Who are we?

Unity is a team of passionate Teachers, Therapists, Artists & Facilitators, who care deeply about Health, Wellbeing & The Arts being accessible to all.

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Founded and Directed by managing Director, Sevanti in 1998, she has over 20 years of experience of yoga, dance and holistic treatments. She feels committed to help provide the powerful life enhancing/changing benefits of Yoga, Dance, Art, Meditation, Music, Theatre and Therapies to people of varying ages, backgrounds and ability.

With a degree in Dance (having trained at the Laban Centre for movement and Dance), various diplomas in Yoga, Massage and various other forms of Bodywork & Healing, Sevanti opened the Unity School of Yoga, Massage and Dance in 2002.

Running global Retreats, Classes, Workshops and Community Projects since 1998, the Unity Studio was opened in 2012 in Brighton. A packed timetable of various movement and meditation based disciplines has been enjoyed since and it has been the residential home for the Unity School.

The Unity Centre in Lewes is established as a CIC, a ‘Community Interest Company’. This is a not-for-profit organisation which trades in the above disciplines for the benefit of the community. The profit generated is a ‘pay it forward’ structure, whereby it (and accompanied funds from grants and donations) can contribute to our specific projects for those who are considered disadvantaged/ marginalised. We wish to ensure that as many people as possible are able to benefit from these services despite any physical mobility / learning difficulty/ economic challenges.

At ‘The Unity Centre’, we offer concessions, low cost community classes, deals, memberships and packages as well as a lower hire rate for other registered charities. Our general pricing for those who are able to afford it, helps us to sustain the project for our diverse local and visiting community.

Practice with devotion, share with love, live your dream

The Unity Centre at The Turkish Baths; a little history

Sevanti’s father has been a major inspiration for the Turkish baths project. Holistic/arts therapies have been very beneficial since his stroke and as a former carpenter/builder his support has been vital through the highs and lows of the refurb!

The Turkish Baths opened in June 1862, inspired and created by Burwood Godlee. It was described as ‘hot air and hot and cold water baths’, and was very popular with Victorian Lewesians, with at least 1,500 bathers visiting in the first three months. However alternative, larger baths opened in Brighton in 1868 and popularity started to decline. The Lewes Turkish Baths eventually closed in 1882, open for just 20 years.

The iconic building has also been used as the base for ‘Clothworks’ and more recently as the Lewes District Council’s Print-works. However, it lay empty for many years before the tender for the building was announced in early 2017. Initially the Council were considering a Restaurant or Café but the local people signed a petition of over 2000 people, instigated by former Jo Carter to ensure that the building was accessible to the whole town as more of a centre for the community. Therefore, the bid was opened and after many months of detailed assessment, Unity won the bid.

After 2 years of securing the tender and extensive building works and the Centre is opening on September 6th 2019.

Lewes District Council has renovated the ‘shell’ of the building and Unity has renovated the interior, including the heating, lighting, plumbing, walls, flooring and entire re-fit.

We have also made provision to new disabled access by changing the highway entrance to the rear of the property, where there is now space for a disabled vehicle, an accessible ramp into the building, wider doors and a disabled toilet with an adult changing table and a hoist to use on site.

The heart of our natural health centre is yoga, and the sanskrit word ‘yoga’ means ‘to join’; to live in harmony in body, mind, emotions & spirit, and to connect and relate to others with respect and love. Our Core Values sum up our ethos and mission statement.

Unity is the coming together of a community, to create a supportive family-like environment for all people to learn, grow, reflect, relax and enjoy life together. Our intention is to be a welcoming, friendly, down to earth yet highly professional Centre for Yoga, Wellbeing & The Arts where all are welcome.

Meet the Team

Sevanti (Jo Attwood)

Unity Founding Managing Director, Teacher & Practitioner

Sevanti has taught Dance, Yoga, Massage, Bodywork & Healing since 1998. She has run global Retreats, classes and workshops for 20 years and established the Unity School in 2002. She has taught her annual ‘Unity Yoga Teacher Training’ and ‘Unity Holistic Massage’ Diplomas, plus various postgraduate Diplomas including her creation of ‘Unity Partner Yoga’ since then in London, Kent and Sussex. She is an IYN Yoga Elder (extensive teaching hours).

She opened ‘The Unity Studio’ in Brighton in 2012, the home of Unity School.
In 2017 Sevanti secured the former ‘Turkish Baths’ building in Lewes as the ultimate home for her vision. Having run Family Retreats in Turkey annually since 1998, it felt like the perfect building to become the new inclusive home of Unity.

Sevanti lives in Lewes with her young daughter where they enjoy the beautiful nature of this part of the world. She continues to teach, train and travel and loves to work with the wonderful ‘Unity family’ team!

Tamsin Dyke

Studio Manager & Unity Centre Promotion

Tamsin practiced various forms of yoga (Iyengar, Astanga and Vinyasa) alongside her career as a professional dancer and dance teacher for twenty years. She completed her 200hr yoga teacher training with Freestyle Yoga Project’s Mark Freeth in 2008. She spent four years living in France teaching regular yoga classes and retreats in the French Alps. Many of her clients there were outdoor enthusiasts using yoga as a way to cross train and stay injury free and also young athletes in training. In France she took further training in Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative forms with Cécile Roubaud and Valentina Carlier. Since returning to the UK Tamsin has divided her time between bringing yoga to schools and working with adults in group classes and private sessions under her Sprite Yoga brand. She has been teaching regular classes in Lewes for 4 years. She feels privileged to be sharing the benefits of yoga with a full range of ages from 5 to 75. Tamsin is accredited as a Senior Teacher and Trainer with Yoga Alliance Professionals. Other qualifications include a BA Honours degree in Music, Drama and Dance from the University of Birmingham, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dance and Choreography from London Contemporary Dance School and a PGCE to teach in Secondary and Further Education.

Unity Centre Receptionists

  • Carly Steadman (Lead Receptionist)
  • Sarah Buldum (& Shop Co-ordinator)
  • Jenny Rushton (& Gallery Co-ordinator)
  • Caroline Pick
  • Carrie Hoppes
  • Gabriela Jones

Directors

  • Sevanti (Jo Attwood) – PSC
  • Peter Webb
  • Heather hawthorn
  • Jonathan Silver

Non-Executive Directors

  • Clare Brewer
  • Alison McNab
  • Beverley Hetherington
  • Ann O’keife
  • Peter Nunn

Unity Finance Co-ordinator

Peter Webb

Unity Graphic Design

Tim Lambert

CIC Consitution for ‘The Unity Centre’, Lewes

Name TBC

Unity Brighton Studio Manager

Ellie Wharton

Unity School Manager

Rosie Chipping

Unity Brighton Marketing & School Assistant

Olivia Walton

The Unity Centre Grand Opening WeekendFriday 6th to Sunday 8th September

Come and visit us at the old Turkish Baths, 35 Friars Walk, Lewes, BN7 2LG from 6pm on Friday 6th September.

The opening ceremony will be with the Mayor of Lewes John Lamb and there will be live music from 7.30pm on the Friday and Saturday.

There are free taster classes, tours of the facilities and food by Soul Soup all weekend. Plus opening week special offers not to be missed!