Happy International Women’s Day ! It’s not always that we can celebrate some of the women who we get to work with day-to-day. Here are some of the women’s stories at Physio4life. Their background, who they really are and what they have achieved.
My passion is helping people, which is the reason I decided to become a physiotherapist. The idea of being able to help people to the best of my ability as well as make them happy and capable of living a normal life was always my goal.
Taking on cases where people suffered stroke, brain injury or even simple muscle and joint injuries, I wanted to help people not just recover, but also get back on their feet and move forward with their lives.
Through the years, I have established invaluable relationships with patients I now call family.
As I know, they would care for me equally as I have cared for them through my knowledge and skills as a Physiotherapist. I was able to experience working with some of Greece’s top national teams of swimming, polo, synchronised swimming, and in addition, be a part of the rehabilitation team with Ultramarathon in Greece, the Spartathalon. The experiences travelling and helping the teams get over their injuries and watching them achieve their goals was unforgettable.
I feel extremely proud of how far I have come from studying Physiotherapy in Greece, working with amazing teams and achieving my masters in the UK in advanced physiotherapy. All of which allows me to be who I truly am as an individual.
Brought up as the youngest of 5 by a strong mother. Always been inspired to follow the footsteps of my 3 older sisters.
From a young age I developed an interest in challenging myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. I remember at the age of 16 choosing to spend my summer holiday out in Kenya. I found a small family-run local orphanage in Nairobi and spent 3 weeks living in a tent and caring for 19 young children. It was incredibly tough emotionally but an unbelievably eye-opening experience as to what goes on beyond life within the London bubble.
Since then I have loved traveling with friends but haven’t held back when having the opportunity to go on my own. I like the way you learn about different cultures but most significantly about yourself. You meet such different people that you wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with back home and you don’t realise how much they can completely shape who you are and open your eyes.
Being able to make the most of my time and travel when I had the opportunity gave me the passion to explore and I feel really lucky to have combined my interests and career as a physio.
I guess saying yes on a whim to working as a physio alongside the Jordan ultramarathon event opened my eyes to a whole different realm of both physical and mental limits.
Being honest I initially pre-judged the ultra runners thinking they’d be mad to even sign themselves up for such an event but what I discovered was that they were actually completely normal humans with standard jobs and lives back home (or maybe I was just mad like the rest of them.
Sure enough I then signed up to run the 260km desert ultramarathon myself with 3 months to train and a history of 1 marathon and 2 half marathons to my name. This experience not only taught me to continue challenging myself and pushing out of my comfort zone but also that you can only worry about the ‘now’. In line with the run, it was very much – run this 10km and let future ‘self’ worry about the remaining 200km, but I find that this now applies to everything I do. As long as I’m doing everything I can in the present that’s the best I can do to set my future ‘self’ up for success.
And I say this with a new challenge in mind as I recently signed up to do the Alpe D’Huez triathlon this coming July despite battling a hip injury and being off running for 7 weeks now. It still remains a good goal for me with a focus coming back from injury and also in terms of doing something I’ve never done before. I have never done a triathlon before let alone run with that climbing demand off the back of a 120km mountain cycle where the elites compete. Am I nervous? 100% Do I think I can do it? That I don’t know but there’s only one way to find out and either way it’s a beautiful day in the Alps doing what I love.
As some of you may know, I have been working as Clinic Manager at Physio4life for over 2 years. Before that, I started at the company as a receptionist and then accounts manager before taking a position as clinic manager.
However, this is not to say I have never worked as a manager in other industries. Work ethic is something that I highly value and before working as a manager at physio4life, I always worked 2 jobs, not because I needed to, but because I wanted to. Coming from a family who work to live, it is embedded in me as a person, so whilst I worked as a receptionist at Physio4life I also managed a cocktail bar called Meursault in Gloucester road.
You could say admin wizard by day – cocktail maker by night.
So now you know a little bit about my working background, some of you may not know that I am also an Honours Graduate in International Development of Third World Studies. I am extremely passionate about understanding economic and political development in third world regions and have worked alongside non-governmental organisations (NGO’s). These include NGO’s such as Aleevee8, where I was writing grant proposals and WaterAid as a voluntary speaker. I am still a member of the United Nations Association – UK, attending events where I can.
During my studies I had the opportunity to volunteer abroad with Volunteering Services Oversees (VSO) on their ICS programme. I was placed in Nigeria, Africa in a small town called Illorin – where I was to live for 3 months with my Nigerian counterpart and my host family, enabling me to fully immerse myself into the local life of the area.
Given no direction or funding, we were only told that we had two schools to work on. We did not know what that meant, but we figured it out. I found myself taking on a lead role on one of the projects, for a public school for children with special needs. Having assessed the school situation with its teachers and principle, as a team we found that the biggest issue was accommodation. The plan was to create another dormitory that would be able to house 60 more children to come to school. The other project we decided to build a new classroom for another public school.
Bearing in mind, we actually had no money, much of the funding came from fundraising ideas such as car washes and donations from local businesses, and as you can imagine lots of negotiating involved. Also, having experience in grant proposal writing, I wrote and met with many companies in the local area, describing their social responsibility to help the communities around them. In doing so, I was able to gain backing from the likes of GT Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Overall, I am happy to say that the projects were completed to the deadline – it was certainly an emotional roller coaster that I would do again in a heartbeat.
Volunteering with VSO is one of the most invaluable achievements in my life. Overcoming cultural differences, economic hardship and maintaining a sense of neutrality was not easy. It was truly a life changer, and I encourage everyone to do something similar. Leadership was a small part of this, but working as a team and reaching our goals was the greatest achievement.
My name is Roxane, I am 25. I was born in the South of France; I have a warm and caring personality.
I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field, where I could help people and ease their pains;
so, I initially started with one year at university studying Medicine, before moving over to England to become an osteopath.
I qualified with a Masters In Osteopathy, at the European School of Osteopathy in Maidstone. With a particular interest in paediatrics, I refined my skills through the post-graduate Diploma in Paediatric Osteopathy at the Osteopathic Centre for Children (charity centre).
This intense 2 years course challenged me not only as an osteopath but as a human being; I gained maturity and experience; and I feel I have gone beyond some of my fears and unfounded beliefs. I have worked with children with autism, cerebral palsy, autoimmune disorders, children with amputated limbs, …, and have many times experienced helping premature babies in the neonatal unit at Barnet hospital.
Now, I work as a full-time Osteopath and I love what I do. I treat all kinds of issues and meet very different people: from the young to the elderly, from the mum-to-be to the most sportive. Everyone I meet is unique and I enjoy finding treatments best adapted to each. When, after an osteopathic session, my patients walk away smiling and feeling better, I obtain the best of rewards and feel I have done well to help others.
I have worked at Physio4life for over 2 years, but what some of you may not know is that I am the youngest member of our team. I am identified in my team as someone who is highly organised, has great communication skills with the team and clients, a super woman with multi-tasking, and works extremely well under pressure.
But, you will be very surprised to hear that I was also extremely shy and unable to do any type of public speaking when in school.
Talking in front of class or even small groups would terrify me.
One day I was approached to take on a Jack Petchey speak out challenge, which as you can imagine, was my biggest fear. However, I decided to take on the challenge and write a speech that I would speak in front of an audience. You wound’t believe it, I won the challenge and received 1st place. Since that moment my fear of speaking to audiences or voicing myself disappeared.
Going forward, my teachers would always come to me to speak at any assembly in school and I become their go to student. I am extremely proud of that and of myself for overcoming something that I thought I never would have been able to do.