Help us bring cheer with Crisis at Christmas!

National homelessness charity Crisis is calling on therapists to provide treatment for homeless people at its temporary centres this Christmas.

Crisis at Christmas 2015

In its 50th anniversary year, Crisis at Christmas runs from 22 – 29 December 2017 with centres set to open across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits.

The therapy service is hugely valuable for guests, giving them access to treatment they may otherwise miss out on during the rest of the year. With 229 guests having therapy treatment across all centres last year, Crisis is calling for qualified therapists to provide assessment, treatment and advice and for student therapists to assist in running the clinics.

There are now 307,000 people sleeping rough, or in temporary housing – that’s around one in every 206 people.

Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at crisis.org.uk/volunteer. You can also find out more information about volunteering on our website.

Here’s what people are saying:

Pandora Knocker, Service Organiser for Physiotherapy, will be volunteering for the fifth time this year. She said:

“Everybody has a right to healthcare and it’s great that I can bring my skills as a physio to Crisis at Christmas. It feels good to be part of something that can really make a difference.”

One in four homeless people will face spending Christmas alone this year. With the homelessness crisis worsening, Crisis says the centres are needed now more than ever.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“Without our volunteers, Crisis at Christmas simply wouldn’t exist to help provide a warm, safe place to those with nowhere to call home.

“It’s because of their generosity that we can bring thousands of people friendship, support, and life-changing services each and every Christmas.

“And though we work all year round to help people experiencing homelessness – we know that the Christmas season should be a special time for everyone and that no one should have to spend it alone.

“So as our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. And until then our volunteers will remain at the heart of what we do.”

About the organisation:

Crisis at Christmas

Crisis at Christmas is a unique volunteer effort that provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time of year. It is only made possible through the collective effort and generosity of thousands of volunteers, individuals, community organisations and companies who donate money, time, skills, goods and services.

This year guests will be welcomed at over 13 centres across Britain and offered food, clothing, health services and a chance to relax. But the work does not end there. They offer their guests individual advice and support and encourage them to go to their year-round service centres in the New Year.

In 2016, they welcomed 4,706 guests across London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Coventry and Newcastle, supported by more than 10,859 volunteers.

About Crisis

Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. They help people directly out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it altogether.

FHT Members – we know that many of you have been kind enough to support Crisis in previous years. Please let the FHT know if you support Crisis this Christmas, as we’d welcome a short write-up for International Therapist.

FHT Vice President’s epic Everest challenge

FHT Vice President Maria Mason set out for Nepal yesterday to take part in an epic challenge that will see her ascend Mount Everest.

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Over three weeks Maria will be ascending just beyond Everest Base Camp to an altitude of 5,700 m, close to two thirds of the full height of the world’s highest peak, and more than four times higher than Ben Nevis.

Maria has been doing charity challenges for the past 15 years, having skydived, wing-walked and taken part in treks to Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China. To celebrate 25 years in business, Maria wanted to do something really big this year.

After setting her sights on Everest in January, Maria had been training four to five times each week, doing boxing, boot camp, running, long distance walking and yoga. In addition Maria trained with an altitude mask to simulate the reduced oxygen levels at high altitudes and meditates daily to further help with breathing and to stay calm.

Luggage is understandably limited for a trek such as this. However, Maria said she couldn’t leave without some therapy essentials:

‘I never go anywhere on remote treks without three bottles of essential oils. I take peppermint oil for headaches and for digestive problems, lavender to help me sleep and tea tree for anti-infection. I put tea tree in a pump spray and spray it everywhere to keep germs at bay. These three essential oils are vital for trekking remotely.’

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Maria is currently in Kathmandu at 1,330 m above sea level. Here she will spend two days acclimatising before flying up to Tenzing-Hilary Airport in Lukla.

Tenzing-Hilary Airport is a small airport nestled between mountains at 2,860 m, named after Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, the first two people to reach the summit of Everest (8,848 m). The airport is considered to be the most dangerous in the world.

From Lukla Maria will begin her eight-day ascent to Base Camp (5,360 m) and beyond, stopping at Namche Bazaar (3,440 m) and Tengboche Monastery (3,867 m) along the way.

Relishing the prospect of visiting Tengboche Monastery, Maria says:

‘I am hoping to spend the day with the monks, as I am a practising Buddhist. You can get the monks to bless you for your trek. Tengboche Monastery is one of the highest in the world and is a working monastery. You get to go to prayers in the evening with the monks. Everest is sacred and you need to have respect for the mountain.’

Maria is raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, as her reception manager of 15 years had a brain tumour nine years ago. More than £1,000 has been raised to date, with the target set at £2,000.

 

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FHT and MND leading out in race across London

We are pleased to report on our support of the MND Association’s Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100. FHT Member Will McAllister was there providing massages to riders and even MND as they rode for charity.

Cycling

This past Sunday, 27,000 cyclists embarked on an incredible challenge, past Canary Wharf and through the City of London, crossing the River Thames at Chiswick. They carried on through Richmond Park before crossing Hampton Court Bridge along the route made famous by the London 2012 Olympics.

There was plenty of stunning Surrey countryside on offer as cyclists headed south past Newlands Corner, before tackling the biggest ascent on the route at Leith Hill and onto the infamous zigzags of Box Hill.

SophieThe route took riders back into London over Putney Bridge, then onto the Embankment. Heading past some of London’s most famous landmarks riders made their way across Parliament Square and up Whitehall. The home stretch swung left through Trafalgar Square, with riders streaming under Admiralty Arch before a spectacular finish on The Mall.

Don’t forget to follow us here and on our social media channels to find out about upcoming opportunities to get involved in the community, like Will did! You can also check out MND Association’s page for more ways to help this worthwhile cause.

