#LoveScotlandsColleges: Enterprising student, Sheila Munro
Ayrshire College is supporting the launch of the #LoveScotlandsColleges national campaign to highlight the importance and strength of Scotland’s colleges.
Students are at the heart of everything colleges do. Here is a profile on one of our talented graduates, Sheila Munro, who studied Complementary Therapy. She is one of the latest students to receive a grant of £5000 from the Ayrshire College Foundation Enterprising Student’s Fund to help her start up her own business.
Here she gives us an insight into her business, AroundTUit Complementary Therapies Ltd, where she promotes optimal health and wellbeing.
"I worked for a woodland investment company for a number of years, before taking voluntary redundancy. That’s when I made the decision to retrain. I started at the Ayr campus of Ayrshire College studying NC Beauty Level 6. This is where I found my passion for massage therapies.
"From there, I decided to look further into a career in complementary therapy, and I moved onto the HNC & HND courses at Ayrshire College Kilwinning campus. Ayrshire College offered me training at a high standard which was recognised by hospitality, holistic and beauty industries. It meant that I could be flexible and work as a self-employed mobile therapist and continue to learn.
"As part of the course work, I was required to volunteer in the community during my HNC I took on voluntary work at East Ayrshire Carers offering holistic therapies to carers who helped keep friends and family at home in the community. The following year as part of my HND I volunteered to work with ‘Break the Silence’ who offer support to survivors of abuse aged 13yrs+. Volunteering in the community has been extremely rewarding. It’s such a pleasure to received positive feedback from clients, and the team of professionals who support them. It inspires me to do better.
"Covid-19 and the restrictions placed on trading put a stop to my mobile therapies. I could have just sat back and waited until restrictions were lifted, but I didn’t know how long that would take. The stubborn streak came out of me so I decided to gain as much information about the appropriate precautions to take in order for my business to become Covid-safe.
"I also did a number of online training courses, recorded a few videos to use on my social media pages to help people reduce their stress and anxiety during lockdown. I had found the medical masks difficult to wear, so I began making and selling re-usable masks that reduced glasses fogging up and were less constrictive when breathing.
"What makes my therapies different is that I integrate existing medical conditions and medications with the properties and benefits of the natural products I use in the therapies. This allows me to tailor the therapies to suit each individual, helping clients to relax and improve their feelings of wellbeing.
"The Enterprising Students grant has enabled me to rent premises in Ayr so that I am now able to offer a first class service to clients and run the workshops a in a comfortable, pleasant environment. The grant has also helped me purchase equipment that might otherwise have been a luxury but has now become an essential to my work. I’m also very conscious of reducing my carbon footprint, so all the products I use are natural and from a renewable sustainable source.
"In a few years time I’d also like to rent more space to employ a few more specialist trained therapists enabling me to take on an apprentice. Even further in the future I’d like to see holistic complementary therapies being integrated into conventional medical care."