A step in the right direction for church

Gloria Brooks gIves Anne Firmstone a well-deserved foot pampering at the Wellness Centre Impact Directs footcare for seniors programme.

A Bridgetown church has turned its old storeroom into a wellness centre for the community, and its flagship project – footcare for seniors – has proven to be a much-needed service.

The Wellness Centre Impact Direct, as it is known, opened its doors in February, and without advertising, already has 400 seniors belonging to its footcare programme. The seniors pay only R20 a session, and receive footcare once every six weeks.

“We also give the seniors a light snack, as some of them might not take their medicine at home, and need to take it while here. We are trained to care for people’s feet who are diabetic, and we do foot massages, scrubs, give basic treatment for corns, we cut their toenails, and treat fungus. This service is available every Wednesday, and we see up to 20 people. Those who would want to benefit from the discounted price, however, must be part of the membership for the footcare programme,” said manager Jemima Peters.

The wellness centre also offers other treatments to the public, like beauty treatments, massages, pedicures and manicures, hairdressing and facials.

Pastor Jenny Petersen said they saw an opportunity to turn the old storeroom into an income-generating stream for the church two years ago.

“Before it was a storeroom, that space used to house seven young men, who lived here while going through rehabilitation for substance abuse. They eventually became staff of the church — some became counsellors. This was from about 2005 up to 2015. Two years ago, we decided to change the season, as these young men were all earning an income and were not destitute any longer. After they moved out, the space became a storeroom. We did footcare in another room, but that space was very small and cramped. Then the idea came about to open a wellness centre. Then in January 2016, we put our heads together.

“Initially we thought we would not be able to afford the renovations needed, but we received donations of off-cut wood, and refurbished two old couches. We managed to transform this space with very little resources,” Ms Petersen said.

The staff of the wellness centre are graduates from RLabs’ Grow Leadership Academy. Ms Petersen said the wellness centre is yet to see a profit, as all the money they raised, was used to buy products and other needs for the centre.

Jeanette le Roux who is a member of the footcare programme, said she comes every six weeks, as she enjoys the pampering she receives. “I feel so relaxed and all tiredness goes out of my feet. Their willingness to do this, already helps me,” Ms Le Roux said.

Carol Abrahams said apart from enjoying the pampering, she also appreciates that it is affordable.

“It is done so well, and I also enjoy the fellowship here, and they even serve us refreshments,” Ms Abrahams added.

Dennis Firmstone said he has build many good relationships just by being part of the programme.

“The level of caring is heartwarming,” Mr Firmstone added.

The wellness centre is situated in Tarentaal Road, Bridgetown, and can be contacted at 021 637 4037.