From the Navy to the Police to corporate workplace massage

Helen joined the Royal Navy at the tender age of 17 and afterward worked for Hampshire Constabulary as a Police Community Support Officer. Helen said, “Working in a busy and stressful environment I became conscious of how stress was affecting my colleagues.”

Realising there was a lack of well-being in the immediate workplace, Helen became the unofficial office masseuse. After seeing how her massages improved morale and stress levels, Helen decided to become qualified in massage, which she did part-time, alongside her work in policing.

In August 2017 Helen founded ‘The Little Calm Company’ but was still serving in the police. Then something happened to change the way Helen viewed work and life. She said “My husband Ron had a massive heart attack and suffered a completely ruptured mitral valve, almost losing his life. He underwent open-heart surgery. I had to take compassionate leave to care for Ron and our two young children.”

On reflection, she said she realised that she had to pursue her dream of working with people more holistically and decided to leave the police in April 2018. 

The Little Calm Company had no clients to start the business, but Helen felt sure that her skills and her desire to help and support others would see her through. She set about targeting companies where she knew that people would be sitting at a desk for long periods and who might feel under pressure. Through successfully marketing herself on LinkedIn and building up a good reputation, Helen soon found her first clients. 

Helen said, “It has been an incredible 2 years, I’ve now worked in over 100 different companies and organisations, including the BBC, Wave 105, Adidas, and several NHS trusts, to name a few.” 

The Little Calm Company has grown from Helen helping her stressed colleagues in the Police to what it is today. Helen offers seated and traditional massage within the workplace. The massages range from as little as 5 minutes at the desk, to 1 hour on a traditional couch. Most companies opt for a ‘seated massage’ where the client is on a specially adapted massage chair but remains fully clothed. Discussing her service Helen added, “With little disruption to the working day, massage is a very effective tool that promotes both physical and mental well-being.” She went on to say that “Massage has been proven to reduce stress and contribute towards treating anxiety and depression. It’s also great for easing back pain and tight muscles from sitting at a desk all day.” 

Massage makes a great employee benefit within the workplace too and most importantly, massage has been shown to improve morale and make employees feel valued. In January 2019 The Little Calm Company won the prestigious, Shaping Portsmouth’s Best StartUp Award. 

During further discussion, Helen talked through her plans to extensively grow The Little Calm Company and although COVID-19 has put a halt to the massage industry, Helen said: “I feel really confident that massage will be needed as part of the post COVID response to mental health and am looking forward to getting back into the workplace to help people feel great”. 

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