Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

The Harmony Therapy Trust was established in 2010. A family tragedy, meant our founder Dawn Cockburn identified a huge need with regard to additional support services cancer patients and people with life altering conditions receive in Kent. Dawn’s sister Sylvia who lived in Sussex, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, during that time Sylvia received help, support and reflexology from the Sarah Lee Trust. Dawn saw first-hand the positive impact these treatments had on her sister and how the sessions helped her to come to terms with her situation.
Inspired by the Sarah Lee Trust and the amazing work they had done for her sister, Dawn decided to set up a similar charity in Kent, so that people in Kent too could receive help and support at a time they are most in need of it. She gathered together a small network of therapists who were eager to become involved and the charity was founded.
In our first year we received 9 referrals, this year we are on course to receive around 1000. We now have a large network of over 100 qualified, skilled and experienced therapists, a keen and enthusiastic group of volunteers assisting us, and a turnover of nearly £53,000 (year ending April 2018).
Harmony Therapy Trust provides NHS-approved therapies free of charge to Kent residents suffering from cancers, multiple sclerosis and other life-limiting, life-altering illnesses or long-term conditions. Clients are referred to our service by general practitioners, oncologists, cancer nurses, hospitals and hospices from across the county.
The majority of our referrals are cancer patients, although we can help people with other conditions; we can also offer therapy sessions to carers. Every effort is made to identify the most appropriate treatment for each referral. Examples of the therapies available include:
Reflexology, Reiki, Healing (not crystals or other therapies) Aromatherapy, Massage, Indian Head Massage, Hypnotherapy, Stress Management, Counselling, and Acupressure.
Every day, we see the improvements these therapies make to our beneficiaries, and many of them appreciate that we see a whole person and not just someone with cancer. Our treatments not only help the patient relax in preparation for their chemo/ radiotherapy or other difficult procedures, but also help them develop a sense of well-being, thereby making it easier for them to come to terms with their condition. Our therapists are extremely enthusiastic about their work with us and regularly spend extra time ensuring beneficiaries have the best possible experience and receive maximum benefit. It is also important to mention the positive impact our therapies have on our beneficiaries’ families too, seeing their loved ones less stressed and coming to terms with their diagnosis and treatments, helps them to deal with it as well.
At the end of each client’s course of 6 sessions feedback is requested, we particularly want to find out about mental health impacts so that we can improve such support within the physical therapies we provide (aside from our talking therapies). This feedback is vital as it helps us to identify issues at an early stage, allowing the charity to continually improve and develop our services maximising the benefit to our beneficiaries. We also run regular training sessions for our therapists to facilitate their continuous professional development.
All treatments are funded through fundraising activities as we don’t receive any NHS or government funding. The charity is run entirely by volunteers. We pay our therapists a contribution of £100 for 6 sessions. Therefore every £100 we receive from Aviva will enable another seriously ill person to receive the therapy that they need. With referral numbers growing month on month we want to be able to help all our referrals as quickly and effectively as possible. Money from Aviva will enable more people to receive the help and support they need at the most difficult of times.

The Harmony Therapy Trust

Moment of Pride

Extremely proud of our team of motivated volunteers & therapists that regularly go over and above what is required, giving their time, expertise, skills & knowledge freely. It is down to their dedication and commitment that we have grown so quickly and continually receive extremely positive feedback

Location: Kent, UK