St Albans businesses helping to get two local residents out of the rut in 2016

Shelley La Mancusa

Shelley La Mancusa - Credit: Archant

Two deserving members of the St Albans community will be given a new start in 2016 thanks to several of the city’s businesses.

Carla Watson with Tommy Carey

Carla Watson with Tommy Carey - Credit: Archant

Shelley La Mancusa and Carla Watson were the winners of the Get Out of the Rut initiative devised by Liz and Tommy Carey of Total Care Personal Training back in October as a way of giving something back to their relatively new home town.

More than £6,000 worth of life-changing gifts from businesses in and around St Albans will be awarded to the two winners who, for various reasons, are well and ‘truly stuck in a rut’.

These include a 12 week fitness and wellness package working with Total Care Personal Training, a life/mind coach/NLP practitioner/hypnotherapist as well as gifts from beauty salons, spas, restaurants and photographers among others.

Lizard Media will be also making video diaries of the winners to follow their journey and inspire other people along the way.


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Shelley, 34, was nominated by her mother after she read the original article in the Herts Ad.

Having worked since the age of 16, Shelley also supported her brother through a traumatic brain injury. She then fought for six years to conceive and after eventually falling pregnant, due to a catalogue of errors the treacherous birth led her to suffer both physical and emotional scars.

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She said: “This is a life-changing opportunity and I really can’t thank everyone enough. I am still in shock and this is the best Christmas present my family and I could ever wish for. I feel so stuck but now have the opportunity to change things.”

Her mum added: “This will greatly improve her self-esteem and make her feel good about herself, as well as help her get out of the house and back into the world. I want to see her smile and laugh and enjoy life and look in the mirror and see the beautiful person she is.”

Carla, also 34, works in the care and supported housing sector. She works tirelessly with some of the most vulnerable homeless people in the area, making sure they are provided with the best support she can give them and as many opportunities to better themselves as possible.

The judges therefore felt as she spends most of her time helping others get out the rut it was time she had help getting out of hers.

In 2014 Carla decided it was time to lose weight so she joined the gym, walked every day and swapped to three healthy meals.

After nine months she had lost six stone and created a Facebook page called ‘Healthy is as Healthy Does’ to help to inspire others to do the same.

Sadly her father then became ill and she also cared for him on a daily basis. Unfortunately he passed away last August which left a huge void in her life and she found herself struggling to retain control over her own life again.

She explained: “This opportunity means everything to me. I won’t lie, it’s going to be a lot of pressure, but I really, really want this. I need it.”

Liz said: “January 11 2016 is the start of an amazing life changing journey for these lucky two. We can’t wait to start sharing their journey and inspire others to ‘Get out the Rut’. We want to thank everyone who nominated someone and we wish we could have helped them all. Our many thanks also go to the St Albans businesses which have offered their support - we couldn’t have done it without them.”

Judges included June Cory, Vice President for St Albans Chamber, Tracey Baum of Life Practice St Albans and Samantha Carroll of Clearcut Recruitment.

June said: “Liz and Tommy at Total Care Personal Training have not only come up with a really creative and innovative idea, marketed it very effectively and pulled together a very impressive prize package. I feel confident that the public will be inspired, motivated and moved by the two lucky winners’ ongoing stories. Any idea which brings the general public and businesses together in our great city is to be applauded.”

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