Hello from Lorraine Horton, Chair of MTI
Hi everyone - I have been co-opted into the role of Chair for the last couple of months and wanted to introduce myself and say 'Hello'! I was once Chair of MTI a long time ago, 2009!
So I've been taking time to connect with the MTI Team to find out more about their roles and 'what happens these days'. Also their thoughts about MTI’s priorities, what they feel might need to be addressed, changed or maintained and strengthened. This is particularly so as we have reached this side of Covid and although this will continue to be unpredictable, it feels time to look at MTI's place in the world and what makes it unique.
Firstly, much gratitude to Jennie and Earl who have worked hard to steer us through the incredibly difficult time that Covid has presented for practitioners whose modem of support is through touch. I know it has raised many issues for many of us, preventing some of us from doing what we love to do, not to mention creating a financial burden for many. We know that MTI practitioners and tutors have gone above and beyond to work through this time - whether that's a decision not to work for now, not to teach for now (which was my decision), to work in a limited way when guidance suggested that we could - and some of us may still be cautious about working and still deciding. All important, individual decisions that are equally respected.
I know that Practitioners are well served by the MTI Central Team - Jennie, Jenny and Caroline; with schools being supported by Diana - and by Board members with specific responsibilities for these areas. Many, many thanks to Jenny, who, as you know is moving into exciting new developments but who will be very much missed here at MTI - we wish you well in your new venture Jenny and look forward to hearing how it's going.
About me personally, I have been a massage practitioner for about 30 years and have taught for about 18 years. I started in Birmingham and now live and teach in North Devon (beautiful dog walks!). I have been a practical assessor for MTI for some years now and have worked in several different settings with various touch/bodywork modalities. My passion lies in my NHS role which is to provide the Touch Therapy service for people with a learning disability and/or autism in Birmingham and the development of what we call Interactive Touch.
Another area of passion is that of inclusion and diversity and this has underpinned all of my work experiences – and this brings me to some of the work we will be doing at the Board. As well as other developments, we will be looking at MTI's Governance needs - sounds unimaginative I know and it will be a slow process, but important to the running of a professional and forward thinking organisation like MTI. We will start with reviewing our equality and diversity statement which we will share soon. Importantly, MTI is accountable to you, its members - tutors and practitioners, and we really want to hear from you. There might be times when we ask for comment to help us, or for anyone interested in collaborating to work on certain topics - please do feel you can come forward and contribute, no matter now small.
At the time I decided to teach massage, I really didn't know where I would find an accrediting organisation that would support my values around holistic massage and teaching. All those years ago, I hadn't heard of MTI (strange though that may seem!) until a tutor on a CPD course I was on at the time having found out that I wanted to establish a school of massage said "I know who you are looking for, they specialise in Holistic Massage - MTI". I was very welcomed and found myself getting involved very quickly - and this is the beauty of MTI - not only does it have very high standards for teaching and practice, but it was small enough for me to feel that I and my School belonged - we had found a home. Some of the connections I have made here will be with me always I feel. We are a very diverse group of beings - and that brings a ton of difference in experience, views, ideas and ideals - it can be a tricky terrain to navigate with all these differences, but it also brings a wealth of contributions and common values. The Board is here to manage and maintain MTI, in doing so it is here to serve you, tutors, schools and practitioners - but it may also need your support so please do feel able to get involved, ask questions, contribute, connect, share and, of course, laugh with us occasionally!
with very warm wishes