Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Vilas Chauhan, Nov 9 2011 11:21AM

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Massage Volunteers

Dear all

Crisis at Christmas is recruiting massage volunteers this Christmas! Be part of one of the biggest volunteering event in Europe and make a difference to people’s lives this Christmas. Massage is a valued service which many of our guests are unable to access for most of the year. We are looking for qualified and insured massage practitioners to make a real difference this Christmas.

Contact us via email or telephone 0300 636 1000.

Our website
Gladys Wright
Nov 9 2011 11:35AM
Can you please give more details such as:
1. Date of event
2. Location
3. Time required for volunteers to work

Thank you

Gees Therapies
Patrick Pires
Nov 9 2011 5:50PM
As therapists, we have each spent considerable time, money and effort to hone our skills as well as meet regulatory requirements such as insurance, membership of an organisation, etc. Therefore, I cannot understand why we should offer our services on a volunteer basis to organisations that can and ought to provision to
pay. As 'newbies' most of us have had to develop our skills on friends and colleagues. BUT, after this
period we should not cheapen our occupation by offering to volunteer! All charity organisations receive
funding to exist. It is up to them to provision for funding out of their budgets! Therapists' practice should NOT be a side-show!
Rachael Priest
Nov 10 2011 10:19AM
I disagree, I am willing to give some of my own time for free to help others and I don't feel I am cheapening myself or my experience by doing so.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford treatments however may benefit greatly from it.
Patrick Pires
Nov 10 2011 5:18PM
Have you ever come across a doctor or a lawyer or a priest for that matter 'volunteering' their time ? And these are people who can afford to do so. I, for one, would not take up such a service as I believe you get what you pay for. If Crisis wants volunteer therapists then the least they can do is to offer something in return. Charities are not that hard up as you think. Most of them go through a calculated process to attract funding. I volunteered once and quickly realised that I was being taken advantage of. I did not even get a sip of water for my efforts that day. Sod that! Stop dragging the side down.
Lorna Chan
Nov 10 2011 5:18PM
Kaching, the sound of greed! Complementary therapies also involve compassion for others.
So, we have all paid for courses, have members registration fees and insurance to pay, but come on...!
I am a single parent, have my private clients and bills to pay but still volunteer reflexology at a local cancer care centre on a weekly basis, volunteer at charitable well being days and am seriously considering volunteering for Crisis this X'mas.
So what,I am not rich in monetary terms but gain so much otherwise in helping and caring for the more disadvantaged and sick people. People respect you more for it and I have gained so much experience from treating every day people with a whole range of symptoms....probably more so than you would from a private, luxurious and well organised room charging extortionate rates!
I believe in Karma, a happy heart and a great feeling of purpose.
Love and light.
Patrick Pires
Nov 10 2011 5:20PM
You do-gooders make me sick!
Aleksandra Jawulska
Nov 10 2011 6:25PM
We are all struggling to develop ourselves in this difficult profession where more often than not we give more than we receive, but I can't believe we are even having this discussion. We should be happy that we can work in a profession that has the potential to help people, AND get paid for it. The exchange of energy is much more valuable than monetary gain, remember what it is that you decided to do this for in the first place.

