It is a dreadful thing that cancer patients are encouraged to seek massage and holistic therapies by their doctors and when they visit a salon or spa they are contra-indicated for treatments due to some out of date, mis-informed educational platform that we have in our industry.
The Amethyst Trust was set up by industry experts to address this problem.
The Cedars Amethyst Trust (CAT) was originally established as a registered charity in 2010 where trustees Julie Speed and Debbie Moore of Cedars Health and Beauty Centre, Gloucester and Angie Petkovic and Kelly Ramsay of APT Marketing and PR, Cheltenham set out to raise funds in order to cover the basic costs of providing free beauty and holistic treatments to cancer patients.
Patients were referred to CAT directly from the Oncology department and this negated the need for a GP referral letter to satisfy insurance requirements.
Over the following four years CAT provided over 800 hours of free treatments. Our team of therapists fully embraced the concept of the charity and the importance of being able to contribute in some way, to making people feel normal, cared for and encouraging a true sense of wellbeing here and now. It has been a wonderful heart-warming journey! says Debbie Moore.
In 2014, Cathy Ball of Calcot Manor approached Julie and Debbie to develop a solution for the spa industry to enable them to welcome clients who have experience of cancer into the world of spa. She wanted to offer wellbeing packages without the need for a GP letter and with comprehensive insurance cover. It is a dreadful thing that cancer patients are encouraged to seek massage and holistic therapies by their doctors and when they visit a salon or spa they are contra-indicated for treatments due to some out of date, mis-informed educational platform that we have in our industry.
Cathy was instrumental in introducing Julie and Debbie to John and Sandra Holman of Hydrotherm Therapy Solutions and as they say the rest is history!
John Holman is an industry pioneer and developer of Hydrotherm Massage Therapy, an innovative and unique technique for body massage. He has over 25 years of massage therapy experience and has worked with oncology departments developing massage techniques for patients who are unable to lie on their front due to surgery. Julie and Debbie have been business partners for 25 years and owners of Cedars Health and Beauty Centres and the International Beauty and Holistic Academy offering high-calibre training from entry level, CPD and with post-graduate finishing courses.
Angie and Kelly have extensive industry knowledge covering insurance, driving campaigns and representing some of the largest membership organisations in the industry. Together they have a team of industry experts determined to make a difference.
The mission was set to create a structured and scientific approach to the provision of massage and other beauty and spa related therapies for clients who have experienced cancer from the point of diagnosis. They aim to dispel myths and common misunderstandings and provide high quality, factual information and practical adaptations to those who wish to offer this service to their clients. The intention is to bring both knowledge and skill to therapists, salons and spas and to all those that offer massage as part of their services.
The quality of the training course now on offer is best reflected in their industry first insurance policy which has none of the unnecessary and restrictive requirements or caveats of the current industry providers.
Renamed the Amethyst Trust, John and Sandra became trustees in September 2015 and a set of brand new objectives launched:
- To be a socially responsible organisation that directs funds from every training course through the not for profit charitable trust
- To provide a training solution for the salon and spa industry to be able to welcome people with experience of cancer into their establishments without the need to a GP referral
- To drive awareness of the ability to treat people with experience of cancer in salons and spas; safely, with confidence and competence
- To encourage the public to seek out a trained therapist, who is safe and insured
- To support cancer patients directly by partnering with Penny Brohn Cancer Care; a donation is made from the Amethyst Trust from every training course
- To provide a sustainable trust that offers information and support for the public and professionals about massage therapies for people with experience of cancer
- To provide CPD for graduates of Amethyst Trust
- To provide a progression route of further training for therapists who wish to offer more in depth treatments for cancer sufferers and may wish to do volunteer work