Mini massage treatments are being offered in meeting places and offices to help people relax. Health reporter Kate Liptrot meets the York people benefiting from the Healing Clinic programme.
IT’S a real treat, says a relaxed looking woman who has just undergone a 15-minute shoulder massage.
Nearby, 71-year-old Judith Gill has also had a massage as her friends at The York Carers Forum chat over coffee and wait their turn for a hand, leg, arm or shoulder treatment from the comfort of their armchairs.
It is a rare opportunity for Judith, who lives in Heworth, to relax as she is a carer for her daughter who has a rare form of diabetes.
She said: “Having these ladies here is wonderful. I always say they keep me going to next month as it makes you feel you can move about a lot better. When you're a carer you have heavy work to do and it can wear you down.
“If I had money I’d pay for a massage, but I can't because I’m a pensioner. It's a lovely thing they do and you feel heaps better.”
Judith is one of the many people at the monthly get-together at City Mills to have been given the chance to unwind, thanks to the Healing Clinic in Museum Street.
For the last six years, teams of massage practitioners have been working with York Carers Forum to offer 15-minute through-the-clothes massages.
June Tranmer, the founder and director of the clinic, said: “It’s to give carers and the people they are caring for somewhere to go where they can relax. We want to get complimentary health care to people who would not otherwise be able to access it.”
With thousands of unpaid carers in York and North Yorkshire, there are an estimated 6.4 million people providing care for their loved ones, friends and neighbours nationally, calculated by the charity Carers UK to amount to £119 billion of care every year.
The Healing Clinic team has also been carrying out mini massages at offices for stressed-out people across the city at a small price. For the carers, the massage is free.
For Maureen Yoward, 73, of Acomb, who cares for her 94-year-old mother who suffers from dementia, the group is an invaluable source of advice and support.
After having a massage to alleviate the stiffness in her fingers, she said: “Coming to places like this helps because until you do you just feel like you are on your own. I quite look forward to coming.”
Meanwhile, a new addition to the carers group, Dot Cook from Rawcliffe, said her husband of nearly 58 years died two-and-a-half months ago after she had spent years caring for him.
She said: “I don't really enjoy anything at the moment. I'm just tolerating everything, but to be here with people who are so kind is like having medicine.”
• York Carers Forum will hold its annual general meeting at City Mills, in Skeldergate, from 10.30am to 3pm on March 24.
To find out more about the group – which also holds art and craft groups and hosts speakers – email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 422437
• To contact the Healing Clinic to inquire about its outreach work, phone 01904 679868 or visit thehealingclinic.co.uk