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

MND Association needs complementary therapists

The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association is on the look-out for trained therapists to volunteer at high profile events this year.

runners marathon

Every year, high numbers of the public raise money in support of those with MND, including at the London Marathon in April and Prudential Ride London in July.

The MND Association is in need of volunteer therapists to help their fundraisers with massages and treatments following their activities.

Therapists must:

  • Be a full FHT Member or Fellow
  • Hold valid insurance
  • Be qualified to Level 3 in any massage modality
  • Provide their own equipment

In return, the MND are willing to pay £50 expenses and supply you with a branded T-shirt to wear on the day.

If you would like to give your time and help out those raising money for a great cause, please contact Stephanie stephanie.steward@mndassociation.org

If you get involved please let us know – it would be great to feature you in International Therapist! Email Dan, our Deputy Editor, at dralls@fht.org.uk

 

Volunteer therapist needed to help homeless people this Christmas

National homelessness charity Crisis is calling on FHT members to provide complementary therapies for homeless people at its temporary centres this Christmas.

Crisis at Christmas 2015

Crisis at Christmas 2016 runs from 23 – 30 December, 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 massage and natural healing services provided by volunteers are hugely valued by guests, giving them access to treatment they may otherwise miss out on during the rest of the year.

If you practice traditional massage, shiatsu, reflexology, Indian head massage or aromatherapy please sign up as a Massage Volunteer when applying. Massage Volunteers will work as part of a mobile service based at Link Rough Sleepers Centre, with transport provided to and from the other centres in London.

If you practice natural healing, reiki or cranio-sacral therapy, please sign up to be a Natural Healer Volunteer.

Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at crisis.org.uk/volunteer.

Homelessness has increased markedly in recent years, with rough sleeping more than doubling since 2010, rising by 30% in the last year alone.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Christmas can be an extremely isolating time for those without a home to call their own. Many of us can take for granted the companionship and shelter we enjoy at Christmas, yet one in four homeless people spends the festive period alone. This year, the number of rough sleepers in England has continued to rise at an alarming rate, and across the UK tens of thousands of people do not have a proper place to call home. Unfortunately, Crisis at Christmas is as important as ever this year.

“It is only through the generosity of thousands of volunteers that help make Crisis at Christmas happen for homeless people. Volunteers can not only bring some much-needed cheer to our guests but also encourage them to take up the life-changing opportunities on offer all year round at our centres across the country.”

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.

Support MND Association at the London Marathon

Calling all qualified Body/Sports Massage FHT members. Last minute space on therapy team supporting MND Association at the London Marathon – can you help?

Calling all qualified Body/Sports Massage FHT members. Last minute space on therapy team supporting MND Association at the London Marathon – can you help?

Date: Sunday 24 April, 2016

Venue: Regus Building, 1 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5BW

Schedule:

11.15am on-site briefing
12.00pm lunch
13.00-13.30pm (approx) first few runners could start coming through (there are some very speedy ones in the team)
14.00-16.00pm busiest times
16.00-17.30pm (approx) late runners and closing

Treatments: Ideally, approx 20 minutes per runner. Primarily leg massages.

Expenses: You will be reimbursed £50 for your travel expenses.

Events crew t-shirts: You will be provided with an MND Events Crew t-shirt to wear on the day.

For more information and to take part please contact Trudi Sadler, Events Manager, Motor Neurone Disease Association: T. 01604611834 E. trudi.sadler@mndassociation.org

www.mndassociation.org