About Us

Sudbury Physiotherapy Centre, (formerly known as Sudbury Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic), has been based within Sudbury town centre since 2001. The practice is a partnership between Leon and Nicola Stephens.

All of our physiotherapists are registered with the Health Professions Council and are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

The Partners

LEON - PhysiotherapistLeon Stephens

A qualified physiotherapist since 1996, Leon has an extensive background in sports and dance injuries. As well as working for the armed forces he has dealt with some of the UK’s foremost football, rugby and dance stars. Leon is also a Clinical Pilates trainer, lectures physiotherapy at pre and post-graduate level and has a special interest in hypermobility and growth related problems. Leon also offers acupuncture for pain relief in the treatment of many conditions including chronic pain and headaches.



Nicola-1Nicola Stephens


Nicola graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1997 with an honours degree in Physiotherapy. She initially worked for the NHS in Leeds, West Yorkshire specialising in musculoskeletal and rheumatology physiotherapy, before opening Performers Physiotherapy in 2003, which is based within Performers College, one of the country’s leading performing arts colleges.

Nicola gained her MACP qualification in 2005 & her MSc in 2011 and has developed her role as a dance injury specialist. As well as being an experienced physiotherapist, Nicola is involved in research and is a sought after lecturer on the international performing arts circuit on dancer / musical theatre performer health and around the UK. She presented her own research at the IADMS conference in Singapore in 2012 and has further projects ongoing. She has also maintained her long held interests in Rheumatology, which has been invaluable in her work in private practice

Nicola is also a free-lance lecturer in undergraduate physiotherapy, Clinical Pilates and dance medicine.

Nicola Joined Sudbury Physiotherapy Centre as a managing partner in April 2014

Associate Physiotherapy Practitioners

Claire - PhysiotherapistClaire Rumble

Claire graduated in 1996 with a BSc Hons degree from UEL.  She has had a varied career which originated in the NHS starting with her interest in young people with newly diagnosed arthritis.  She worked with the Rheumatology team for 9 years and developed physiotherapy protocols for the management of young adults with inflammatory arthritis.  Developing her interest in chronic pain this led on to her being nominated for an award setting up an evidence based service for people with Fibromyalgia in Essex.   Claire is also skilled in treating all kinds of musculoskeletal conditions and has a keen interest in spinal pain and its affect on the mind and body. She takes an holistic approach in her management and is currently completing a foundation course with the British Wheel of Yoga.  She will be training in the future with the British Wheel to become a fully qualified yoga instructor which, combined with physiotherapy skills will be an exciting combination.


Julia Hewitson (2)Julia Hewitson

Julia trained at Kings College Hospital, London and qualified in 1978. She has worked in both the NHS and in the private sector, gaining a wide range of experience particularly in the treatment of musculo-skeletal problems. She has lived and worked in South Africa where she ran her own physiotherapy practice in Durban. Julia has recently returned to live and work in the UK and has joined Sudbury Physiotherapy Centre as part of their clinical team. Julia is also a UK registered Category A Veterinary Physiotherapist with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Her work includes the treatment of canine, equine and feline patients and she has a particular interest in the treatment of the horse and rider as a unit.


Uschi Grounds

Since graduating in 1988, Uschi has worked extensively in both the NHS and private sector. The founding partner of the clinic, Uschi used to work closely with AFC Sudbury. Uschi is recognised as a shoulder and back injury specialist and has developed excellent clinical relationships with a number of local consultants and General Practitioners


halcyonHalcyon Mandelstam

Neurological rehabilitation physiotherapist

Halcyon qualified in 1986. Her long standing interest in rehabilitation for older adults including neurology (stroke, Parkinson’s disease, MS), led to NHS community and hospital based work in London and Suffolk. She completed a postgraduate diploma in Research Methods in 1997 at King’s College London, and has participated in published research concerning older people who have fallen, (Clinical rehabilitation,1995).

Recent experience includes treatment of fall related injuries, chronic muscle and joint problems, dizziness and balance problems from inner ear disorders, assessing and advising on physical fitness for independent living in later life, adapting treatment for patients with dementia, working with carers in keeping older people and those with complex disabilities active.

Current interests include exploring the contribution of tai chi to rehabilitative exercise.


helen picHelen Forth

MCSP, MACPWH, Women’s Health Physiotherapy Specialist

Helen Forth qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1996 with a BSc (hons) degree, and completed her postgraduate qualification in women’s health physiotherapy in 2000, gaining full membership to the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health (ACPWH) at that time. Helen completed her MSc in Physiotherapy in 2005 and was awarded a distinction.

Helen worked at the Royal Free Hospital from September 1996 until September 2011, specialising in women’s health in 1998. From 2000 she was the lead clinician for women’s health physiotherapy there, and was extensively involved in developing new ways of working and expanding the service. This included the development of primary care and extended scope practice physiotherapy clinics within urogynaecology and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Helen has published papers on physiotherapy treatment for vulval pain, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, the development of a continence assessment pathway in acute care, and the interaction between the abdominal and the pelvic floor muscles – demonstrating the wide range of her interest and experience in all aspects of women’s health physiotherapy.

