A mum-of-two and holistic business owner in Ramsgate is hoping to raise funds for a wellbeing hub – and give free treatments to local NHS workers.
Sandra Daruwala, 46, started her business The Recovery Well in October 2019 after re-evaluating her life following divorce and then retraining.
Sandra, who moved to Ramsgate in 2015 after living in various places including Italy and London, originally worked in sales and marketing and then recruitment after completing her art, fashion and photography degree.
But becoming a single mum when her children, now aged 10 and 5, were small and attempting to combine this with rigid office life led to a decision to make some changes.
Sandra said: “As I was a single mum I was able to use the time to regroup, drag myself out of the deepest fog and re-evaluate my life, deciding to go into aromatherapy. Essential oils are something I have always loved and I like the idea of working in a relaxing environment, making people feel great. I had no idea how amazing the therapies would be and I love it.
“I started my business The Recovery Well last year in October 2019 after completing a level 3 Complementary therapy course at Allen & Walden in Rochester.
“The business has been severely impacted by Covid as I am in one of the industries that has been able to operate the least since the outbreak.
“I had an opportunity to take on the former dance school below my rented flat and, although I was happy with my space in the Marlowe Innovation Centre, I just had to go with it.”
Sandra says her ambition is to create a wellbeing hub by converting the former SPL dance gear shop and dance school in Turner Street into three studios – one for her own holistic treatments, one for another therapist and a third for talking therapies such as counselling. She also wants to create a podcast studio at the site which will be available for hire and, at the front of the premises, a reception and shop for authentic, natural products for mental and physical wellbeing.
However, her initial £6,000 budget will not be enough for the project after discovering that a “significant” amount of work needs to be done, including to the electrics, ceilings, stud walls and fire safety measures.
To help bring the studio to fruition Sandra has launched a fundraiser but says she does not want “money for nothing” and aims to repay donors by giving free treatment to NHS workers and placing a leaf on a tree mural at the site for each person she treats. Donors can also choose to be a recipient of a ‘reward’ themselves.
She said: “I was shocked by the costs involved but now I’ve started, I’ve got to finish so really need the help to raise the funds. However.r I don’t feel comfortable just asking for money so have a number of rewards in place such as treatments that can be purchased in advance if you like either for the donor or for an NHS worker.
“I created the idea of a mural which I’m calling the NHS Treatment Tree as I wanted a way to demonstrate to those who are kind enough to donate to this cause that the treatments were being delivered and so fully intend to cover the tree with leaves and keep an update of how the mural is developing. Funds will help me pay to complete the renovation but in return the donor will get a well deserved treatment or other reward or they will be contributing to the wellbeing of local NHS. I truly believe the local NHS could benefit.”
During the first lockdown in March 2020 Sandra joined a national campaign to offer some free treatments to local NHS workers as thanks for the amazing but hard and traumatic work they were, and still are),doing.
Sandra says she has an eco focus on business and personally and will be making best use of recycling, upcycling and using the best sustainable products.