Teresa Meekings is a director of both Community Massage London CIC (CML CIC), a social enterprise focused on providing complimentary therapies, and her own private company, Life in Balance Ltd.
As a qualified reflexology, Reiki, massage, and aromatherapy practitioner from London, she is committed to working with people who are less able to access services through disability, caring responsibilities, income, or age. Before becoming a full-time therapist, Teresa worked in the voluntary sector in a range of roles. The skills and knowledge gained there including organisational development, contributed to her successfully setting up her own business and later CML CIC.
At the start of that journey in 2011, as a sole trader she gained an exclusive contract to deliver reflexology to all unpaid carers in her local borough. Developments in Health and Social Care soon made it clear that Social Prescribing would become key to pursuing her aims and developing her business. In 2016 therefore when working with other likeminded therapists in a community centre offering therapies to residents, she decided to form CML CIC in partnership with another therapist. Since setting up CML CIC in 2018 providing massage full body reflexology and Reiki, activity and turnover has increased fivefold. Their offer is now incorporated in Borough social prescribing and mental health support schemes. In 2020 just as the Covid 19 epidemic was breaking, their team, which now numbers 12, also gained a contract to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
The epidemic required a change in the way that they worked, but the resilience and flexibility of the team carried CML through. They were able to support the response to the epidemic through additional offers such as online self-care massage for pain and restricted movement, phone guided meditation and welfare calls during periods when hands on therapies were not possible. Having built a strong team and approach to supporting the health and care of those who most need their support, Teresa's current aim is to ensure CML CIC becomes embedded in the new health and care environment and expands coverage to other areas. Although the social enterprise does still involve a big time commitment, it does still leave time to enjoy allotment gardening and seeing my children and grandchildren.