Trinity Hospice and Macmillan hope that the new programme, which is being piloted over two years initially, will provide greater peer support, empower people to better manage their own health and promote earlier access to hospice services.
The wellbeing programme is open to individuals in the local area who have a progressive life-limiting illness – such as cancer, heart failure, lung disease or neurological conditions – as well as their carers and families.
Anyone can get in touch with the hospice directly to refer themselves or someone close to them.
The hospice hopes that, through the new programme, people will also learn more about the vast range of other services it offers – such as physiotherapy, exercise classes, counselling and welfare benefits advice – which can help people feel better for longer and manage the practicalities associated with living with a progressive, life-limiting illness.
Crucially, Trinity hopes to encourage more people to get in touch with the hospice early on in their diagnosis, so that they can learn about and benefit from the whole range of services on offer.
“All too often hospices are associated with death and dying rather than how we support people with progressive, life-limiting illnesses to live life to the full,” explained Martin Powell, director of patient services at Trinity.
“Our wellbeing programme is designed for people who may benefit from relaxation, advice or just meeting others in a similar situation. We never underestimate the impact of caring for someone who is very ill, which is why the wellbeing programme is open to friends and families too.”
The programme kicks-off this autumn with three new activities:
- A relaxation group, which enables patients and carers to try different techniques to relax and reduce anxiety in a peaceful and supportive environment.
- The living well group, a seven-week programme teaching patients and carers to use exercise, relaxation and other techniques to better manage symptoms, thoughts and feelings.
- A ‘feel good’ day, delivered in partnership with My-Makeover and Lee Pycroft, designed to let participants relax, meet others and be made to feel their best.
Other services which are under development in response to demand include yoga, dementia support and coffee mornings.
All services are being developed in conjunction with patients, carers and professionals in the area.
David Seychell, Macmillan development manager, said: “We are proud to be working together with Royal Trinity Hospice in providing support for people living with progressive, life-limiting illnesses, their families and carers. Patients often tell us they feel isolated and alone because of their illness. Macmillan is working with others to stop this from happening – because no one should face cancer alone.”