Complementary Therapies student wins funds for start up

November 19, 2020 - Jane Moore

Anya Ray, an HND Complementary Therapies student is one of the latest to receive a grant of £5000 from the Ayrshire College Foundation Enterprising Student’s Fund to help her start up her own business.

Based in Maybole, Anya specialises in complementary therapies. Here she gives us an insight into her business, Ayrshire Healing Therapies, where she promotes optimal health and wellbeing through a Breath of Fresh Ayr and Sound as a Bell.


I had my own business as a dog walker for seven years, and the hours suited me as I could fit the work around my children. It was only when my children were older that I decided to change career and follow a passion for Complementary Therapy. I had been a Training Provider within the leisure industry before my dog walking business, and I’d always wanted to return to some kind of training.

When I saw a suitable course based at the Kilwinning Campus of Ayrshire College, I took a leap of faith, closed down my dog walking business and started the course.


During lockdown, I took this time to develop my business plan. With advice from Lynn Kelly at Bridge 2 Business, I developed a 6, 12 and 24 month plan.

I am a complementary therapist and holistic trainer and am always looking to broaden my experience, so when Lynn suggested I became a Reiki master, I thought why not? Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. I was already a Reiki teacher and so now my training services will include Reiki, meditation and multi discipline sound healing.

I also worked closely with a training provider who specialises in sound therapies, and they agreed to provide me a free franchise to train fully accredited sound therapy. I wanted to broaden my scope as much as I could during lockdown, and also became fully accredited in Past-Life Progression and Life Coaching, as well as training in children’s mindfulness.


Included in my business plan had been to rent premises where I could have a large studio with therapy rooms, a vegan café and a holistic shop. Unfortunately, rent and business rates were very high.

During lockdown I painted my house and put it up for sale and it sold within 24 hours! I saw a lovely house in the countryside for sale on the same day – it was my old vet’s when I had my dog walking business. I realised I could buy the premises and the house and put a bid in and got it!

It’s all come together, and I have recently got the keys. It needs a lot of work, but it has all the space I need. The grant from The Ayrshire College Foundation has helped me to put in the heating system, new flooring and has helped me on a very tight budget towards getting up and running.

I’d like to thank Lynn from Bridge 2 Business for her support and helping me with my vision, and of course all the lecturers too.


I don’t believe that there’s another multi-disciplinary healing centre in Ayrshire. My business is all about encouraging people to look at the mind, body and spirit, realise the health benefits and ultimately have a full, long and healthy life.

Future aspirations

I plan to offer reflexology, Reiki , aromatherapy, massage, sound healing practices, sound baths and meditation classes at the centre. I would also like to run a social enterprise group there working with teens.

Work is ongoing on the premises, and I’m not quite open yet but I aim to provide a one-stop-shop and eventually become the major complementary therapy training centre in Ayrshire.

If you have been inspired by Anya and would like to find out more about the Enterprising Students Fund, read more here.

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