Helen continues to work in private practice in London, holding regular clinics in Harley Street and in Belgravia. Helen specialises in working with conditions such as: pregnancy related back and pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, continence issues, prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, vulval pain, and postnatal pelvic floor and abdominal muscle weakness.


Associate Therapists

As well as physiotherapy services, Sudbury Physiotherapy Centre also offers a range of Complementary Therapies and a counselling service – please take a look at our Complementary Therapies, Counselling and Pilates pages for more details.

photoSarah Murray-Johnson M.Inst.Ch.P

Sarah qualified as a chiropodist with the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists in 1999 and is currently a certified member. Sarah is also registered with the Health and Care Professions Council which is a government led organization which regulates allied health professions. She started her Chiropody career as a part time Chiropodist in Essex while building her domiciliary business up in the Sudbury area. As well as private house calls Sarah also visits Residential, Nursing and Dementia Care Homes on a regular basis which has been an area she has specialized in for many years.

With Continuing professional development, Sarah has attended many lectures, courses and conferences over a wide range of subjects to benefit the needs of her patients.

In addition to general routine chiropody care Sarah is also able to provide Diabetic Foot Care assessments and also high risk patient assessments, Biomechanical foot assessment, Footwear recommendations and advice for many more foot related problems.

Mugshot - WebsitePaul Donnelly

Paul Donnelly MChS BSc (Hons) is a Podiatrist specialising in lower limb biomechanics. He is registered with the Health Professionals Council, the professional regulatory board of all therapists as well as a member of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010 Paul is now the clinical manager for the Foot Function Centre in Great Blakenham. This has provided the perfect opportunity to treat a wide variety of patients and has allowed Paul to have the privilege of working alongside many professional bodies in sport including British Athletics, England Rugby and various other elite level professionals in Football and Cricket and in other sports. Paul also works regularly with the British and American Armed Forces providing biomechanical examinations and orthotic and footwear modifications.

CVE pic2 - CopyCandice Van Eeden Diploma CNM – Nutritional Therapist and Health Chef

Candice is a registered nutritional therapist, a member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition (BANT) and is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Her own health issues led her to study Nutritional Therapy as she noticed how changes in her diet and lifestyle improved her health. Candice runs a general practice covering a wide range of conditions. She works with several companies giving seminars on applied nutrition to enhance productivity in the workplace.


Sara 200 custom(181x200)Sarah Turner

Sarah is a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and is bound by its Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sarah attends monthly clinical supervision in accordance with the guidelines and requirements of BACP to maintain therapeutic standards of practice and is qualified for work with vulnerable adults and children. She continues to further her training by attending workshops, seminars and Continued Professional Development courses.

Qualifications include: Stage 4 Diploma in Integrative Counselling, Level 4 Certificate Social Science, Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills, Reality Therapy Certification, Working with Personality Disorder, Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Training in childhood abuse issues.


Mark 200 custom (185x200)Dr. Mark E.W. Chambers

MRCGP, GP,GP Trainer, NLP Master Practitioner and Licensed Trainer of the Society of Neuro-linguistic Programming, Diploma in Medical Hypnosis.

Mark has been a GP in Suffolk since 1985. He started to study Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in 1994 when he became involved with training new GPs. Initially he used NLP techniques to teach communication skills and rapport building. Mark quickly realised that an ability to apply the skills of NLP is useful in striving for excellence in any area.

Mark trained with Dr.Richard Bandler, the co-founder of NLP, and several other expert NLP trainers. One of the experts being Paul McKenna, who has had the success of these techniques demonstrated many times on British television. In addition, Mark trained with John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St.Clair in NLP modelling skills. Mark has also successfully studied and applied Thought Field Therapy (TFT).


robirosaDiego Robirosa

Diego Robirosa qualified as a Shiatsu Practitioner in 2007 and is a member of The Shiatsu Society.  He works in London at Whipps Cross Hospital giving Shiatsu to people with cancer, palliative care and end of life. He also runs clinics in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

Diego teaches Tai Chi and Qigong in Sudbury and runs regular workshops in Ipswich for people suffering with MS and in Cambridge for people recovering from cancer treatment.

He is a firm believer in Eastern disciplines and  works helping people to become more aware of their energy (Chi) as a path towards a healthier and more enjoyable life.


Elis Merton

After leaving school to study Personal Training and Business Management in London and Essex, Elis went on to start her own business in 2012. With a passion for helping others as well as learning, she furthered her knowledge about the human body and qualified as a Sports Massage Therapist in 2014. Elis now has over two years of experience treating a variety of clients, from a local rugby team, body builders and running teams to those suffering from chronic migraine, as well as many office workers with all manner of aches and pains.


Marlow Purves

Homeopath, Member of the Guild of Homeopaths & the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (UK). Marlow qualified as an homoeopath in 1990 from the College of Homoepathy in London and became a Member of the Guild of Homoeopaths in 2001. Since that time she has maintained a private practice, treated children and adults, run workshops and attended births as well as the dying. Drawing upon her studies in essences, movement, shamanism, astrology and guided meditation she brings a unique blend to each consultation that is tailored to each individual. Particularly interested in collaborating with other practitioners, Marlow has taught and practised in the UK, Canada and Russia.