Valerie Getten has her nails done by manicurist Angela Mason at Our Place’s annual Beauty Day on Friday. It’s a chance for family members at Our Place to rise above daily struggles and receive a little pampering. Tim Collins/Victoria News

Beauty Day at Our Place a chance to rise above daily struggles

Annual pampering event draws women of all ages and circumstances

Fourteen years ago, Erin Stott was a family member attending Victoria’s Our Place Society.

When Stott became a part-time employee of the organization about 10 years ago, she drew upon her own experiences to introduce Beauty Day to Our Place, which offers supports to some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

The annual event invites clients of Our Place into the onsite chapel, where a collection of community volunteers provide everything from hairdressing services to manicures, massages and makeovers.

The results have been everything Stott had hoped for.

“Some of the transformations are just incredible. You can see the difference it’s made on their faces – before and after,” she said.

“These are women who will not usually ever have access to this sort of pampering, and it can go a long way to affecting the way they think about themselves and about how they approach the world in general.”

In addition to the attention to hair, nails and make -up, the event features several racks of fashions available to participants in the event. They were invited to select one item, at no cost, and take it away to help them make life just a little bit easier. Similarly, a display table of fashion jewellery was available for browsing and participants were able to select items to accessorize the outfits they had chosen.

To top things off, through the generosity of local businesses, a selection of snacks ranging from fancy sandwiches to elaborate cupcakes were available and added to the overall spa feel of the event.

It’s only through the participation and generous support of the community that this event is made possible, Stott said. On top of that, the volunteers who provide the services tell her they love Beauty Day as much as the more than 50 women who attend on an annual basis.

“The big thing is that, here at Our Place, we get a lot of women who are struggling with day-to-day survival, poverty, abuse and more,” said Grant McKenzie, Our Place director of communications.

”We see everyone come in, from sex workers to senior citizens, and to have a day where we take the time to make them feel special is a very important thing. And even if the effects are only short term, it’s an amazing thing to see how it can help them hold their heads a wee bit higher and how it puts the light back in their eyes.”

The program has been so beneficial, Stott adds, that four years ago she introduced the masculine equivalent to the event: Handsome Day. That event happens in June around Father’s Day and is equally popular with Our Place clientele.

“We spend a lot of time concentrating on making certain that people have access to basics like food, shelter and medical care, and that’s certainly important,” McKenzie said. “But this is one day a year where we make a point of recognizing the importance of other aspects of life.

“It’s these little things that really do add up and can have an important impact on people’s lives.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich recognizes residents for their environmental efforts

Shelagh Levey won the Long-Term Achievement award for her leadership in environmental protection.

Officials worry of fire risk at homeless camp

Regina Park camp has grown to 77 tents

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Victoria couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

BC Supreme Court rules in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban

Court dismisses a challenge by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Busy Borden better, but still dangerous for cyclists

Cycling lane eases Lochside transfer but drivers still confused

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read