I sponsor a sister

Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped nearly 429,000 marginalised women in countries affected by war and conflict. They directly work with women in 8 countries, offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.

Women for Women International bring women together in a safe space to learn life, business, and vocational skills.  Once enrolled, each woman receives a monthly stipend – a vital support that enables her to participate.

Women increase their ability to earn an income with new skills that are in demand. They learn about their legal rights, and they become knowledgeable about health and nutrition.

Last September I decided to sponsor a sister via Women for Women International after learning about the project at the NYROrganic Autumn conference. I donate £22 per month which helps my “sister” receive intensive training for the essential job skills she needs to earn an income and support her family:

  • Many sisters start their own businesses to earn an income, even banding together with other graduates to form co-ops. Most graduates are able to move beyond extreme poverty.
  • My sister is learning about her real value and rights as a citizen, and can become a leader for other struggling women in her community.
  • My money helps provide a monthly stipend that enables her to pay for basic necessities like nutritious food and clean water for herself and her family, so she can focus on recovering and learning new skills.
  • I help provide a safe place for my sister, where she is part of a network of like-minded women, and better able to recover from the horrors of war and rebuild her life.

My sister’s name is Claudette from Rwanda. She is 35 and a widow with 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl. She is a farmer and has joined Women for Women International to meet fellow women and learn how to improve the standard of living for herself and her family. She will graduate this August.

Women for Women International is not just about hand-outs. No, this is about providing real and sustainable change through learning, education, training and community. It is about providing tools and resources these women need to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. This ultimately leads to more stable and peaceful societies now and for the future.

In conjunction with #InternationalWomensDay today on 8th March 2016, 10% of any purchase via my NYROrganic shop will be donated directly to Women for Women International.

#peoplehelpingpeople

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

Charity Fundraiser for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week. During this week I co-ran a fundraising event with a local Preston-based charity Support and Education for Eating Disorders (S.E.E.D). S.E.E.D is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders in Lancashire by providing information, resources, education, training and support for everyone affected by eating disorders and/or working with eating disorders. S.E.E.D acknowledges that the symptoms of eating disorders are an expression of deeper emotional need; they believe that people suffering can get better; that there is help available and this help should be freely accessible.

The event was a shopping evening held at Howick House in Penwortham. We started off with drinks and nibbles, and then got started.

I donated a reflexology voucher worth £35 as one of the raffle prizes, so began with a short talk on what reflexology is, how it works and some of the benefits it can have on general wellbeing.

I then moved onto Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, showcasing the natural and organic approach, and the ethical credentials of the company. We had a bit of fun with a “smell test”, guessing the scents of different essential oils, and learning about their health benefits.

S.E.E.D’s very own Shelley Perry enjoyed a mini facial, a demonstration of the key facial products and their benefits for the skin. Shelley was very relaxed afterwards! We then tried various different products, many of which are my favourites such as the Wild Rose Body Elixir, Firming Body Cream and the Melissa Hand Polish.

Afterwards everyone relaxed with the brochures and placed enough orders for me to donate £65 of my profits to the charity, and along with the other monies raised through the raffle and refreshments, a total of £165 was raised on the night. What a great result and everyone had such an enjoyable evening!

If you are a local charity and would like to hold a similar event with me please get in touch. Watch out for another shopping evening with S.E.E.D this summer.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Fundraiser at Seven Wellbeing Centre

On Saturday 26th July 2014, myself and my fellow reflexology students participated in a fundraiser day where the Seven Wellbeing Centre booked us out to private clients in order to raise money for Butterwick Hospice Care.

Students and Tutor
From left: Ruth Laidler, Cheryl Corner, Julie Crossman (Tutor), Jackie Marsden, Claire Goodison, Stuart Gibson.

Seven Wellbeing Centre is a complementary therapies and holistic training centre based in Stockton on Tees, Teesside. It is social enterprise subsidiary of Butterwick Hospice Care, which means if you train with them (as I do) you are directly helping support Butterwick Hospice Care as all profits are fed directly back into the charity.

