Operating cancer support services during the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy task, but launching a new service mid-pandemic is on another level. Liminal Health began in July 2020 and was co-founded by Candice Hampson and Christine Beardsell, who met in the Antler Innovation accelerator programme. The company’s mission was inspired by Candice’s own experience as a two-time breast cancer survivor and Christine’s desire to use her content and community-building expertise to help people affected by long-term and chronic conditions. We spoke to Christine to find out more about this new service.
What services do you offer people living with cancer?
We offer personalised remote health coaching. Health coaches help people affected by cancer deal with issues like stress, mind-body connection, relationships, moving on from illness, nutrition and exercise routines, and practical things like finances and employment. They do this by helping people identify their goals, take stock of where they currently are, and identify the baby steps they can start with to make progress towards those goals.
How it works: Once registered on our site, each person answers four questions to help us match them to two of our health coaches. From their dashboard, they can decide which they prefer and book a free 30-min chemistry session right. If all goes well, they can then book hour-long sessions directly with the coach. If not, they can switch coaches easily and try another one out.
Health coaching overall has been proven to create better outcomes for people affected with cancer than those that don’t have coaching. Coaches provide the emotional support needed for behavioural and lifestyle changes, and help people take baby steps, one step at a time, towards their goals.
Do you have a target demographic who use your services?
Health coaching can support any person affected by cancer, regardless of age, stage, or where they are in their journey. Even carers have found our solution helpful! We have noticed that once a person is finished with their cancer treatment there is more of an acute need for support – especially when they may not see their doctor for a while. We really want people to know we are there for them and health coaching can help fill this hole especially emotionally.
How are you funded?
We are a social enterprise company. We received initial funding from the Antler Innovation programme.
What’s the most rewarding thing about the work you do?
Liminal Health is very mission driven. As a company we want to help as many people as possible affected by cancer and other long-term conditions. When we see people improving their lives through our product, there is nothing more rewarding! Our vision overall is to make it easier for people to be proactive about their health.
What would you say to those who are considering getting in touch with you but are nervous or apprehensive?
We don’t believe Health Coaching is as effective if the person being coached isn’t open or ready to be supported. That’s why we offer a 30 minute free session to meet a coach and to change coaches if they aren’t happy or aren’t sure. Our coaches often say that their job is really to help extract what one already knows about themselves, their purpose and their needs. They have the right training and tools to uncover what one needs and how to get there. Usually a 30 min session is enough to start that process and make our customers less nervous. So give it a go!
Do you have testimonials from people that have used your services?
We have great feedback from our customers. The main response we get is that health coaching reaffirms goals and helps one to move forward. Some have said they prefer it over counselling as it is more uplifting and directly actionable. We believe there is a place for both coaching and counselling in a person’s journey, and we’re thrilled to provide alternatives to those that would benefit.
Who works for you?
We currently have nine coaches that work with us. They come from a range of specialisms such as functional medicine, nutrition & diet, fitness, motivation, transformation, and even career. Each coach goes through a strict vetting process and must have a minimum of 3 years of professional practice.
What are the values of your organisation?
We are very big on values at Liminal, both as a guide in how we build our company but also in who we choose to partner with. We have five key values we abide by: Earn trust with transparency, prioritise empathy, uplift and empower, operate with respect, and learn by doing.
And finally, can you describe your organisation in 3 words?
Empathetic, Genuine, Change