Dec 30 2011 by Marc Mclean, Lennox Herald (main ed)
“I’VE always been the type of person that folk come to with their problems.”
Sharing the troubles of people is something Ann Pryce has happily done for many years.
The Alexandria woman’s good advice, compassion and skill for putting people at ease naturally led to work in this area.
Ann became a support worker with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), and was also appointed stress management officer with West Dunbartonshire’s Healthy Living Initiative for five years – until the project’s funding ceased in 2007.
The money may have run out – but the scores of people struggling to cope with stress in West Dunbartonshire remained.
“Working with the Healthy Living Initiative I had the remit to set up stress services with community groups,” said Ann.
“It was about connecting people with the services that were available.
“It involved various session workers, therapists and group workers.
“At the end we were delivering over 200 hours of stress management per week through different groups.
“From that demand I knew there was a need for stress services in the area.
“When I left the Healthy Living Initiative I applied for jobs with other voluntary organisations but there were none available.
“That’s when I decided to set up myself.”
Ann launched AMP Stress Services – the area’s only company focusing solely on stress management – three years ago.
Based within the Bell Centre in Dumbarton, AMP Stress Services has been bringing relaxation to people young and old via aromatherapy, seated massages, stress management programmes and guided meditation.
Ann said: “AMP Stress Services is for anyone finding life a bit difficult or stressful, particularly at this time of year.
“Or it may be that the individual is just needing a bit of direction, guidance and support.”
Ann insists working people may not realise how the pressures of holding down a nine to five job and paying their mortgages when money is tight can lead to stress.
“It’s the fear of losing just that which can stress people out and affect their health,” said Ann.
“Maintaining that life when nothing seems to be permanent nowadays can be quite stressful.
“And Christmas can be a nightmare for some people due to financial worries.”
Living in a deprived area where jobs are scarce and money is tight means plenty people could be doing with some stress management support – but forking out for it is holding them back.
“Based on the need in the area I should be queued out the door,” said Ann. “But to be honest I’m not.
“For most people the bug bear is money.”
But, with a relaxing 15-minute neck and shoulder massage at AMP Stress Services costing just a fiver, it be might be worth skipping on the packet of cigarettes and investing in your health.
For more information visit the website www.ampstressservices.co.uk