Losing someone you love is devastating but it can also be life changing.

One person who knows this to be true is Susan Davies from Cardiff. Susan is a reflexologist who volunteers her time with City Hospice, helping patients and their families through relaxation therapies and giving them a safe space to just be themselves.

Susan got into reflexology 15 years ago after her daughter was born because she developed a severe cough, she couldn’t get rid of. She didn’t want to take medication so she was advised to try this Complementary treatment.

“I was totally sceptical at first and didn’t know what it involved. I went to see this lady and after quite a detailed consultation, I was a bit confused but gave it a go anyway. It was amazing. She knew so much about me from my feet! I had it a few times after this and it really helped with relaxation and my sleeping which was brilliant. It’s part of my monthly maintenance plan now. I do find I’m very rarely ill.”

Before becoming a reflexologist, Susan worked as a Business Manager in a school, and although Susan loved her job, childcare was an issues, especially in the school holidays.   After her husband died in 2012, Susan decided to change her career and study a degree course in Complementary Therapies at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

“I studied reflexology, holistic massage, and aromatherapy and loved every minute of it. I’ve never looked back. I can and do enjoy looking after people and getting to know them. There’s nothing better than someone leaving a treatment looking more relaxed with a smile on their face. Being told you’ve helped is a fantastic feeling.”

During her studies, she has enjoyed helping patients and their families at City Hospice. She was determined to volunteer with the charity after the support they provided during the toughest time of her life.

“The Hospice helped me and my daughter significantly and I really don’t think I would’ve managed without their support. I’ve always felt a huge gratitude, a huge respect and decided at a very early stage, if I was going to give something back, I’d come and do it at City Hospice as a volunteer therapist. That’s why I’m here. It’s just to say thank you really.”

We are a registered charity at the heart of Cardiff, providing specialist medical, nursing and end of life care to patients in their own homes. Formerly George Thomas Hospice Care, we offer counselling (to adults and children), welfare benefits advice and day centres with a range of activities. City Hospice is the only at-home palliative care provider for the city of Cardiff and needs to raise a total of £2m to keep providing these specialist services.

If you’ve lost a loved one, the charity encourages you to get involved in its Light Up a Life appeal. Write a dedication, make a donation and remember your loved one this Christmas. Find out more by visiting www.cityhospice.org.uk/Appeal/light-up-a-life-2018 or call 02920 524150.