qualified practitioner of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Indian Head Massage and Process Acupressure. As well as working with individual clients, she also teaches classes in Indian Head Massage and Acupressure for Stress Release, and supports students with additional learning needs at the Bournemouth & Poole College.

Jane has a long connection with complementary therapies and has studied NLP to Practitioner level. She was also involved in alternative education with her daughter's schooling. Jane has a particular love of the creative arts and you will find some of her beautiful artwork on this website.

Jane Ashford painting white flower Jane Ashford painting poppies Jane Ashford painting couple embrasing


All our workshop leaders are excellent in their fields: many are internationally-known teachers; others are locally-based people whose work we know and value.

Workshop leaders we have been fortunate enough to present include, among others: William Bloom, Rick Brennan, Judy Hall, James D'Angelo, Gaston Saint-Pierre, Nick Prater, Malcolm Stern, Nick Williams, and Roger Woolger.

Workshop subjects have so far included: Singing, Painting, Writing, Dance, NLP, EFT, Metamorphic Technique, Sound Healing, Alexander Technique, Past Life Therapy, Ancestral Healing, Inspired Business, The Work We Were Born To Do, Feng Shui, Dowsing, Acupressure, Indian Head Massage and The Transpersonal Journey.

As well as one- and two-day workshops, we offer our NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner Training. These courses run for 7 weekends, one a month, and are wonderful opportunities to learn the techniques of NLP in a friendly, supportive group setting with a highly-acclaimed international trainer.


Joyous Isle workshops are held in local venues in North and East Dorset — usually Wimborne and surrounding villages and occasionally the Blandford or Ringwood area — and are friendly, informal groups where everyone is made to feel welcome. As our workshops are non-residential, costs are kept at a reasonable level, thus helping to make the weekends accessible to all (see below).

If you are coming from further afield, and wish to stay locally, or maybe even spend a few extra days enjoying the beautiful Dorset countryside and coast, you will find the information provided by the local tourist office of interest. This includes a list of B&B and hotel accommodation. Follow the link: www.visit-dorset.com

Testmonials Jane Ashford painting abstract flowers pink anf yellow

What course participants have said about our courses:

It was a great weekend and I'm really looking forward to the next one. Great to meet everyone. What an interesting group of people and so welcoming. Thanks — Neville

I would like to thank you for a most enlightening weekend, it really was special — SD

I just want to say thank you so much for the fantastic workshop.  I know it is going to take me a long time to assimilate all I've learnt however I already feel the benefits.  The setting was ideal, food delicious and it was certainly worth every penny.  I will be recommending the workshop to many, I think that everyone can benefit from it.  Thanks for the opportunity and keep up the brilliant work! — Emily

Jackie, a big thank you to you and Jane for a wonderful day on Saturday.  I loved seeing you both again and meeting new friends!  Good food, wonderful company, sunshine and great "taster" sessions — what more could we want!  — Korani

I'd like to say Thank You. Not just for this year's marvellous singing workshop, or for the other singing and other Joyous Isle days I've enjoyed over the years. But also for the way you both create an atmosphere around the days and experiences which feels welcoming, beneficial, safe, life-affirming and life-enhancing. The workshops you organise and choose for Joyous Isle seem to leave a lasting, positive effect on our lives that we remember and speak well of long after the day is finished and which I, certainly, look forward to and refer to through those more difficult or routine times in the year.  Thank you both so much and I'm looking forward to another Joyous Isle day as soon as am able! — Kaz

Affordable workshops

Our workshops are priced to make them affordable. However, we realise that some people may have financial difficulties and we like to help people to be able to come as much as we can. We therefore may be able to offer a limited number of places at a reduced price from time to time or the possibility of paying in instalments. If you are genuinely unable to afford one of our workshops, please enquire. We do ask people to think carefully about this though — we only have a certain number of these places available, so please only ask if you genuinely cannot find the money. We also welcome donations from people who would like to contribute to enable others to benefit from reduced prices.

The story behind the name..........

JouousIsle logo created by local artist Celia HarveyMany people have asked us where our name and logo originate. The name comes from one of the stories of Arthurian legend, in which Sir Lancelot becomes mad and is found wandering in the forest by King Pelles, who takes him to the Holy Grail to be healed. Afterwards, Lancelot spends some time at the Castle of Bliant, which is on a beautiful island — a protected and safe space. Here, Lancelot regains his full health and in gratitude names the place The Joyous Isle.

We chose the name as a symbol of the way in which healing and growth can take place when a safe space is created, with support from like-minded people, and of the importance of the spiritual connection, symbolised in the story by the Holy Grail. The name also connects with the importance of joyfulness, fun and laughter in the healing and learning process.

Our logo was created by local artist and friend Celia Harvey. Celia can be contacted on celiadiane@hotmail.co.uk