Read Lois’ story on why she decided to become a volunteer

Lois Terry, who has been a complementary therapist at Myton for nearly 18 months, tells us why she decided to become a volunteer.

“I felt very humbled to see so many ‘likes’ on my Facebook comment about how I use my Aromatherapy and I have written this so that others may realise that it is never too late to train as a Clinical Aromatherapist!

My primary career was in Education; initially training as a Home Economics teacher then gaining a degree with the Open University in order to teach Psychology. My final teaching post was in a large sixth form college in Leicester. I was also a tutor to approximately 120 students.

Having always been interested in complementary therapies and with retirement in mind, in 2006 I began a part time Herbal Medicine degree at the University of East London. The workload involved plus full time work became too much but I completed and passed all the first level Anatomy & Physiology and Botany courses.

Home life took over as my first grandchild was born; my daughter needed some extra help so I chose to take early retirement to help out for a few years. Unfortunately within a matter of months, my second husband, to whom I had only been married for four years, was given a terminal diagnosis of kidney cancer. I spent the next year nursing him at home.

Early on during this time I found Valerie Worwoods’ ‘The Fragrant Pharmacy’ in a charity shop and read it cover to cover. I chose lavender and geranium to help me cope with caring for my husband and impending bereavement.

About six months after Roy died, my footsteps passed Penny Price’s Academy and I found myself at the front door. Penny answered and invited me in for a chat, listening to what I had to say. She said, ‘Module 1 is starting after Christmas; why don’t you see if Aromatherapy is for you?’. The rest, as they say, is history!

Since qualifying in Clinical Aromatherapy, I have focused on using my abilities as a volunteer with end of life patients and their families. Various Continuing Professional Development courses, both locally and at national venues, have increased my knowledge. Cancer care and dementia care are my main interests, as current research shows that the symptoms of both diseases can lessen through treatments with essential oils.

I have been a volunteer at Coventry Myton Hospice for nearly 18 months. Age UK and Hinckley & Bosworth Council also regularly book me for visits for their senior groups- I am now a regular therapist at the ‘Over 50’s Day’!

So, although my official ‘retirement’ did not quite go to plan, I now have a new career as a Clinical Aromatherapist and know that I make a big difference to those at the end of their life and their families.”