A mother of six who set up her own treatment service after her husband was injured in a roadside bomb on active duty is in the running for an award.
Zoe Warner, who runs Vanilla Moon and Therapies 4 Forces in Eastcombe, near Stroud, is the latest entrant in the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo Women in Business Awards 2014, which has waste management company Grundon as the title sponsor.
She has been nominated for the Contribution to the Community Award. Zoe started Therapies 4 Forces, a free service for injured military personnel and medically discharged veterans, in 2011. Since then, the service has grown to include families and carers and has more than 50 therapists on its books across the country.
Around 98 per cent of volunteers are women. Zoe, who lives near Stroud and grew up in Tewkesbury, said severe injuries can change the balance of relationships and when that happens, treatments can help redress that balance. She added it was important to offer free services to families and carers of those injured, as well as the service personnel themselves.
"Your relationship changes from being equal partners to one being a carer, looking after the other," she said. "Reflexology and other treatment work really well when this happens. It allows partners to bond and connect. "Also, what we found is a lot of spas were forgetting about carers.
"Partners often have to give up their work to be a carer."
Zoe has grown Therapies 4 Forces, which injured service personnel can refer themselves for, while caring for her family and being the main breadwinner with her therapy and beauty business Vanilla Moon. She previously travelled with her husband to countries including Germany, Cyprus and Northern Ireland, where he served.
Zoe said Therapies 4 Forces was looking for more therapists to continue to offer more treatments. Many have travelled to Gloucestershire for free therapy, but she would like to offer more treatment near those that need it. She said interest had been high and she has now launched a Facebook page to take on more therapists across the UK.
For more information visit facebook.com/therapies4 forces and vanillamoon.biz
This year is our fifth Women in Business Awards. In the coming weeks we will be showcasing the women who make a real difference on the county's business scene. And it all culminates in a glittering awards evening at Hatherley Manor Hotel on March 20. The awards include ten categories ranging from Young Entrepreneur to New Business of the Year. To enter the Women in Business Awards, visit gloucestercitizen.co.uk/wiba or gloucestershireecho.co.uk/wiba And for details on how to become involved, call Jennifer Barnard on 01242 278 038.