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Free Massages for Local Heroes

Free massages for Local HeroesTo celebrate our 20th year of providing better lives by restoring people’s health, over 20 weeks we will be donating 20 massages to 20 deserving people who have made a significant contribution to our community.

If you know someone who has made a real difference to other people’s lives, please let us know their name and why you are nominating them, and each week we will give a free one hour massage to someone whose story and contribution stands out. As well as entering the person to win an hour of rest and relaxation, this is a wonderful chance to showcase some of our local unsung heroes.

So if you know someone who deserves a free massage, please go to our Facebook page, pop into our clinic, or send us an email. (You can also send us a private message through Facebook if you prefer.) We would love to look after those who look after others.

1st Free Massage Recipient

Belinda KarnaghanCongratulations to Belinda Karnaghan, who was selected to receive the first of our ‘Free Massages for Local Heroes’. Here is her nomination-

“Hi Centenary Natural Therapies, I saw your facebook post about nominating people who give to the community.

I would love to nominate … Belinda Karnaghan. She works tirelessly throughout each year to organise the Centenary Rocks! festival, and the Centenary Santa Sleigh. She also voluntarily managed the Centenary Community Centre, ‘The Hub’. She also organises and runs several other community events and projects each year. She has been an outstanding member of our community for as long as I can remember. … she ran the local Safety House, was P&C president at Jindalee State School for several years, and rallied to get Centenary High built. She was also a part of Neighbour Hood watch.

(She) has done all of this on a voluntary basis, she is a wonderful role model and someone who I truly admire.”

Thanks very much Belinda for the great work that you do!

2nd Free Massage Recipient

Lucas PatchettCongratulations to Lucas Patchett, who was selected to receive the second of our ‘Free Massages for Local Heroes’.

Lucas co-founded Orange Sky Laundry, the world’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless. He and his friend Nicholas Marchesi installed a donated washer and dryer in a van and hit the streets. Orange Sky has now grown to 10 services across Australia in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, SE Melbourne and Hobart. They have also gone into cyclone-ravaged communities in far north Queensland. The laundry now does over 6.1 tonnes of laundry every week. However, most importantly, they conduct 1,300 hours of positive and genuine conversations with homeless people every week.

From the Orange Sky website -“Orange Sky Laundry is a catalyst for conversation. In the one hour time it takes to wash and dry someone’s clothes there is absolutely nothing to do but sit down on one of our 6 orange chairs and have a positive and genuine conversation between our everyday volunteers and everyday friends on the street.”

From an interview with Nicholas- “We’re a charity run purely by sponsors and donations. Each van costs $110,000 to build, and each load of washing and drying costs $6. We have 500 awesome volunteers who each make a fortnightly commitment. Lucas and I don’t earn a wage; we’re full-time volunteers … when Orange Sky Laundry pulls up under railway bridges, people are brought to tears with excitement. Shy, reserved individuals, who might not have spoken to anyone for a couple of days, open up. The most important thing our vans carry isn’t the washing machines or dryers and detergents. It’s the six orange chairs that foster a really great conversation.”

The two of them were named 2016 Young Australians of the Year for the amazing work they do.

Lucas lives in the Centenary area, and we are very proud to provide him a free 1 hour massage.

3rd Free Massage Recipient

Toni BothToni Both has been holding ‘Girl’s Nights In’ for more than 10 years now to raise money for breast cancer research. In that time she has raised over $30,000! That’s wonderful Toni, and we really enjoyed thanking you for your good work with a free 1 hour massage.

4th Free Massage Recipient

Elizabeth P. is one of those kind-hearted people who love to go around quietly helping others. This includes helping out at local funerals, taking elderly ladies to hospital, their church, the hairdresser or their podiatrist, visiting people in their homes that are housebound, etc. Elizabeth is always cheerful and friendly, but doesn’t like to talk about all of the good things she does. We think you are wonderful Elizabeth, and are honoured to be giving you a free massage.

5th Free Massage Recipient

Kay WhitbyKay Whitby has been a volunteer with the Australian Breastfeeding Association for the past 20 years. She is a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor, and goes out of her way to provide support and advice to new mums. Great work Kay, and I am sure you enjoyed your massage!

6th Free Massage Recipient

Rae TaylorThis is a remarkable story of selflessly caring for other people who are less fortunate. We are very grateful that people like Rae and her husband Dave are around, and Rae we hope you enjoyed your free massage as a token of our appreciation.

“I nominate Rae Taylor. Rae and her husband Dave spent countless hours supporting a local homeless guy in Forest Lake. They fed him for nearly three months, drove him to medical appts, supported him at a court hearing, gathered community support and launched a fundraising campaign to pay for flights and accommodation for two months for Geremy to get home to NZ, where he is now able to access income support, and pay for a roof over his head (something the Aussie system won’t cover for unemployed Kiwis).

Geremy has dignity and hope now, because Rae didn’t walk past.

This was all done whilst Rae was sick herself and off work for a few months.

Rae is very deserving of recognition for her financial and personal generosity.

(I also know that she would benefit mightily from the skill and knowledge that Roger has brought to your practice.)”

Geremy came to Australia from NZ to be with his partner and small child. He fell on hard times when his relationship broke down and he sustained an injury which left him unable to work. Geremy ended up homeless on the streets, with no money, no work prospects, and no current passport to get back to NZ. After completely turning this total stranger’s life around, Rae continues to touch base with Geremy most weeks to check on how he is going.

7th Free Massage Recipient

Sandy DowMeet Sandy Dow, our latest free massage recipient – she takes on dogs that are about to be put down as they don’t meet behavioral assessments at the shelters they’ve been surrendered to, trains them and finds them homes. She works seven days a week, and always answers her phone in case there’s a dog that needs her.

She took on her first rescue dog around 20 years ago. 8 years ago she started working at the Animal Welfare League, and five years ago she started her own dog training business – all while maintaining her commitment to finding homes for animals that even shelters had written off.

We’re very pleased to have been able to offer Sandy some relaxation and pampering.

8th Free Massage Recipient

Karolyn OwensKarolyn Owens is heavily involved in the Night Watch Patrol, where volunteers in purple shirts patrol inner city streets at night to help anyone in crisis, at risk or in need. They deal with everything from violence, injury and drug overdoses, to food and accommodation problems. Night Watch volunteers work between 10.30 pm and 5.30 am every Friday and Saturday night. They are trained in first aid, and how to intervene and defuse challenging situations.

As well as being a volunteer for 7 years, Karolyn is also the counsellor for the Brisbane Night Watch, and so helps other volunteers who have had to deal with fatal or near-fatal situations.

Thanks very much Karolyn for your caring support of people in need, and enjoy your free massage!

9th Free Massage Recipient

Diana Sumner-Armstrong is another very worthy recipient of a free ‘Thank You’ massage from us. Here is her nomination.

“I would love to nominate Diana Sumner-Armstrong. She is a hard working community member who has been a crisis support counsellor for Brisbane Lifeline for 5 years now. She works 5 night shifts a week as a crisis and suicide interventionist, keeping many around Brisbane and Australia out of harms way! As well as this, Diana works 3 days at Kenmore Woolworths.

She also worked tirelessly with Community Recovery following cyclone Marcia in Rockhampton; visiting families, providing basic needs and counselling support through Uniting Care.

She is truly a kind, caring citizen who deserves a much deserved reward for all her efforts!”

Congratulations Diana, and have a wonderful massage!

10th & 11th Free Massage Recipients

Brett SwannCarolyn SwannCongratulations to Brett and Carolyn Swann, who have certainly earned a free massage from us. They are an amazing couple, who dedicate their time and energy to helping young people with disabilities and their parents. Here is their nomination.

“Brett & Carolyn run Enhanced Care which is a respite home for children and young adults with high needs/multiple impairments, to give their parents a break. They also work tirelessly to care and run another centre for these children to learn new skills, hang out, and they nurture them to be their best.”

They have also established and run Empowered Futures, which provides services to young adults with disabilities and their parents, including

  • in-home support
  • overnight respite centres
  • day support services at two Community Hubs they established (at Jindalee and Ipswich)

Carolyn also runs the My Time program every 6 weeks at Mt Ommaney Special School, to provide info and support to parents with disabled children.

Thank you both for your wonderful work!

12th & 13th Free Massage Recipients

Giving Grannies gifts

“I would like to nominate Lynn Atkinson and her husband Neil … they run Giving Grannies and do amazing work within our community and beyond .. they give their time and hard work to help others and best of all they are lovely people.”

Giving Grannies are a not for profit group who collect and distribute pre-loved baby and children’s goods. This includes clothes, shoes, toys, books, prams, cots and other baby furniture. They also provide Baby Welcome Kits to mums who need a helping hand when a new baby is on the way. These Kits include singlets, mittens, socks, bibs, hats, clothing, cot sheets, bunny rugs, blankets, toys, books, towels, face washer, nappies, wipes, baby toiletries, etc. They may also include a small gift for the mother, formula, baby bottles and other items of use. Giving Grannies rely totally on donations, and they receive referrals from hospitals, community groups, refugee organisations and other charitable groups.

Thank you Lynn and Neil for looking after our new mums so well, and making our community a better place. Please enjoy a free 1 hour massage on us as a token of our appreciation.

14th Free Massage Recipient

Small acts can transform a community

We are very pleased to announce that Lisa Baillie, the founder and an Admin of the ‘4074 Community & Beyond’ Facebook page, is the latest winner of a free massage from us. Here are a few comments about her from that page.

‘Well done Lisa and admins. You have brought this community together like no-one else before. You have achieved and helped others achieve so much. There’s a lot more sharing and caring in this community because of you, people are looking out for each other, and sharing experiences, advice, and resources. Your efforts have shown how many people from different walks of life with just a postcode in common can come together, work together and play together. This is a generous, friendly postcode, and it has become much closer because of the medium you have provided us. My wife and I have met, helped, and been helped by countless people over the past few years, and it all comes down to you and your helpers. You are an asset to the community and we owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. As our local political rep, I hope that Matt Bourke is able to facilitate some more formal recognition as Australia Day nears. It is people like you, who do so much for our community, that deserve proper recognition. You are touching many lives, both directly and indirectly, and making a difference that cannot be under-estimated, particularly as it is done in your spare time and on a zero budget. THANK YOU. Well done, and please keep up the great work; it is very much appreciated.’

‘Well said Steve. I have seen the hard work she puts in and the many hours it takes to pull together events like the Family Fun Day and last weekends Trivia Trail. Yes, she has her trusty group of helpers and the support from our local members and businesses but the ideas and drive all belong to her. She is one amazing lady who I’m very blessed to call a friend.’

Lisa also recently established the 4074 Health & Beyond Facebook page to ‘promote a healthier way of living in the Western suburbs of Brisbane’, and the 4074 Community & Beyond RACK webpage, to promote Random Acts of Community Kindness. She never stops trying to give to our community!

15th Free Massage Recipient

Michael Devlin

Michael Devlin is a member of the Brisbane Motorcycle Street Feed group, who provide free hot, home-cooked meals to homeless people. Once a week they feed 150 – 300 needy people, and Michael has been doing this for over a year. Sometimes people donate clothes to Michael and other members of the group, and these are also passed on to the homeless. In winter, they also make a special effort to collect and distribute socks to help homeless people keep their feet warm.

Thanks Michael for your caring and selfless work. Enjoy your massage!

16th Free Massage Recipient

The Nappy Collective

Natasha Butcher has been convening the South West Brisbane Nappy Collective for the past 3 years, and in that time she has collected 50,000 nappies for community organisations who work on the front line with women in need, including domestic violence support groups, homeless groups, and teenage mums. (For more details about the Nappy Collective please see www.thenappycollective.com.) Natasha has just been elevated to the role of Brisbane coordinator in recognition of her hard work and dedication to helping these women.

Thank you Natasha for looking after our new mothers in need, and helping to make our community a better place. Please enjoy a free 1 hour massage on us as a token of our appreciation.

17th Free Massage Recipient

Kara-Leigh James

Kara-Leigh James is the latest winner of our Free Massages for Community Heroes.

“Hi there, I would love to nominate an amazing local community member Kara-Leigh James! She gives so much of herself to this community and Jindalee State School P & C association. She donates so much of her own time and effort so selflessly. There would hardly be a person in this community that wouldn’t know and acknowledge how much she gives and couldn’t think of a more deserving person for this prize. … PS if you would like references of her amazing work you would only need to ask the community, school and 4074 as I’m sure they will all vouch. There are local MPs that have known her for years also! An amazing strong lady, sooo deserving!”

(I personally am amazed at the huge amount of time, effort and creativity she puts into making the Jindalee State School Fete a great success every year.)

Congratulations Kara-Leigh! Have a massage on us for all your good work.

18th Free Massage Recipient

Inga Werber

Congratulations to Inga Werber, who we have chosen to receive a free massage from us for her good work. Inga runs the Middle Park Knitting Stars and the Jambo Knitters programs, and she gets people to knit woolen squares. She and the students from the Middle Park and Jamboree Heights State Schools then knit these squares into blankets for the homeless. Inga has won the Matthew Bourke Community Award, and this year she also initiated the Twiddlemuff Project for dementia patients. A Twiddlemuff is a double thickness hand muff with bits and bobs attached inside and out, and is designed to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands for those suffering from dementia. Inga arranged for the Centenary Knitting and Crochet Circle and other members of the community to knit these Twiddlemuffs to help those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Thanks Inga for your caring support of our community. Have a great massage!

19th Free Massage Recipient

Karen BennettKaren Bennett has played a huge role in the retention of the Early Childhood Development Program. This Program is designed to help assist preschool children with learning disabilities or challenges, so that they can then attend a mainstream school instead of a special school. The Program was to be scrapped, however Karen organised a Facebook page to raise awareness of this issue, and she gathered support from families all over Queensland. She organised a petition to have the Program continue, and obtained over 30,000 signatures for it. The Program now has funding guaranteed by the government until 2020, largely due to Karen’s efforts.

Thank you Karen for your work looking after disabled children, and enjoy a free massage on us!

20th Free Massage Recipient

Vicki Mynott“I would like to nominate Vicki Mynott as deserving of a free massage for her many years of dedicated volunteer work for the community, by researching and producing many local histories for the Inala History Association.

Her work has resulted in capturing local histories in detail, for use by the communities and students. There a number of local publications in which she has been the major researcher and writer.”

Have a wonderful massage Vicki!