A young woman from Hastings has turned her life around, overcoming a debilitating spinal condition and severe depression to realise her dream of opening her own beauty salon on the outskirts of Battle.
Hannah Butchers, 26, was studying Beauty Therapy at Hastings College when she first began having problems. The two year course required work experience which Hannah did at busy salon in Rye. “I was offered a Saturday job, then two days a week and then a full time job as a junior therapist once I finished my course,” she said. “I was made a Senior Therapist which was intensely satisfying but also physically very demanding.
“I started to suffer severe back pain which sometimes meant I lost the feeling in my legs and it became difficult to get through the long days I was working. At the same time, and in part due to the physical pain I was suffering, I was diagnosed with depression and found life was getting tough to deal with.”
Hannah was offered counselling which she says did help but her back pain continued to be a problem. “After a number of visits to my doctor I was told that I had been born with spina bifida and although a mild form advised me to consider my work situation because if I continued as I was it could mean permanent disability as I had also been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease which can get worse.”
Hannah says taking the difficult decision to leave her job was a hard call. “It was a terrible time as I felt like everything I had worked for and loved to do had come to an end and life felt pretty bleak. I had no idea what I would end up doing as Beauty Therapy was all I knew.”
Hannah took a PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) and then her previous employer in Rye offered her a job as a receptionist and shortly after Assistant Manager of the salon. Two years on Hannah’s back had greatly improved but she missed being a therapist and still had her dream of owning her own salon to fulfil. “I so wanted to achieve this and with the support of my family, boyfriend, friends and work it’s become a reality with Touch of Beauty on the Beech Farm Estate. It feels great to be back doing what I love.
“When I look back to how despairing I felt and how all I wanted to do was hide away and sleep to shut out the pain I am proud of the way I have turned my life around. My dreams have become a reality and I know now that you can make good things out of bad. I would like to think that my story is a positive one for all who are dealing with depression and physical problems. Don’t ever give up on your dreams!” www.touchofbeautybattle.co.uk