AN army veteran who received treatment at a mental health hospital in Chester is giving something back by becoming a volunteer.
Nicola Banks served her country for 11 years but was medically discharged in 2013 after numerous physical injuries and was later diagnosed with a mental health condition.
The 31-year-old then returned home to Chester where she was treated as an inpatient at Bowmere Hospital.
Since leaving the army Nicola has retrained as a beauty therapist at West Cheshire College, where she was named ‘Student Of The Year’ in year one and ‘Most Supportive Student’ in her second year of the course.
Nicola has taken her newfound skills back to the hospital by offering hand and arm massages and nail painting to inpatients.
She said: “It feels amazing to be able to give back to the hospital that helped me through such a difficult time.
“It is so important to me that I support people who are in the same position that I was, by bringing some normality back to their lives.”
Emma Lawrence, manager at Regis Hair and Beauty in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, where Nicola now works, added: “Nicola’s efforts are an absolute credit to our salon. Nicola’s clients always feel 100 per cent looked after and always return for further appointments.
“Nicola’s work at The Bowmere just shows how selfless she is.”
Julie Webb, shopping centre manager, said: “We are really proud of Nicola’s efforts at Chester Bowmere. We are sure that Nicola’s volunteering will help many people that are suffering and we wish her the best of luck.”