We have recently introduced a Volunteering Scheme within VTCT and iTEC, which enables employees to take some time out to volunteer at a cause of their choice.
One of the first of our colleagues to take up this opportunity was Francesca Manzi, one of our Business Development Managers. She spent time working with The Power of Touch (TPOT), a charity close to her heart, and shared her experience with us:
I was delighted when the volunteering scheme was introduced to VTCT. I have been working with the charity TPOT The Power Of Touch for 3 years now. TPOT has been campaigning to make spas and salons aware that it is no longer acceptable to turn clients who have had cancer away by educating them about modifying treatments.
I was very proud to fly the flag for TPOT on their stand at Spa Life UK in Birmingham on 13-14th November. This event is a conference attended by all the major players in the Spa Industry.
Besides being on the stand, I also gave a 15 minute presentation to the delegates. The feedback from the delegates was very encouraging as many came to the stand afterwards to chat to me. Some spas were already treating clients with cancer and we could discuss good practice. Other spas left their details because they are interested in training in order to improve their service. When we pointed out that 1 in 8 ladies will get breast cancer and by 2020 1 in every 2 people will get cancer at some point, the industry realised what a massive amount of clients they would be turning away. The charity is very close to my heart because I got refused treatment at a spa. A lot of spas will not treat clients until they have been clear of cancer for 2 years. Both Cancer Research UK and MacMillan state that there is no reason why a client should not be treated.
I also made a really good contact from another charity – Jasmin Gupta from Cancer Hair Care. They educate spas on how to make clients suffering from hair loss feel welcome, amongst other things. We hope the 2 charities can work together in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 days volunteering and feel that I helped raise awareness to the spa industry (but appreciate that there is still a way to go). I would definitely like to volunteer again next year and would encourage others to volunteer for their favourite charities also.