New beauty businesses in Cumbria are doing more for their local community, from giving domestic violence survivors the chance to learn beauty therapy to training staff in mental health first aid.
The Women Out West Centre based at Haig Enterprise Park in West Cumbria is helping women in all kinds of circumstances, such as victims of domestic violence, those affected by separation or divorce and others on the poverty line, to learn the art of beauty therapy, empowering them to reach their full potential.
The salon, which had a soft launch in June but opened full time in September with two members of staff, also gives women access to facilities such as a laundry room, social areas and private one-to-one spaces. Founder Rachel Holliday said that in June alone 48 women used the centre. Meanwhile, three senior managers at Abbey House Hotel and Gardens in Cumbria, which has a treatment room called The Beauty Room, have undergone mental health first aid training with school SOA Safety to spot the signs of mental ill-health in colleagues.
General manager John Horton now wants to extend the programme further to other employees. “We’re very keen to do what we can to look after both the physical and mental health of our team,” he said.
“People who have mental health challenges can quite often internalise them, when the best thing to do is seek the appropriate help and support. Our mental health first aiders are not trained counsellors, however, they have been coached in what to look out for and the next steps to take, should they feel that a colleague is in need of support.”