Woman Magazine

Abi Oleck-Hewett, 48, is a facial and skin expert and beauty technician from Surrey. ‘Before the pandemic, my life was a whirlwind of celebrity clients, glamorous events, and amazing jobs. But in March 2020, my beauty-technician business, like so many others, came to a halt. No longer able to see clients face-to-face, and unable to qualify for grants, I struggled to make ends meet. I had to close my treatment room as I could no longer afford the rent. But while my business was a worry I was concerned about the people around me. I had savings, but I could see others didn’t. I signed up to charities and community groups including Capel Parish Angels and Mid Surry Community Fridges and helped deliver food.

I also put myself forward to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, which meant I was on call almost 24/7, collecting and delivering prescriptions.

When I saw that doctors and nurses were struggling with a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE), I gathered up all the masks, aprons and gloves i had as part of my business and donated them. In my spare times, I worked on making my business pandemic-proof, creating a facial in a box, sending out skincare kits, but as soon as the vaccine programme was announced, I signed up to be a volunteer.

In my job, I’m trained in vitamin injections, so I have the basic skills, and I’m hopefully only a couple of weeks away from completeing my NHS training.

Ive recently been awarded the Charity Champion award at the BABTAC Inspiring Beauty Awards, of which I’m very proud. Being able to our help our country get closer to hugs is definitely the biggest thing I’ll ever do and I’m excited to carry on helping.