Farewell to Lindsey Quinn: Aromatherapist to the Superstars!

Published on: 26/08/2021

The ‘superstars’ in our headline are the hundreds of patients and family members who have experienced Lindsey’s gentle hand and/or foot massage when she applied the essential oils to elicit their many therapeutic benefits.

After 24 years at Wirral Hospice St John’s, she’s hanging up the keys to her natural plant oils cupboard and contemplating long walks with husband Mike and their Australian labradoodle Finella (known as Ella).

Lindsey came to the hospice in 1997 after working as a district auxiliary nurse for the previous fifteen years.

She has always been an ‘all-rounder’, juggling several part time jobs at once. Applying her skills for the hospice, for mental health services, for people with dementia and in teaching a new generation of aromatherapists (to higher diploma level).

In 1994 Lindsey had attended a complementary medicine course where her interest in aromatherapy began to catch fire. So it was that, around the turn of the new millennium the hospice’s then CEO, Alan Cash, encouraged her to develop her holistic and complementary practise and she’s been doing it ever since.

‘Complementary’ is the word. People living with all kinds of complex illnesses naturally experience various levels of anxiety. The more relaxed we can help them to be, the more likely that other treatments and therapies will take effect.

So Lindsey, sometimes after one or two trial blends, will carefully craft a combination of oils, which she calls her ‘babies’, to suit each patient she works with. There around 40 in all and Lindsey knows them all inside-out! She reels some off,

Valerian for sleep, Rosemary for memory and alertness, Lavender for calmness and wellness, Chamomile for inflammation, Frankincense calms the heart, Rose reduces stress and pain, while Melissa calms tension and nerves…

She could go on, and she does,

Don’t forget the ‘carrier’ oils, which aid smooth application but are not absorbed, like Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Collengela and Jojoba. We have to be very careful as some are nut based so we take into account individual’s allergies.

Aroma? It’s in the name,

People have obviously got to like the smell, as well as embracing the potential therapeutic outcomes. The right blend sometimes takes a little time. Our limbic systems (the area of the brain involved in behavioural and emotional responses) need a little boost from time to time. Particularly during times of stress or distress.

Lindsey is a gentle soul, but proud of her part in the holistic approach to our patients and even some family members. She’s also resolute in her personal belief in the benefits (hundreds of people have told her).

It is not a pamper. Many modern treatments have their roots in the study and use of plant based remedies from throughout the ages. It is soothing for sure, but it is not something we do willy-nilly, it HAS to be complementary.

Lindsey encourages patients to get comfortable and with some calming music playing in the background her treatment commences,

Patients often want to talk about their lives. While I sit with them they can express their innermost thoughts. Only that which is going to be beneficial to their treatment and for which I seek their permission to, will I share with other relevant professionals to aid well-being.”

We hear you, Lindsey! We’re with you 100%.

In her home life, Lindsey has been married to second husband, Mike, a former Vauxhall engineer, for 14 years now. She has grown up children Sara, Stuart and Campbell. Her Mum, Doreen is 91 and Lindsey sees her all the time as she needs a little more help than she used to.

She likes the simple things really. Nice walks and foreign dramas(!) on the telly. Maybe a meal in their local, where the aforementioned ‘Ella’ is also welcome.

Lindsey has ‘mucked in’ for all her years at the hospice. From featuring on the front cover of a newsletter from 1999, (front row furthest right as you look), after appearing in a hospice pantomime performance of Cinderella, to last year when she spent time in the hospice kitchen helping her colleagues prepare and ferry meals to patients in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic (making a fleeting cameo appearance on BBC TV North West tonight, pushing the trolley towards the Inpatients Ward).

She speaks highly of all the staff members and volunteers she works with now and the ones she remembers from down the years,

The hospice is so wonderful. I could not have asked to work with better people. We’ve laughed and cried together and I will definitely catch up sometimes to hear about everything going on in their lives and the life of the hospice. It’s been a privilege being surrounded by such a committed team of people. Just like the time we put on the Cinderella panto, I like to think I was able to play a small part in it all.

It was no small part, Lindsey!

Thank You for developing a key part of our specialist care services.

And, Thank You for every single time you helped our patients and their families with your, integrated, therapeutic and complementary, aromatherapy.