“I was a senior teacher in a school and left early because of caring responsibilities. I look after adults in their 90s and I needed some space and time for myself. I had had reflexology treatment for some time and was interested in learning more about it; and happily found I could study it close to home at SERC Lisburn Campus.
“Then I realised there would be an interview to get on the course and thought “wow”, but it was fine, nothing to worry about! I got accepted and then, three weeks in, I found there was an aromatherapy course too and I thought I could manage both. I made the time for it, and in spite of finding parts of it challenging, I found I was good at it.
“I wanted to learn advanced techniques and be able to treat more people. It’s more challenging and goes deeper; you are learning not just a straightforward technique, but how you apply it differently to different clients.
“I have had the opportunity to do reflexology as part of rehabilitation with individuals who have various drug and alcohol addictions and it is going really well. The aromatherapy opened more doors for me too. Product development was part of that course, and because of my reflexology course, I designed a product for feet. Then I developed a body butter for my sister, who has psoriasis.
“As part of the SERC course we had to do a business plan and from that I got onto other funded business training and to cut a long story short, I registered the creams, and I am now trading my own aromatherapy products! The business is called Soule and it’s still very small-scale, but I have plans! I love treating people and it’s great when people come back for more. It’s an honour.
“I have been blown away by SERC and how things are taught here. I would say this is in some ways not traditional – it’s not about fitting a mould, it's very practical and it’s about creating opportunities to learn and then use the learning. In my ignorance I didn’t realise how much was on offer at a college. The facilities are amazing and the cost? Good value for money!”
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