Happy Solstice for starters! I for one have a stupid cold that will not leave me alone, so I’m currently sat on the sofa feeling sorry for myself, but I hope that you are celebrating however you see fit today! Fresh starts, and giving thanks for all of the good things in our life is wonderful thing to do in a world that really does not seem to have our best interests at heart right now.
I wanted to explain how the clinics work for non paying customers. I always vowed that I would gift areola tattooing to those that have been through breast cancer, as giving back to tattooing which has given me so much, is a really important thing to me personally.
When I first started doing this work, I generally had one or two clients a month and could afford to donate my time which I funded myself through my general, day to day tattooing. Fast forward three years, and I now have a separate premises for medical tattooing which I reside in two full days a week. This has a larger financial burden, and so sometimes I need a bit of support.
The Nipple Innovation Project is a charity which was founded to help provide this funding. I believe so much in the mission of this charity, that I became a trustee.
There is a directory of verified artists, all of which can apply for funding. Now, being a small charity with not much funding or fundraisers, this means that we generally do not have a massive amount of money to help with everyone’s procedure.
I have taken it upon myself to provide one full day a month (three clients) as a non paying clinic, for those that absolutely cannot afford to pay privately for their procedure. Sometimes NIP will be able to help fund this, the rest of the time I will fund it myself.
I currently have a few NHS trusts recommending my services to those waiting for NHS micropigmentation (if you have listened to my Ted, you’ll understand why micropigmentation is not suitable for everyone) it is an honour to be able to help where I can. I am also trying to become BUPA affiliated so that people can use their health insurance.
The thing that irritates me slightly with the NHS taking advantage of the free clinics, is that they claim quite a lot of money for the procedure when performed in hospital. As in, at least double what We charge. They are not willing to officially outsource and help fund the procedure, or support the charity in any way. So yes, the procedure is ‘free’ to the patient…. But not really because we all pay for the NHS.
What I’m trying to say is, areola tattooing is NOT an easy procedure. It is a highly skilled procedure, that has value. That uses expensive equipment, a dedicated premises, a lot of training and time.
The more we support charities like NIP, and help fund raise, the more people we can help but if you are able to pay something towards your procedure, I urge you to do so, as otherwise the free clinics will not be able to exist and it’s so important to myself and the other NIP members, that breast cancer survivors are empowered by their tattoos and that they remain accessible for all.
You could potentially pay it forward by fund raising for your procedure, or to support the charity if you felt you’d like to help, but financially are not in a place to. Just an idea 💖
Have a lovely day