Saffron Walden businesses share how they’re still impacted by coronavirus restrictions

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 July 2020

Sam Parke of Bearwalden CrossFit in Saffron Walden (pictured centre)  lifting with his team at a competition in Loughborough last year. Picture: Tom Casey

Sam Parke of Bearwalden CrossFit in Saffron Walden (pictured centre) lifting with his team at a competition in Loughborough last year. Picture: Tom Casey

Tom Casey

Two business directors in Saffron Walden say coronavirus restrictions still impacting their companies are frustrating.

Michelle Wakefield, owner of Aesthetica Beauty Salon in Saffron Walden with her Dermalogica ' Clean Touch' CertificateMichelle Wakefield, owner of Aesthetica Beauty Salon in Saffron Walden with her Dermalogica ' Clean Touch' Certificate

Two business directors in Saffron Walden say coronavirus restrictions still impacting their companies are frustrating.

Sam Parke, director and coach of Saffron Walden strength and conditioning facility Bearwalden CrossFit, and Michelle Wakefield, priorietor and therapist at Aesthetica Beauty Studio, have both had their businesses disrupted by the shutdown.

Sam Parke said he welcomed the announcement that indoor sports venues can reopen from July 25 but was frustrated it wasn’t sooner.

“We can provide the same health and safety. It’s a booking only system anyway, we can track and trace.

Michelle Wakefield, owner of Aesthetica Beauty Salon in Saffron Walden with her Dermalogica ' Clean Touch' CertificateMichelle Wakefield, owner of Aesthetica Beauty Salon in Saffron Walden with her Dermalogica ' Clean Touch' Certificate

“Lots of people say they are 100 per cent confident in coming back - they want to get back.”

Bearwalden CrossFit members have been taking part in live online sessions and via watch-again videos, and through socially-distanced outdoor small bootcamp sessions.

Their bike ride routes have covered Saffon Walden, Newport and Thaxted.

Sam loaned dumbells and kettlebells to members so they could continue to exercise at home, and these have been returned and cleaned.

Sam said he was concerned that government advice and requirements kept changing. He is now looking to add screens and even a cleansing mist.

He said: “I’m looking at places like Dubai, looking at Spain to see what they are putting in place.

“I want people to feel completely safe and relaxed. I don’t want them to be anxious or stressed or worried about coming in.”

Michelle Wakefield of Aesthetica Beauty Studio delivered skincare products to her clients during the shutdown.

But while government restrictions have eased and now allowed manicures, pedicures, and ear piercings, they are still not allowed to do facials or electrolysis treatments.

“Half our business is facial work,” she said.

“Everyone (in the industry) is up in arms.

“I got a grant to help the business out but there’s no help on business expenses.”

Michelle, who has run her own salon for 24 years, said she’d bought new eyelash glue, which has a short shelf life, thinking they’d be allowed to reopen on July 4. She had to dispose of tan solution.

“I’ve done the Dermalogica ‘Clean Touch’ certification - that’s been accepted all over the world. French salons were opened six weeks ago.”


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