23 March 2015
Rosemary and Pauline, left and centre, are volunteer therapists at The Lodge, managed by Jenny, right
Torbay's 'The Lodge' Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre urgently needs more trained therapists to colunteer for their complementary therapies service.
Rosemarie Toon and Pauline Thomson are both local practitioners who volunteer at the centre, providing reflexology and massage twice each month respectively – but demand is so high they have a waiting list. Now they are calling upon their fellow therapists to join their valued team, and make a real difference to people affected by cancer when they need it most.
Belinda Pattie from Kingskerswell accessed the complementary therapy service after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in November 2012. Belinda recalls: ‘My treatment was a gruelling year of feeling like I was in a black hole looking out at the rest of the world.
‘I was offered four complementary therapies for which I decided to wait until my treatment was over. I chose reflexology and massage, and I can honestly say this was my path out of my black hole and back into the sunshine. The people who work at The Lodge and the people who give their free time are very special people.
‘They have given me the confidence to move forward in my life in all aspects. The complementary therapies helped me to accept the changes to my body, and gave me the time and safe surroundings to adjust my mind and also gave me confidence to believe that it really was and is OK to move back into normal life. I am forever grateful.’
Rosemarie, from Dawlish has been volunteering her skills for about seven years now. She said: 'They often say "that was lovely I feel so much better" and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’ve given someone that relief. It’s very rewarding and you have the back-up of all the team.’
Pauline, also from Dawlish has been massaging at The Lodge for five years. She said: ‘I get a sense of satisfaction that I am giving help and support to people, whether patients or carers. The pampering gives them their own time and space away from the situation. It’s a great chance to work for a very worthwhile organisation, and to contribute to the community.’
If you’re a trained therapist based near Torbay and could spare a few hours each month, please contact centre manager Jenny Daly on 01803 617521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lodge is on Newton Road, Torbay Hospital Annexe and offers telephone or face-to-face services providing information, emotional and financial support. In addition, Jenny and the team offer a range of services including relaxation classes, wig fitting, support groups or pamper sessions.