Therapists needed to give a helping hand

Photo: THe Lodge Cancer Support Therapists

Published: 9 December 2016

Are you a trained complementary therapist with some spare time to help local cancer patients and their carers?

The Lodge Cancer Support Centre, which is run by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, is looking for volunteer therapists to offer massage, aromatherapy, reflexology or reiki treatments to patients with cancer or their carers.

The Lodge, based on Newton Road, Torbay Hospital Annexe, offers a range of services to help those affected by cancer. In addition to complementary therapies, the team offers relaxation classes, wig fitting, support groups or pamper sessions. There is also telephone or face-to-face support available on emotional and financial concerns.

Jenny Daly, Manager of The Lodge said: “Our aim is to support anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis or treatment as it is such a tough time. Complementary therapies can promote a calmer, more relaxed state, lifting the mood and improving the sense of wellbeing.

“This is a great opportunity for any trained therapists to join our supportive team, and most importantly help improve the wellbeing of patients with cancer in Torbay and South Devon.”

Pauline Thomson is a local practitioner who volunteers at the centre, providing reflexology and massage twice each month. She is now calling upon fellow therapists to join their valued team, and help make a real difference to people affected by cancer when they need it most.

Pauline, who has been volunteering at The Lodge for five years, says: “Feedback is always very positive and leaves the patient or carer more relaxed and leaving with a smile on their face.

“I get a sense of satisfaction and I always leave feeling fulfilled that I’ve helped in some way perhaps through encouraging them to do some self-help techniques such as breathing exercises, hydration and relaxation.

“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 contribute to the community.”

Belinda Pattie, from Kingskerswell, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2012, and accessed the complementary therapies when a friend took her to The Lodge for some information.

Belinda couldn’t stress the value of the service enough, and recalls; “I was offered four complementary therapies of which I decided to wait until my treatment was over; I chose reflexology and massage.

“My treatment was a gruelling year, and I can honestly say this service was my path 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.”

If you’re a trained therapist (qualified for at least one year) and could spare a few hours each month like Pauline, you could make a real difference to the lives of people affected by cancer locally. If you can help or know someone who might be able to volunteer, please contact centre manager Jenny Daly on 01803 617521 or email Jenny Daly.