Beauty above all

Beauty above all: Building confidence, strenght and attractivenes through beauty treatment for oncology patients and their caregivers

Toruń, PolandToruń
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We help patients with different disabilities to fulfill their beauty needs. Our actions are directed mainly at oncology patients, but we also care for people with locked in syndrome and their caregivers. The project is spreading wider circle of its influence helping to build up social awareness of the problem. We hope that women, who lost their self-confidence, will be able to feel special and exceptional again.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There are more than 400 beauty operators in Kuyavian- Pomeranian area. Each year, more than 60 women on chemotherapy treatment will visit those places. The level of vocational preparation in the field of beauty treatment for oncology patients and people with different disabilities is extremely low. There is practically no cooperation between medical specialists and beauty therapists. The women who are facing physical and psychological changes and illness related limitations do not deserve to hear that there's nothing else that can be done.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are trying to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of cosmetic care for women at different stages of oncology illness. We organize annual symposium focused on the development of modern techniques in cosmetic field with special regard to oncology patients. Hair loss (including eyebrows and eyelashes) can be very traumatic, particularly for women. The cost of a permanent makeup (ex. eyebrow reconstruction) can be very high. As we know that lost of attractiveness after chemotherapy is devastating we offer free or low-cost professional cosmetic treatment.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

For our average patient it takes a very long time to get over the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. It is difficult for her to deal with any change in her body. It is a vicious circle; feeling less attractive leads to serious problem with loss of self-esteem and confidence what may result in negative impact on her well-being and even on the progress of the illness itself. To break the circle our patient is motivated by psychologists (we provide psychotherapy care for patients) to visit the beauty therapist free of charge. We can observe the significant improvement in the quality of life and increase in motivation to participate in subsequent therapy sessions.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are planning to organize annual symposium on national level intended to engage new entrepreneurs. Expansion of services will provide the institutions and patients with mutual benefits. We are during the process of expanding our offer for patients with locked-in syndrome and their caregivers.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no organization on Polish market (to the best of our knowledge) providing similar support for oncology patients, and especially for people in locked-in syndrome and their caregivers.


Foundation "Światło" is a multi -award winning social enterprise with a track record of making serious system change. In 2003 we have founded first in Poland Medical Health Centre specialized in broad and in-depth care, rehabilitation and therapy of comatose patients and those with locked -in syndrome. In 2005 the "Fighting Cancer Academy" was founded and so far the network of "Fighting Cancer Academy" has spread around the Poland. Upiększarnia is a Kuiavian - Pomeranian area leader in providing beauty treatments. Owner- Master of Poland in permanent make-up - Dorota Rybarczyk has amazing ability to keep her team highly motivated. The project also involve psychooncologist Małgorzata Stankiewicz who is having great experience in providing support for oncology patients.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
"Upiększarnia" Beauty Institute
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)


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Organization Name

"Upiększarnia" Beauty Institute

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Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Twitter URL
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Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, KP, Toruń

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Last mile distribution: Entries in this category focus on solutions that enable the physical delivery of life-changing services to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.).

What awards or honors has the project received?
Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner 1

-Type of partner [business/social/public]
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
“Światło” (Light) Foundation is fulfilling the mission of the broad and in-depth care of marginalized group of patients.

-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] Easy and affordable access to beauty and spa services for people with disabilities. Access to those services will help them to build strength and confidence necessary to deal with illness.

-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Psychological care for patients and their careers, symposium co organizer, fundraising, administration

-Partner 2
-Type of partners [business/social/public]
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
„Upiększarnia” is a professional Beauty Institute, leader in cosmetic care in Kuyavian-Pomeranian area.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Easy and affordable access to beauty and spa services for people with disabilities. Access to those services will help them to build strength and confidence necessary to deal with illness.

-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Beauty treatment for patients and their careers, educational role, symposium co organizer, fundraising


Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

So far we have provided free beauty treatment to 300 oncology patients from Kuyavian-Pomeranian area. We organize symposium which is intended to increase public awareness about the problem. We will be presenting mutual benefits from joining our project, hoping to involve as many beauty operators as possible. The experts in the field of Medical Oncology, Aesthetic Medicine, Psychoonology and Cosmetology are taking part in our symposium offering high quality education. The cooperation with Medical Health Center allows us to provide similar treatment to patients in locked-in syndrome and their caregivers.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

We monitor and control our sustainability on regular basis. Actively sharing our idea, we are disseminating our knowledge, ensuring the gains will be
We have reached financial sustainability for the moment and we we will use national and local grants and engage more voluntary force. Social campaign and profit from banners should cover significant part of our costs. We are currently conducting research to look for more source of founding.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Dorota Rybarczyk – owner of the beauty institute - "idea came to my head four years ago, when I realized how destroyed my friend is feeling. My friend was dealing with breast cancer. I was taking her to my institute and was offering beauty treatment– just trying to do anything what could - even slightly - cheer her up. I was taking care about her appearance, she experienced loss of her self-esteem and confidence. I could see her being devastated, and same time I could see how important was what I was doing for her. I realized that most of women after chemotherapy cannot afford such a treatment. I started looking for different sources of fundraising. Together with “Światło” Foundation we decided to expand the project."

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

The participants of our project belong to the high risk group. We have to deal with skepticism and resistance. Trying to understand how people are influenced by change, and stages they pass through during this difficult illness is important. We employ psychooncologists for facilitation and support for the change.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

We are taking part in joint project based on mutual cooperation. Our roles in the project are clear and distinct.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

Medical Health Center founded by Światło Foundation organizes beauty days for patients in locked-in syndrome and their caregivers on monthly basis. Therapists, families and nurses are engaged into action as they appreciate the new identity of patient. They can see that the person they are caring for has her own identity and should not be classified only as a patient.
Our partnership is playing important role in transforming the educational institutions, including young adepts of the cosmetology and their teachers. Providing lectures on cosmetology in the light of oncology patients we are also talking about the importance of cancer prevention. Also our employees and volunteers are motivated to regular examination.
Employees of the beauty institute feel deep satisfaction helping the others and seeing how the treatment is influencing their confidence and sexual identity.

How did you find out about this competition?

Ashoka Organisation