L to R: Margaret Heffernan and Emily Dunne
I have always been aware of the positive benefits of cosmetics
My involvement with the Look Good Feel Better programme has always been very important to me. Throughout my career in the cosmetics industry, from my youthful days in my uncle's pharmacy, sorting out the lipsticks, to my management career with leading cosmetic houses, I have always been aware of the positive benefits of cosmetics and fully understood the power of a lipstick. Therefore, it was a natural progression, for me to become immersed in all aspects of supporting the charity and reaching out to the ladies during their cancer treatment.
How privileged I always feel to play a small part in this positive experience
The workshops have always been a place for an enjoyable experience and an opportunity for the ladies to step away from the treatment for a short while. Sometimes, there might be a special occasion coming up, like a child’s birthday or a wedding, that might just seem daunting to attend. Therefore, some tips on skincare and make-up from a professional, can be a real treat. Being involved with women being together, some slightly nervous at first and then interacting with each other in such a positive way, is always wonderful. The momentum in the room always rises and offering tips and tricks in make-up and skincare, is always engaging and fun. How privileged I always feel to play a small part in this positive experience.
In 2003 The Irish Cancer Society launched the programme
When I first heard about Look Good Feel Better in 1995, I was working on the beauty counters in Switzers / Brown Thomas and a newsletter came in from the UK talking about the programme. However, at that time it only available in England and the States. Then in 2003, The Irish Cancer Society launched the programme in Ireland and I was privileged to be involved as a volunteer in the set-up, training and promoting the programme . As part of the commitment to ensuring best practice, myself and another volunteer attended the Royal Marsden Hospital LGFB workshop, to observe and train with the UK volunteer team. Early in 2003, we had the first pilot in Ireland, we hosted two workshops in one day, one in St Luke’s, Dublin and one in the Mater. The Mater workshop was held in the old boardroom of the Mater, which was such an absolutely beautiful setting for the ladies who attended.
In 2013 Look Good Feel Better was established as a charity
In 2013, Look Good Feel Better Ireland was re-established by the Irish Cosmetic & Detergent Association (ICDA) as a registered charity. Thanks to the passionate people at Board level for their commitment and determination, the charity was now in a position to reach more patients and be offered to more hospitals around the country. In 2014, myself and another experienced volunteer, Margaret Heffernan took on the role as Programme Managers and we immersed ourselves in this challenge. We were mindful that we wanted to ensure the charity would grow and were respectful of the support offered to us through donations and fundraising. All aspects of the charity became our focus, the workshops, the volunteers and the governance. However, we could not have continued to offer this service without our wonderful volunteers and colleagues from the beauty industry. We have witnessed such dedication to the programme and have made such wonderful friends though our involvement.
I still have the opportunity to continue to be involved as a volunteer
During my time as manager of the Look Good Feel Better programme, I also was studying by night. I considered myself to be very lucky to be able to pursue both passions in my career, the charity and the operations management and also my studies in sociology. In 2018, after much deliberation, I decided to continue the academic path and some take time to do a Masters. How wonderful that I still have the opportunity to continue to be involved as a volunteer for the workshops and to be able to use my expertise and experience on the PR Communications committee, supporting the fundraising and social events for the progression and development of the charity.