Christine McGowan, day patient at Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds
“Nathanya’s workshops make you feel more confident. She can tell exactly what size you are and what would suit you.
“She brought clothes from high street stores and charity shops. She did a colour matching class and advised on what would suit us, and suggested things some of us had never tried even before we were ill. We all tried on all sorts of clothes – and she got us bonding as a group, which was great, because we all received lots of encouraging comments from one another.
“Many of the women in our group can‟t go out much, or they don‟t want to, so they aren‟t buying clothes any more. Some of us had changed sizes – you can lose a lot of weight when you have cancer, or if you‟re on steroids they can make you blow up. I lost so much weight I lost my confidence.
“That is where Nathanya is really good. She understands. Even with a group of 10, we would all get something out of it.
“A lot of coping is really down to yourself and what kind of attitude you have. You have to think positive, and workshops like Nathanya‟s are exactly the right sort of environment where you can get into the positive attitude you need.
“If you‟re wearing something that looks good outside, you feel good inside. There is no point getting up and not taking pride in yourself because it has a knock-on effect on your family. It‟s part of being strong.
“We were all quite giddy, and some of the staff even joined in!”
Lily Davison, day patient at Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds
“Nathanya tried different things with me, and she had some lovely ideas. You stop wanting to buy clothes because you feel so ill, and you get self-conscious about the way your body has changed. Nathanya told me how to put clothes together and what I should wear for my colouring. Clothes make you feel different and brighten you up.
“One of the best sessions was when she got Toni & Guy hairdressers to come in – I got a lovely cut!”
Sandra Brumfitt, auxiliary nurse at Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds
“Having Nathanya coming in to work with the women really boosted their morale – the beauty of these workshops was that it‟s about being made to feel human again.“When you receive steroid treatment, your weight can triple, and a lot of the women we see barely go out because they don‟t feel normal any more, or they‟re unable to get out because of low energy. Also some of the women have had major surgery, chemotherapy, and they just were not feeling well.
“Nathanya worked with where they are right now, and showed them how to bring out the best in themselves.”
Neil Wright, activities co-ordinator at Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds
“The women all became more outgoing after spending time in Nathanya‟s workshops.
She wasn‟t just very good at mixing and matching, and recommending styles – she opened the group up, got everyone involved with each other, working as a team, and maintained a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
“The group bonded very well and they were very supportive of each other. “We would love to have Nathanya back to do more sessions!”