FHT Members’ News – July Issue

The July issue of FHT Members’ News is out today!

JULY MEMBER NEWS

Featuring the latest news in the therapy world, job and training opportunities, as well as information about your membership, make sure you don’t miss out. This month’s news includes:

Members, be sure to check your inbox this evening for your newsletter.

Not a member, and want in on this? Contact us today to join the largest organisation for complementary, beauty, and sports therapists.

Missed the last Pedal for Parkinson’s event? Two more around the bend

Calling all qualified sports massage FHT members. Parkinson’s UK is looking for volunteer massage therapists to support their series of cycling events across the country this summer – can you help?

sunny road

There will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. But it takes more than pedalling to keep the wheels turning!

What’s involved?

  • Providing post-race leg massage to cyclists to aid their recovery from the ride. Ideally approximately 20 minutes per cyclist.
  • Congratulating cyclists on their achievement and speaking to them about the ride, including any injuries they may have sustained.

What skills do you need?

  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Where and when is it?

  • Dates: 2 July and 6 August, 2017
  • Venues:
    • 2 July – Ripley Castle, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3AY
    • 6 August – Torbrex Farm Road, Stirling, FK8 2PA
  • Schedule: The event starts at 9am, with 3 distances; 19, 40 and 57 miles. Shifts will last for 5 hours – commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30-4pm.

They are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on their behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy. They will also provide a sandwich lunch.

For more information and to take part please contact : Julia Selby, Events Project Manager – Cycling, Parkinson’s UK. T: 020 7963 9312 E: jselby@parkinsons.org.uk

 

Accredited Course Provider shares benefits of infant massage at Malawi orphanage

Gayle Berry, FHT Accredited Course Provider, and owner of Blossom and Berry Baby Massage spent time in Malawi to help teach baby and infant massage to staff at the Ministry of Hope baby orphanage.
Here Gayle tells us her story:

Gayle Berry‘I am an expert on baby massage and yoga and have worked hard to build up Blossom & Berry Baby Massage – a successful business with international recognition and over 200 teachers across the world. I have been teaching, as well as training others to teach, infant massage and yoga, for over 15 years and I am passionate about the positive benefits of nurturing touch in early years.

‘In 2014 I stumbled across some incredible sunglasses called LOVE SPECS. Love Specs turn any light into rainbow love hearts and more importantly, through sales at music festivals, they generate income for Love Support Unite Africa. LSU was founded by Alice and Nina Pulford to provide sustainable education to the poorest children in Malawi. Their work has ensured powerful and lasting change, built on people rather than proceeds.

 

Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘I decided to volunteer with the charity using my experience in infant and baby massage to benefit babies in orphanages who were not receiving regular touch. I provided free training to the staff at the Ministry of Hope baby orphanage, so the babies could receive the vital interaction they were missing. Massage provides so much more than touch; it helps to support the development of the emotional brain in children, teaching them about the world and human relationships. Babies thrive and grow on love and baby massage provides a window of gentle stimulation and nurturing experience.’
‘I set up Growing Babies: Little Blossoms Project, working alongside Love Support Unite Africa Foundation, aiming to harness the power of parents, families and communities to improve mother and baby health and early brain development in children aged 0-3 years, through educational programs and nutrition. We use infant massage to provide the vital love, positive communication and attachment needed for healthy physical and emotional development, whilst providing women with skills and knowledge they can share. I have taught, funded and now support five infant massage Nurture Ambassadors to teach six women’s groups infant massage and safe motherhood. I was able to teach hospital physios, special needs massage, as many children have cerebral palsy as a result of premature birth, due to malaria. I also set up a sustainable farming project to provide food security.
Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘Growing Babies-The Little Blossoms Project has two volunteer trips a year for baby massage instructors who have changed many lives in Malawi with goals to focus on carers, mothers and babies and the wider family unit. We aim to provide education, training and support to parents and babies, increasing the health and wellbeing of families, using infant massage, baby health care guidance and first aid techniques. Out main goal is to empower women within the community and give these babies the best start in life. All my teachers have the opportunity to become volunteers in Malawi. I also donate 10% of my baby massage enrolments to the project so one student’s education helps to fund the safe motherhood and infant massage education of women and babies in poverty through our Nurture Ambassador’s classes in Malawi.
Gayle Berry in Malawi
‘What I hadn’t reckoned on, was exactly how much I could, and would, continue to give. Nor how much joy I would receive back from this trip. I went from being a curious volunteer to being a knowing participant and now, UK Director of the charity.’
You can find out more about Gayle’s company and project here.

Pedal for Parkinson’s needs your help!

Calling all qualified Body/Sports Massage FHT members. Parkinson’s UK is looking for Volunteer Massage Therapists to support their series of cycling events across the country this summer – can you help?

sunny road

There will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. But it takes more than pedalling to keep the wheels turning!

What’s involved?

  • Providing post-race leg massage to cyclists to aid their recovery from the ride. Ideally approximately 20 minutes per cyclist.
  • Congratulating cyclists on their achievement and speaking to them about the ride, including any injuries they may have sustained.

What skills do you need?

  • Qualified massage therapist
  • Must be able to provide copy of qualifications
  • Provide current copy of public liability insurance (preferred but not essential)

Where and when is it?

  • Date: Sunday 4 June 2017
  • Venue: Stratford Racecourse, Stratford upon Avon
  • Schedule:  The event starts at 9am, with 3 distances; 19, 40 and 57 miles. Shifts will last for 5 hours – commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30-4pm.

They are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on their behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy. They will also provide a sandwich lunch.

For more information and to take part please contact : Holly Hearn at hhearn@fht.org.uk