Helen Richards started The Little Calm Company last year with the aim of improving wellbeing in the workplace by offering massages.
The idea has taken off, with businesses hiring Helen to relieve their staff members’ stress, and it has even see her win a prestigious award.
Helen was named Start-Up of the Year by Shaping Portsmouth at its recent annual conference.
She said: ‘I can’t believe it. It’s been great. After leaving the Royal Navy I joined Hampshire Constabulary as a Police Community Support Officer where I was based in Waterlooville and Fareham.
‘Colleagues used to complain of bad backs from wearing their heavy stab vests. I saw many colleagues going off sick with stress-related illnesses, including my husband Ron who served for 22 years as a police officer.
‘Realising I had a talent for massage, I became the unofficial office masseuse. It became noticeable that it was having a positive effect on colleagues and their backs were substantially improved.
‘I decided to get a qualification in massage and did this between having two children.’
In December 2017 Helen’s husband had a heart attack at the gym. He nearly lost his life and was rushed to Southampton for open heart surgery.
Helen took time off to care for him and during this time she decided to set up her business.
She said: ‘I left Hampshire Constabulary in April 2018, without one corporate client. Through LinkedIn and networking I have now been in to 31 companies.
‘Feedback is always positive and for the companies that I go to regularly, it’s become an essential part of their well-being programme.’
Helen now hopes to franchise her business as well as running training programmes for businesses.