FHT Fellow Sandy Combe shares her experience as a therapist and FHT Local Support Group Coordinator in Elgin, Scotland.
The FHT Local Support Group in Elgin has now been up and running in Elgin since 2007. I initially started the group as a way to meet other therapists but it has turned into more than that, many are now my friends and many people have had the opportunity to meet new friends for themselves. It has also proven to be a great way for people to gain information, not just from the wonderful speakers we have had but also for less experienced therapists to obtain information from others about how to go about setting up their own businesses (marketing, accounting, contacts, suppliers etc.)
For a long time I was working as a Personal Assistant in Yorkshire, Aden, Cheshire and Berkshire, looking after MD’s and directors but I had always wanted to work with people in a more nurturing way. In 1999, I started a one-year reflexology evening class in Reading and just knew I was on the right track for the first time in my life – this led me back into full-time training in complementary therapies and I have been building on this ever since, with many different therapies, including: aromatherapy, BodyTalk System, ear candling, eastern facial, hot stone therapy, Indian head massage, Swedish massage, no-hands massage and reiki. I have never been so happy in my life and I would not change the past fifteen years for anything.
I now live in a very beautiful part of Scotland and am delighted to say that Angela Quirie has now agreed to become Joint Coordinator of the FHT Local Support Group in Elgin and I know that, together, we will make a strong team. Angela has been working at Moray College for the past few years and greatly encourages new complementary therapists in their studies, the students love and respect her gentle ways of encouragement, enthusiasm and knowledge as a practitioner herself. Together, Angela and I will encourage more therapists to come along to the Elgin support group and we can organise more super events for everyone. Previous workshops that I have organised for the group include:
- BodyTalk System and BodyTalk Access
- Aromatherapy taster day
- Ear candling
- Hot stone therapy
- Inch-loss body wrap with Harley Body Wrap
And we have had an Exchange Evening, where therapists came and gave a therapy in exchange for another therapy of their choice – what a great evening that was. We will definitely be doing that again!
For the last two years, I have organised a large Mind, Body & Spirit Fair and we have seen hundreds of people coming through the doors and many of them became clients to the therapists at the event – using the FHT banner helps of course!
Our Local Support Group evenings
Angela and I arrive early to get the room set up for others to arrive around 6.30pm, starting with coffee/teas and biscuits (free), meeting and chatting with new attendees (we always try to introduce new people to others so that they feel more welcome). Then, at around 6.50pm, I start the update of any FHT business, plus training available that I have heard of in this area, followed by the introduction to our speaker for the evening.
Any events/training information that I hear about (mainly in Scotland) gets circulated through my distribution list of therapists. If there are enough therapists interested in doing training in one particular subject then I try to organise for an instructor to come to us.
It has been great having Jon Critoph, FHT’s Outreach Manager, visit our group twice to give talks to our local college of complementary therapies students and Instructors. It keeps the FHT at the forefront of new students’ minds and this can only help to encourage them to join us.
To contact Sandy: