Community project pays off

Helen Martin.
Helen Martin.
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After coming to Sheffield to train and practise as a social worker in a busy setting with vulnerable children and families, I found that massage prices made it seem like an elitist luxury – some more than I earned in a week as a newly qualified social worker. Often held in a spa or country house setting, only open in the day, deep in the countryside – nowhere near the centre of town.

I use public transport and taking all that time out seemed more hassle than it was worth. Eventually, the stress and tension locked into habitual patterns of pain and jaw clenching as a way to cope with a stressful social work role.

The jaw and face pain got so bad it became what I can only describe as a crippling ‘helmet’ of chronic pain. My pain got so bad I had to take time off work, every day was clouded in pain, sleep and painkillers. It was a factor in my choice to leave the profession in the latest round of redundancies. I sought massage treatments out of desperation. I didn’t need ‘tickling’ or ‘pampering’ with smellies and candles, I had real pain that was affecting my life. Eventually, with the help of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals I learned how to manage the jaw and face pain.

After a year’s intensive training course and practising for six years, Affordable Community Massage is nearing its first birthday (January 15) as a socially-minded enterprise.

We have ‘pop-up clinics’ throughout South Yorkshire where anybody can access a deeper tissue massage after work or at the weekends – as and when they need.

Venues include gyms, community centres and schools and are all accessible by public transport.

We work with your muscles and tension until you’re happy with it.

If you wake up with a stiff neck you can even look to see what spaces are at each ‘pop-up’ clinic in the week by checking on Facebook.

We can also hold a ‘pop- up’ clinic at home – no trekking to the middle of nowhere.

Prices are £26/29 per hour treatment, and our treatments have been described as a ‘super relaxing deep sports-type massage’.

Go to book www.facebook.com/affcommmassage @AffCommMassage