The day started at 9:30am and we all had 6 clients throughout the day, so it really had a “clinic” feel where we had to manage our time carefully so that we didn’t keep our next client waiting, but simultaneously ensuring that our current client felt at ease and well attended to.

After the treatment our clients were invited to sit down for a cup of tea and slice of cake! We raised around £350 which all went to the Butterwick Hospice in Stockton. The Hospice offers a wide range of supportive day services for people suffering life limiting illnesses and offers care and support to patients families.  If you’d like to learn more about Butterwick Hospice Care, please see http://www.butterwick.org.uk/. Similarly, if you’d like to learn more about Seven Wellbeing Centre, please see http://www.sevenwellbeingcentre.org.uk/

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Reflexology for Band of Sisters

I spent the summer solstice, 21 June 2014, giving reflexology to a wonderful group of women who have a loved one with a career limiting /ending injury or illness attributable to service in the forces since 2001.

Help for Heroes Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters offer a listening ear, emotional support, and fellowship to our heroes and their families. Band of Brothers offer support for the wounded, and Band of Sisters offer support for the families.

I was privileged to be invited to participate in a pamper weekend for Help for Heroes Band of Sisters members on a respite break at the new Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison. Members enjoyed a well-deserved time out, with the opportunity to bond, form new friendships and have a break from pressures at home.  Meeting other women in the same situation can make a huge difference: realising that they are not alone can be a huge relief.

Therapies on offer were full body massage, Indian head massage and reflexology. Reflexology proved hugely popular and my slots filled up the fastest! Every client of the day relaxed deeply into their treatments, closing their eyes and snuggling under the blanket, while I sensitively worked away at their feet. Before beginning the day, I checked that none of the ladies were allergic or hypersensitive to anything, and then I put a drop of balancing geranium and a drop of calming lavender into a small bowl of hot water and allowed it to diffuse through my therapy room. With the lights dimmed and my Relaxator chair at the ready, comfort and luxury awaited the Band of Sisters members! Afterwards I gave them each some Neal’s Yard sample sachets to take away so they could give themselves a mini-facial.

20140620_Pamper 505Alongside the complementary therapies on offer, the members could also participate in other interesting activities such as cup cake decorating, jewellery making, NIA[1] and pilates, or just choose to relax and unwind as they wished.

The summer solstice is a highly spiritual time for some, described in many ancient texts as the time of enlightenment: the return of the individual into the divine source. It feels apt that I was called to give my therapy to these women on this particular day; the act of healing is not just about one individual giving to another, but on a more spiritual level it is also the becoming of one: joining, energy and flow.

[1] NIA – Neuromuscular Integrative Action. A blend of yoga, martial arts, and dance, is one of the latest trends in mind-body fitness fusion.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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Snowdon Climb for HOOP UK

This weekend my husband and I took part in the Snowdon Climb which was organised to raise awareness for the charity Helping Overcome Obesity Problems (HOOP) UK.

26 participants took part, all of different ages and abilities. It was a fantastic group of people from all over the country, and I made some wonderful new friends. Some people took part simply to raise sponsorship and raise awareness for the charity, others entered the challenge as part of their own goals to overcome weight and fitness issues.

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We made it to the summit, which in hindsight was the easiest bit – coming down was harder! My body is now as stiff as a board in my lower back and quads, and this is 2 days post-climb!

ImageSnowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, the second highest in the Nations 3 peaks challenge, with an elevation of 1,085 metres. Snowdon is one of the UK’s most accessible mountains and many peoples first mountain (including my own!)

HOOP UK brings an holistic approach to health and wellbeing through diet, nutrition, lifestyle, supply of relevant information and advice on physical fitness. It offers a safe place for those seeking help to feel included and supported in a non-judgmental approach to overcoming obesity and weight problems. If you’d like to find out more see www.hoopuk.org.uk.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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