To the sender of the original post, please give more info for those interested : )
Patrick Pires
Nov 10 2011 9:47PM
Dear Good Samaritans! I am sure that before you begin your therapy on Crisis 'patients' you will be doing a thorough pre-flight check re: contraindications etc. After all, one can reasonably expect these 'clients' to have a range of health problems. So, as as consequence, what would happen if one these clients developed a problem as a result of therapy? You would get your ass sued - plain and simple! Which is why, if you look closely at this and other 'volunteer' adverts, you will notice that they insist on YOU having insurance. Now, where's the goodwill in that? If you are waiving your fee as a volunteer, then it follows that there ought not to be any comeback if something goes wrong. But, oh no, the administrators of Crisis and their ilk are far too smart. They know the ins and outs of compliance. Trust me - the only massage some of these down and outs need is a kick up their backsides with a steel-toe boot and advice to go and get a job! I'd save my energy and concentrate on getting paid work - either in cash or kind!
Rachael Priest
Nov 10 2011 11:41PM
Difficult life situations happen to the best of people so lets hope you never find yourself in one! And by the way doctors, solicitors and priests do voluntary work - I have seen it for myself.
Patrick Pires
Nov 11 2011 8:10AM
@ RACHEL PRIEST There's little doubt that we can all come up a cropper in Life! I am in that position now. But, I'll be damned if I am going to allow myself to be sold for cheap or free! What I am emphasizing is this ought to be a two-way street in some form or fashion. Charities should at least have the courtesy to offer 'something' in return. I'm sure that there are some doctors and lawyers that do offer their time for free. My point is that they can afford to. As complementary therapists, we are on the backfoot when it comes to both recognition and renumeration.
Patrick Pires
Nov 11 2011 8:12AM
In my firm opinion, CTHA has a duty of care to it's members when it solicits or is offered therapy 'work' opportunities. So far, all it does is simply post adverts on it's opportunities section. If I just want that I can go to Gumtree or elsewhere!
Anne Todd
Nov 13 2011 5:48PM
As a therapist who has done volunteer work, I feel that some support for Patrick's point of view is due. It is nice to help people out, but sometimes it can lead to the therapist being exploited. I echo Patrick's need for more respect for the therapies we do. There is something about valuing work you do giving it the respect it deserves. Many people nowadays do not have the luxury to afford heating, never mind holistic therapies, I don't see fuel companies letting go of their profits and bending over to help people, I guess we value light and heat though, don't we? I can see different points of view, we are all free to do what we want with out skills, but I do feel that a lot of emotional blackmail comes into play into expecting therapy work for free. I once discovered in a programme years ago that being in a caring role for others takes about 10 years off your lifespan! We are not martyrs, we are simply people expecting to make a living out of what we trained to do - for which there is not state funding. Morale for working people is low enough these days, respect is what we need!
Patrick Pires
Nov 13 2011 7:02PM
@ ANNE TODD Thank you for your vote of confidence. Your words, 'emotional blackmail, sums it best really. Prerequisite qualities for being a complementary therapist range from being compassionate and empathetic to understanding, kindness and so on. However, these qualities ought not to be taken advantage of when we are trying to make a living! It is nigh on impossible to make a full-time living out of practicing complementary therapy. You might just get by if you run a business and hire others for a pittance! I am in the process of compiling a video to promote my own practice. When looking for a model for the videoshoot I chanced upon the website of the Register of Artists' Models. What was telling is that these individuals are also trying to raise their game in terms of recognition and renumeration. They have been at it since the 80s. I quote from their website, " We had our origins in the struggle of the 1980s, when we had to drag the job of life modelling out of the depths it had sunk into. We wanted to give it back some of the status it used to have. Thanks largely to our efforts, nobody can deny that the job gets a rather better press these days, or that the people doing it take it more seriously and are more professional about it - especially if they are members of RAM. Nothing is perfect, but on the whole RAM models are a class act, in terms of competence, conduct and reliability. In fact, those have been our three watchwords from the start. " Sound familiar. Well, it should. I should like the CTHA and similar to do more for us. Visit RAM
Elizabeth Rabone
Nov 26 2011 6:40PM
I've been doing voluntary therapy work for a local carers project for about three and a half years (an afternoon a month). It has been an intensely enriching experience: it has helped me further develop my skills in reflexology and other therapies; I have acquired clients and some days of paid work via the project; I have made friends and contacts as a result; one of the carers was a client study for me when I did the holistic massage diploma; they gave me help and adice during my mother's final illness. I'm respected there (far more than I have been in some places doing paid work), not exploited or emotionally blackmailed. There are rewards to be gained from voluntary therapy work that are not financial. So I'd urge anyone available to volunteer for Crisis to do so.
Emma Pepper
Nov 27 2011 12:08AM
i am also in agreement with Patrick's point of view. We have, as therapists, spent a great deal of our own time and money to train to do something that we love to do. We should be valued and respected enough by our clients to recieve a level of payment for that service in the way that any other professional is. While therapists continue to provide their serivces to organisatioins on a voluntary basis we will never receive the repsect and renumeration that we deserve. There are sectors in the NHS that pay for therapists, recognising the value that we add, and we should be seeing this through all cancer and maternity services across the NHS now. Yet we never will while people offer their services for free. I work for a charity that receives no government funding, is only supported by private donations yet pays all its therapists for the work they do. We are respected and valued for the work we do. If I choose to do voluntary work, I do so outside of the hours that I work and for organisations that I choose to support in a voluntary capacity.
Patrick Pires
Nov 29 2011 4:57PM
I phoned CRISIS (03006361000)to make further enquiries. I was informed that tables, towels, oils would be supplied! Well, better than nothing!
Anne Todd
Nov 29 2011 9:03PM
We all have our points of view, as we have freedom of choice. That's what comes with being autonomous practitioners, but what helps us practice with autonomy and professionalism is being respected and valued. It would be nice to see the job opportunities on this forum tip in favour of paid posts, not the unpaid ones, thus endorsing the call for such respect of its members.

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