A complementary therapist and business mentor from Littlehampton has won a national award for her work as a support group co-ordinator.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists said Alison Brown stood out from the rest as she was nominated by a member who did not live in her area and had not physically attended any of her meetings.
The group gives support to other professional therapists and Alison won the Local Support Group Co-ordinator of the Year award as members are able to enjoy the content of her meetings through Skype, webinars and other online platforms.
The nomination read: “In many industries, the way in which Alison works is commonplace, indeed essential to business performance, yet online communication for some reason is behind in the complementary healthcare world.
“Through her knowledge of social media, she has been able to share information with those who are unable to attend their local FHT meetings. Alison has far exceeded the requirements set out by the FHT to provide a local support group.”
Alison has been a complementary therapist since 2000, running her own mobile practice, Ali’s Holistic Healing Hands, and has been a member of the federation from the start.
She has volunteered as the support group co-ordinator for Worthing for four years, based at the Friends’ Meeting House in Mill Road, and last January, she started Ali’s Therapy Academy, an online resource helping other therapists with running and marketing their businesses by sharing her own tips, advice and experience from over the years.
Alison said: “I am very honoured to win this award and to be recognised by a national organisation. It gives me confirmation and pride in what I do and achieve. This award is also for my local group – we come together to support one another.
“I am passionate about complementary therapies, such as massage and reflexology, and passionate about business and working on our business, such as marketing, social media, etc., to work with our ideal clients.
“It is so difficult to stay authentic in business and to be out there for people to see. As therapists, we love to work with our clients but bury our head in the sand when it comes to marketing, advertising, etc.”
Alison has also been chairman of the Arun and Chichester district of the Federation of Small Businesses and manager of Arundel and Littlehampton Mumpreneurs Networking Club.
The federation said many therapists are self-employed, so the support groups were a great opportunity to network, offer mutual support and expand their knowledge.
Alison offers a varied calendar of events, including treatment exchanges and talks from different health, wellbeing and business experts.
Christopher Byrne, federation president, said: “These awards are designed to recognise individuals who are excelling in therapy practice and education and are an inspiration to others.
“Winners like Alison should be exceptionally proud to be selected from a pool of high-calibre peers, in awards that are recognised across the industry.”