Cancer charity therapists making a real difference

The Lavender Touch room within the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital.
The Lavender Touch room within the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital.

In the latest in our series marking the 10 years of The Lavender Touch, we focus on the work of therapists

coordinator Brenda Lambert .

Brenda, who moved to the Borders from Edinburgh in 1989, first became interested in aromatherapy around 1996.

A year later, she embarked on a diploma course in clinical aromatherapy at The Academy of Aromatherapy and Massage Falkirk, and went on to gain a BSc in clinical aromatherapy/health studies in 2004, from Edinburgh Napier University.

Since then Brenda has worked in several areas of health care and at present works in the area of substance misuse and addictions.

It was in 2003 that she first heard about The Lavender Touch, which was looking to recruit qualified therapists and successfully applied for one of the positions.

“I felt like a pioneer as complementary therapies were only beginning to be accepted in healthcare settings and to be part of this was truly amazing,” Brenda told The Southern.

“I worked as a therapist for seven years treating patients in their homes, local community hospitals, BGH wards and the Macmillan unit. The aromatherapy offered to patients was very much appreciated. I met some amazing people and listened to some incredible journeys.

“I know the Lavender Touch is not an essential service but it has brought so much to the patients who have received our care.”

Brenda took over as Lavender Touch service coordinator from Jan Beattie at the start of 2011, and oversees the day-to-day management of the 11-strong team of therapists.

“A typical week may consist of sending out referrals to therapists, paperwork, answering emails and replying to organisations wanting to find out about the work of the charity.

“I may have to deal with internal enquiries about the progress of a referral, or make up blends, aromastix or room sprays requested by massage therapists or ward staff.

“I am also on hand for the therapists should they require any support or advice. As coordinator I do find the post challenging but also rewarding in knowing you are running an efficient service, ensuring patients are seen or contacted within a 10-day timeframe.”