Hi Charlotte. What’s your role within Candlelighters?
I’m the Head Therapist at The Square, Candlelighters’ family support centre next to Leeds Chilren’s Hospital. I am also the Business Development Manager within HÄLSA Wellbeing, who source all the therapists for The Square.
Can you tell me about what your role entails?
I run my massage therapies at The Square, Candlelighters’ Family Support Centre next to Leeds Children’s Hospital, every Tuesday. Between our team of therapists, we offer various treatments to the patients and their families who visit, ranging from massage and energy rebalancing to reflexology, talking therapies and yoga sessions.
How do you feel your role supports families with cancer?
Patients and their families experience such significant stress, but the therapies help them to protect their physical and mental health. We provide consistent support to families across the year, including over the Christmas period, which is a time which can be particularly challenging. Allowing family members the chance to relax will help them to be the very best that they can be given the really difficult circumstances that they face. Massage and reflexology, for example, help because they help to boost your circulation and reduce levels of cortisol which is the main stress hormone.
How do you feel the atmosphere of The Square helps?
Families feel safe at The Square, it’s so nurturing here and they are able to take that time out from the clinical environment they’re so often in. I’ve seen all members of the family, from patients, to their parents and grandparents. The therapies we offer give each family member a moment in time where their stress is reduced from what they are going through outside of the four walls in which we work. Some parents whose children are on treatment spend a lot of time sleeping on pull-out beds on the wards. This can leave them with aches and pains- which is something we can help alleviate through our massage therapies.
How will your work help families affected by children’s cancer this December?
It’s so important that our support services are consistent, so we will be continuing to provide the full range of therapies across the Christmas period. Christmas can be stressful for families, especially when they are looking after their child who may be on treatment, and we want to provide family members with the chance to come to The Square and have some time to relax and refresh themselves.
A therapy for a family member costs £60 an hour. Your fundraising will ensure that a family member can receive their moment in time this Christmas to care for their physical and mental health. Can you fundraise for us to allow families to receive these wellbeing treatments? Get your fundraising pack here. We’d love to hear about your ideas so please do get in touch with the Fundraising Team on 0113 322 9283.