Staff Spotlight

Chris Black

Chris Black, Complementary Wellbeing Therapist

Chris has spent the last four years working in our complementary therapy team. He explains his unusual journey to the hospice and his love of working here.
Chris’ role involves administering treatments like aromatherapy, Indian head massage and reflexology to our patients, their families and carers. He is a member of the complementary therapy team, who work alongside the medical and nursing staff to relieve physical symptoms such as pain, nausea and vomiting, as well as psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression and stress.
“I’m proud to work for the hospice and it’s a pleasure to come to work every day,” Chris said. “As with any job, there are some stressful days, but it’s so rewarding to see the effect my work has and how much people appreciate what we do.”

Chris, from Bramley, first joined the hospice four years ago but was later offered a full-time role within the complementary therapy team. He also helps out with the feel-good sessions which run in the Day Therapy Unit.

“I love working with patients, families and carers because they let you into their lives, and you follow their journeys as their treatment goes on. I also work with an incredible group of people who create a friendly, happy atmosphere which makes working here an enjoyable experience. Everyone is so supportive. People always say that if you can find a job you enjoy it doesn’t feel like work, and I’m lucky enough to have done that.”

Chris says a letter he received from a patient he treated sticks fondly in his memory. “She said I’d saved her life by helping her get back to how her life used to be before she became ill, and I didn’t treat her any differently because of her illness. That really stands out to me, but it’s the same for everyone who works here – all our patients and their families and carers are treated like human beings because illness should not define who you are.”

Chris’ journey to the hospice is an unusual one. “I trained as a butcher, but ended up being a waiter, and then I worked with my brother as a gardener for 20 years. I first got into complementary therapy when I volunteered and worked at two other Yorkshire hospices and I’ve now been here at Barnsley for four years.”

Having worked in hospices before, Chris says there’s still a lack of knowledge from people about the work they do. He added: “When I tell people where I work, they assume it’s a scary place, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Of course, there are tears, but there’s lots of laughter too – it’s such a happy place to work.”

Outside of work, Chris enjoys following his beloved Sheffield Wednesday, but says his beautiful wife and granddaughter are his main focus.

         

To find out more about the complementary therapy at Barnsley Hospice, click here.

 
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