I am sure I always start my blogs with 'one of my favourite things', but there are so many things I enjoy about my work that it's hard not to be effusive from time to time. So once again - one my favourite things about the job that I do is just how many amazing people and organisations I get to meet.
Recently, my team and I were introduced to the charity, Look Good Feel Better, which was a particularly special introduction because not only is it a great and interesting cause that we can all learn from, and that it is impossible not to want to support, but also because they share some of the fundamental values that are so important to Spabreaks.com.
Look Good Feel Better is a cancer support organization that runs workshops in hospitals for women who are undergoing treatment for cancer about make-up, skincare, confidence, and how to adapt your routines to the changes that chemotherapy and radiotherapy can bring. More importantly than that however, all of this is done with tea, biscuits, and the help of some effervescent professional make-up artists who volunteer their time, and actually provide a space to have a chat and meet people who are going through the same things as you. It's a place where you can find friendly, empathetic support, beyond the medical treatment.
The reason this is so important to me, is because a key part of our work at Spabreaks.com has been to open up the spa industry to anyone who has previously felt marginalized from it for health reasons, and in particular this includes our Recovery Retreats, which are spa breaks designed for anyone with, or recently recovering from cancer.
It has always been to my utmost horror that more often than not, anyone with cancer is refused spa treatments at many locations. Some of the reasons for this are understandable - it probably goes without saying that someone who is very poorly does need to be treated with a little bit of extra TLC, and there are precautions that need to be taken that require more awareness on behalf of therapists. Also, while you are having chemotherapy, saunas, steam rooms and pools are generally best avoided because of the risk of infection. However, there are still treatments you can have, and it is my long-held opinion that if you ever need a spa break, it's when you are at a low ebb. So we created Recovery Retreats that provide a consultation over the phone before you arrive at the spa, safe treatments, an emphasis on wonderful food and beautiful environments, and basically providing an opportunity to feel safe and pampered on your own or with loved ones, just like anybody else.
What has been supremely gratifying about opening up the industry in this way has not only been then support of some wonderful venues that we work with, but seeing what it means to individuals and the impact that a bit of time dedicated to making you feel good can really do. I was particularly touched by the experience of Katy Pearson and her friend Vicky in The Lady Magazine last month, which for me summed up why this has been and continues to be such an important journey for us.
So with this in mind, you can see why it has been so wonderful to come across another organization that shares our belief that a little pampering and positive attention is significantly more than superficial; it can have a profound impact on someone's wellbeing, and can help bolster you against the challenges that life hurls in your direction.
In September this year, Spabreaks.com is launching the first Women's Wellness Week, with the message #bekindtoyou, and I am extremely proud that this year's beneficiary is going to be Look Good Feel Better. Like I say, it isn't just a great charity, it is a meeting of the minds, and that is something very special indeed.