In just three weeks, over 600 NHS and key workers across England have applied to receive a massage from a unique Pay it Forward scheme at each of The Massage Company’s four franchised centres in Camberley, Tunbridge Wells, High Wycombe and Sutton Coldfield.
High Wycombe centre director Mark Coldham came up with the idea as a way of thanking NHS staff for their work during the pandemic.
“I had heard of the Pay it Forward scheme running in cafes and food outlets and given the strong connection between massage and mental health, I thought it would be an ideal way of showing support to NHS and key workers in a truly helpful way”, he explains. “Research has shown that massage therapy can actively help manage and reduce anxiety and depression. With many medical professionals and key workers suffering from burnout and trauma from the first wave of the pandemic, it is hoped that massage could help to lessen the after-effects; positively impacting on mental health and preparing them for the long road ahead. We’re delighted with the response we’ve received even during these early days but there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that we’re able to help every single key worker who registers with us”.
Clare Daniels, an NHS perinatal lead practitioner, was one of the first to receive a free massage under the scheme. She said: “It’s an amazing idea. NHS workers are the worst at looking after ourselves. It is lovely that people want to do this for us”.
Robert Sibley is a bus driver who has been working throughout the pandemic. He said: “…it shows that other people appreciate us key workers. It was so nice to be contacted to say that I had been donated a free massage. When you work so hard, it feels good to know that you’re appreciated”.
Kind-hearted members of the public have been flocking to donate massages through the scheme and via gift vouchers, with around 60 purchased so far.
Massages can be gifted under the Pay it Forward scheme by telephoning any of the centres. Alternatively, vouchers can be purchased online and gifted to a key worker who has registered for the scheme at https://themassagecompany.giftpro.co.uk/vouchers/key-worker-50-minute-massage-at-any-uk-centre/.
Key workers can register their interest in receiving a free massage by calling any of the centres or completing the contact form at https://massagecompany.co.uk/