Graduates offer helping hand

Two recent graduates have joined forces to launch a business which will support people in the community who have long-term medical conditions.

Fifty-year-old Diane Leopard, of Endon, and forty-two-year-old Nia Roberts, of Madeley, have set up Hands4Wellbeing, a business venture that will provide clinical complementary therapies at community venues across Stoke-on-Trent.

The therapies offered by the duo, which include aromatherapy, reflexology and therapeutic massage, aim to help those suffering with anxiety, arthritis, back and muscular pain, dementia, depression, lung problems, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and stress. They will also be helping support those affected by cancer.

Diane Leopard said: “We want to take complementary therapies into the heart of the community and make it affordable for people dealing with long-term medical conditions.

“The idea came from our time spent at the local Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of our studies. We realised that the benefits the people got there from having access to complementary therapies could be used to benefit the wider community.

“We believe such treatments should be affordable and accessible to all, that’s why we have set up Hands4Wellbeing.”

Both Diane and Nia studied a foundation degree in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice at Stoke on Trent College, which is validated by Staffordshire University, and graduated with Distinctions in June 2013. Towards the end of the three-year course Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer and hopes her experience can now be used to help others.

Diane, who had previously worked as a dental nurse for over 30 years, added: “Following my diagnosis Nia was able to use what we had learnt on the course to help me deal with the stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainty cancer brings.

“It is still early days for me, but we will be looking to use our skills to help those affected by cancer via local support groups.”

The first Hands4Wellbeing open event will take place at Blurton Community Hub, Ingestre Square, on Wednesday, February 5th. Visitors will get the opportunity to find out more about complementary therapies, see demonstrations and get free taster sessions.

Nia Roberts added: “We will be constantly looking to review and improve our service to match our client’s needs and have set up a survey to help us do this.

This feedback will help mould the future of what we offer and we would like to urge people in the community who is living with or caring for someone with a long-term medical condition to get involved.

The results will help shape the provision of complementary therapies available in the city.”

The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/CFGT8W7 and takes around two minutes to complete.

Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Diane and Nia on 01782 504095 or 07974202210. Hands4Wellbeing can also be found on Twitter @hands4wellbeing and Facebook/Hands4wellbeing.

To find out about all Higher Education courses at Stoke on Trent College visit https://www.stokecoll.ac.uk/template-114.php?WorkingPage=424&CurrentSection=441&ss=423

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