Relaxing massages at the hands of WESC student!

Joseph practising his massage skills within his class
Joseph practising his massage skills within his class

Students from WESC Foundation are learning the art of massage therapy as a way to increase their employability skills and help people who are stressed or sit at a desk all day by easing away their tension.

The course offered by Derek Lowe from MMC WellBeing teaches the students about anatomy and physiology, holistic massage, Indian head massage and aromatherapy. It also teaches students how to use their body and hands in the right way as to not injure themselves, as well as offering optimum support for their visual impairment.

Massage therapy is taught in small groups which promotes individual attention and independent working. There is a mixture of theory and practical work which includes early interaction with different clients.

One WESC student, Joseph aged 18, has enjoyed the course so much that he’s already offering massages to WESC staff and his peers to practise his skills in the hope that one day he might be able to turn his skills into a business opportunity.

Looks very relaxing Joseph - well done!
Looks very relaxing Joseph – well done!

Joseph has been a part-time boarder at WESC for over two years. His visual impairment has a huge impact on his day-to-day life and finding work that he could do and enjoyed was a struggle. When WESC introduced him to massage therapy his struggle in finding a career choice was over! He knew that was what he wanted to do.

Having a visual impairment means that his sense of touch is heightened and therefore he can easily distinguish between all the different muscles, ligaments and tendons.

He has excelled on his massage course which has developed his entrepreneurial streak further.

Joseph says: “People who work in offices often have knots in their muscles, together with aches and pains, because they are sat at a desk typing all day long.”

“I thought I could practise my skills by massaging the office staff at WESC and this would help me to gain experience and get ideas about a future business.

“My favourite treatment is foot massage. I’ve learnt all the names of the bones and muscles in the foot. I can give neck, back, shoulder and hand massages as well as Indian Head massages.”  

Joseph has a varied curriculum at WESC which caters for his needs including Entry Level 2 in English and Maths, Entry Level 3 in ICT and Horticulture and courses in Podcasting, Work Skills and Home Management, so he has a varied weekly timetable.

Joseph puts everything he learns from his other subjects into practice by thinking about how he can apply it to developing a future business. This includes: in his ICT lessons learning how to use emails so he can email his clients and make appointments. In his maths lessons he is learning money skills which has helped him when thinking about how much it normally costs to have a massage and how much he could charge in the future.

Through his massage work Joseph is learning communication skills, business skills and how to organise his time. What he enjoys most is the interaction with other people and providing a service. He also finds delivering the massage incredibly relaxing.

Linda Stafford, WESC’s Employability Co-ordinator: “The massage course is proving to be very successful and popular which we hope will continue into the future. I am extremely proud of Joseph for his commitment to his course and for his determination to practise his skills. He really is an amazing young man. Also we are really grateful to Derek for his enthusiasm and outstanding teaching.”  

Joseph is a very chatty, popular, sociable and gentle young man. He loves the time he spends boarding at WESC with his friends and socialising in the evenings.

When he leaves WESC he would love to set up a business as a massage therapist and work with people in the community.

Well done Joseph what an entrepreneurial young man!

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