Not a difficult question for me to answer. Although this may sound strange, I have always wanted to look after people.

As a painfully shy child, books were a great source of comfort. I had no Grandparents and was adopted, so quite envious of those who did... and had to have the obligatory family days with 'the grandparents'.

So instead, my nose was in spiritual and complimentary therapy books, Poetry, music and animals which were to feature heavily for the rest of my life

I considered nursing at school but the careers officers told me that I would not have the ability to achieve the academic results needed. Something that I believed until I passed my Biology O/A - with an astounding 98% and then my Indian Head Massage Diploma, followed with a course on Chakra balancing. So I knew that I was on the right path (and was pleased that they were wrong). I loved the results and feedback from my clients. It was and is good to know that a simple massage is so effective.

I took my Reiki 1 in 2000 and 2 in 2002. There was a gap of almost ten years before taking my Reiki Masters due to close family deaths, having children and divorce

In the 90's I was a professional photographer for Newspapers in and around London. It was here that I discovered that I really enjoyed talking with and listening to people with more life experience than myself. What a privilege it was to be privy to people's lives and personal experiences. Sharing stories of ordinary people, who with-out exception, actually turned out to be quite extra-ordinary.


I deeply believe that every person deserves a good quality of life, no matter how young or old. I love the fact that I can help to do this. I realised that due to my far reaching interests I can be very flexible in being able to join in, help or instigate activities. My client's needs are all very different but one common thread is companionship.

Sometimes just a cup of tea and chat is all that is wanted

I have always been artistic and musical, playing the cello and guitar, skills that have been useful because I have an active 76 year old client that loves music, so we sit and play duets on cello. Another client is an 82 year old lady who is immobile but we chat and knit together and play games. Another client needs housework done for them (this is interspersed with the inevitable cup of tea and conversation). I work for a lady who suffers from arthritis, so part of my time with her is hand massage which is so soothing and relaxing. We are in the process of compiling her life story with photographs and her memories as an artist.

I am lucky. I start my working day with a smile, knowing that each day will be different. I finish my working day with a smile, knowing that whilst I cannot change the world, I can however small, make a difference to someone's day.

By Katherine Hawksley-Cooke

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