by Rosie Mayhew
I’ve been coming to St Joseph’s for a couple of years now. I volunteer every Thursday afternoon. I cycle from my morning job in Holborn to Kings Cross then hop on the canal towpath and wind my way past nesting narrow boats into East London. Then it is a relaxed cycle down Broadway Market, before I turn off just before London Fields, cross over Mare Street and head straight into St Josephs.
I usually see a mixture of ward patients and out patients. Out patients are treated in Finding Space where there are 3 fantastic treatment rooms off a bright communal space that is used for art, yoga and choir amongst other clubs and groups. It’s so great having these lovely private spaces to practice in. I especially appreciate this when I am seeing the carer of a patient here, who may not get to have much time for themselves. Taking time out to be cared for by someone else can be a very powerful thing. No matter who you are or what you do, coming to St Joseph’s and giving yourself the gift of an hour of massage, or reiki or acupuncture is a wonderful, worthwhile thing to do.
Over the last 2 years I have met more amazing and extraordinary people here during my Thursday afternoons than I could have ever imagined. I love making connections and meeting people on a deeply compassionate level. This is what it feels like because the relationship between a complementary therapist and their client is a gentle and trusting bond. There is a beautiful calming atmosphere at St Josephs that you feel from the moment you step in the door. It is a tangible thing. The staff and volunteers are also amazing. I have never experienced such an absence of hierarchy within an organisation. It feels like everyone is here to help, regardless of job title. It is good to be in an environment of care, where there is a mutual positive regard for human life and areal sense of fully living in each moment… this is something that can be difficult to feel day to day in a busy city.