Jing’s Massive Massage Marathon – Raising the Roof on the Refugee Crisis

Jing’s Hands, Head, Heart Response to the Refugee Crisis

Escape is a good novel, a gripping movie, a holiday – not something I can imagine being forced into. I am used to thinking of travel as an escape from security and predictability and stability, not a journey in search of these things. I am used to thinking of home as something that gets left behind at the start of a journey, not something you might be travelling perilously towards.

– Adele Dumont

Our Massage Marathon Fundraising Day – 2nd March 2017 – Thank you

On Thursday 2nd March the Jing community came together like never before for a Massage Marathon Fundraising Day to raise money for the refugee crisis.

Photos credited to Anita Barratt 

What started out as a kind aspirational vision from Jing teacher, Lisa De Liema, the day quickly evolved and grew into a massive success!

Our two directors, Meghan Mari and Rachel Fairweather, ran a workshop on Mindfulness and Myofascial Release for Trauma and Chronic Pain in the morning, of which 34 therapists attended from all over the country. Towards the end of this workshop three speakers from our three charities – Brighton Voices in Exile, The Hummingbird Project and The Flying Seagull Project – spoke to everyone; this was then followed by an Q&A session which was informative, touching and inspiring.

In the afternoon we kicked off our Massage Marathon! This consisted of 12 clients per hour receiving a massage from highly trained Jing therapists for a minimum donation of £25 (the therapists had given their time for free too). These massages ran from 2 until 10pm and in total we gave 72 massages! Green MP, Caroline Lucas, joined us mid-afternoon for a short talk and then received a massage herself too!

Throughout the day we had a breakout room playing videos of the refugee camps and the charity work taking place. This room allowed us to chat to those that came and donated – something everyone was in agreement on – at such a time as this humanitarian crisis – keeping communication open and educating each other is absolutely imperative.

Thanks to a community’s generosity and determination – we have easily reached our £5,000 target and this number may grow as more donations come in and retrospective fundraising days take place from home in the next couple of weeks.

This was a truly beautiful day and we just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took part – from therapists, speakers, teachers, staff and those that came for a massage – you all made such an enormous difference.

Helping from the heart

Over the past year, all of us who teach and work at Jing have become increasingly distressed by the plight of the millions of refugees who are fleeing from war and violence.

Our fellow human beings are risking their lives in an attempt to reach countries that will be able to offer a better life for their families and children. Thousands are dying in the process.

The largest group are Syrian refugees, fleeing violence at home. More than 4.8 million people have fled Syria during the country’s ongoing civil war, seeking safety in mostly neighbouring countries. Other refugees come from war torn countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, amongst many others.

Refugees embark on dangerous journeys across the sea or deserts, handing all their money over to smugglers in the hope of reaching safety. Many of those who survived have been left in limbo, waiting for governments to process their applications so they can move on.

About 65.3 million people have fled their homes in 2015, from which 21.3 million have fled their countries and are now scattered around the world. From these, 10 million people are stateless and more than 60% are women and children. These numbers represent a record high in nearly two decades. Of those more than 60 percent are women and children. This is a situation that demands a response from our hearts and our humanity.

Amidst the crisis there have been beautiful initiatives to help the refugees. Independent grass root volunteers have organised themselves locally, often without government funding. They have acted from the heart and driven up to Calais, or spent months in Greek refugee camps, bringing food and clothes, organising community kitchens and playtimes for the kids.

Jing has a deep-rooted empathy for all people, and that is why we felt it was necessary to organise our massage therapist community and send our love to those who need it most.

Organise yourself locally


Jing therapists live far and wide so as part of our fundraising efforts, we asked that our Jing student family reach out to their local communities between January and March to help us.

Here is what many therapists did on the day and are still doing!:

  1. Decide on a day/half day that you will offer massage for donation (alternatively have a donation box at work – even if you send funds from one massage, it will help tremendously!)
  2. Download the poster below and put it up around your clinic advertising your voluntary massages for donations
  3. Check out our top tips and advice by joining our Facebook group
  4. Recruit some willing clients!
  5. Transfer your collections to Jing Just Give

DOWNLOAD YOUR POSTER

Inspirational student testimony! Spreading the love from home!
Thank you – Hilda Harvey, Warwickshire

For me the marathon effort has come at just the right time. I have been concerned by the difficulties faced by refugees, immigrants and homeless people to the extent that I struggle to read or watch the news and I am fearful of the divisions that I am seeing appearing in our world. So I am very pleased to put my shoulder to the collective wheel; it matters to know that you have done something to help.

To help from home I am doing a day of Hot Stone Massage on the 20th February. I have printed off a number of  posters, filled in the blanks and added bits. I’m doing about 45 minutes for £50 each. I don’t do Hot Stones very much nowadays so it will bring some freshness to me and will be interesting to my patients. I am sending the posters to people who have been to me in the past but not for some time and I have chosen people such as an acupuncturist, tai chi teacher, pilates instructor, my website guy and a mindfulness coach. I have put a hand-written note in with each flyer asking if they can share the information as well as having a treatment themselves. I am going to give one to my dental hygienist and even my hairdresser!

I am feeling very positive vibes about the whole project; it’s got me motivated and excited by the challenge and my work will see the benefit in many ways. I think it will be easy to get posters put up in all kinds of places and even get into local paper. From a business point of view, there will not be enough places in the one day for everyone who phones so maybe it’ll generate paid work another time. It’s good for business and will be fun!”

Just Give


If you’d still like to contribute then JUST GIVE your donation via our Fundraising page

Donations will go to:

  1. The Hummingbird Project, Solidarity and aid for Calais and Dunkirk
    Amazing group of local Brightonians offering Medical aid, Building skills and Art support to the refugees in the camps in Calais and Dunkirk. Now the camp being dismantled they are still busy trying to help and support the thousands of children.
    www.hummingbirdproject.org.uk
  2. The Flying Seagulls Project
    ‘We are only after your laughter’ is their slogan. A group of clowns, dancers, musicians and performers who travel since years to different parts of the world to make children laugh out loud and spread happiness. Since last year, almost permanently in the refugee camps in Greece.
    www.theflyingseagullproject.com
  3. Brighton Voices in Exile
    Support network for replaced refugees that offers legal and administrative advice.
    www.brightonvoicesinexile.co.uk