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Elizabeth York: Feeling Fab: Westfield Local Heroes 2019

Giving grieving women a chance to relax and connect

Nurturing. Innovative. Optimistic

The day after Elizabeth York’s grandmother died, she lost her husband, Allan, in a car crash.

She and her three young sons were devastated. “Grief is a tunnel where you think you’re never coming out,” says Liz.

She helped her healing by helping others and became a grief counsellor for nine years.

Today, twenty years later, she is still helping other women to find their way out of the tunnel through a charity called Feeling Fab, which she founded in 2013.

Feeling Fab hosts free monthly pamper days for women in grief or those who need support for another reason.

The women can relax with people experiencing similar circumstances and enjoy hair styling, makeup sessions, manicures, massages, craft tables, tea and lunch. There is also counselling available if they need it.

“When you’re grieving, you miss feeling like your old self,” says Liz. “Pampering cheers our recipients up, and then they start sharing their stories.

“I live and breathe Feeling Fab as I know the hole you get into when you lose a loved one.”

Liz feels undeserving of being voted a Westfield Local Hero. The greatest heroes, she says, are the women who arrive at a pamper day and are feeling so low that they have to be gently coaxed into participating.

Each pamper day involves up to twenty-six recipients and thirty volunteers.

“My Feeling Fab angels,” as Liz calls them. Recipients come from across greater Auckland and as far as Hamilton and Whangarei.

“Our programme helps recipients with support and friendship and sharing of experiences, not only on the day but ongoing from those they meet,” says Liz.

“They leave our programme feeling fab and looking fab. We so deserve to feel fab, especially going through grief.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.

Feeling Fab will use its grant to fund pamper days over the next five months. “It takes such a weight off,” says Liz, “and buys us time to start exploring our vision of spreading pamper days countrywide.”

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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