A DOMESTIC abuse survivor has set up her own business after she was out of work for more than three years.

Elizabeth Walker is now a qualified Reiki master – a complimentary therapy that has its origins in Japan.

The 46-year-old, who lives near Malton, was supported by Yorkshire Housing’s employment and enterprise team leader Nicola Flett and her expert business coaches.

With the support of a £250 grant, Elizabeth, a Yorkshire Housing customer, was able to buy the equipment needed to run her Reiki business from home.

The employment and enterprise team then set her up with her first customers – Yorkshire Housing staff at the housing association’s headquarters in Leeds.

Elizabeth started out as a stable hand aged 16 in 1991. She worked with horses at various stables in North Yorkshire until suffering a back injury in 2011. Elizabeth was then employed in an off-licence until she was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) due to domestic abuse and has not worked since 2015.

She turned to Reiki for relief having decided prescription medication was not helping her get better.

Elizabeth explained she had suffered from anxiety for most of her life in addition to the C-PTSD.

She said: “It shows the healing benefits of Reiki, how you don’t need medication and that it’s possible to overcome it through well-being, mindfulness and natural.”

Nicola and her team support customers like Elizabeth in various ways such as ensuring the business idea is viable, market research, financial planning, legal structures and accessing finance through grants and loans.

Elizabeth said: “This has given me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, realise that I can do it and that I’ll be fine. I think this is a great service. It offers real support – I know that I can email Nicola and she’ll get back to me.”

Nicola said: “Being able to offer Elizabeth the opportunity to practice in a safe environment has really given her confidence a boost.

“We have had some great feedback from the staff who benefitted from the treatment.”