Sue Ryder summer party celebrates virtual day services’ success

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Sunshine, cake and laughter were in abundance early in September as Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice volunteers and hospice staff got together with Virtual Day Services clients for a special summer celebration.

Sitting out on the lawn, clients and carers enjoyed some Reiki treatments and gentle hand massage by Sue Ryder’s volunteer complementary therapists along with garden games.

Pets As Therapy dogs Brooklyn and Millie mingled among the guests enjoying strokes and occasional sneaky snacks too.

Sue Ryder Nurse, Johanne Hazell who leads Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Virtual Day Services said, “It was a gorgeous afternoon to spend together under a beautiful shaded spot in the gardens with a gentle cooling breeze blowing through.

“The hospice catering team as always put on a lovely spread of sandwiches and nibbles followed by a lovely array of cakes.

“There was such a great vibe, with plenty of conversation, lots of laughter and frivolity. It was fantastic to see everyone together enjoying themselves.”

Clients were full of praise for the picnic too. “It’s been a wonderful day and it has been great to see everybody again,” shared one client. Another particularly enjoyed their treatment, “I felt that Reiki helped my neck pain. I am going to try that again!”

The picnic is all part of a summer of fun for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice Virtual Day Services clients, who amongst their weekly virtual sessions of chair-based exercises, complementary therapy, arts and crafts, relaxation and meditation and writing for wellbeing sessions have enjoyed virtual quizzes supported by 16-year old volunteer Efe Halilov who took on the role of quiz master!

Efe, from Peterborough, decided to volunteer for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice over his summer holidays to gain experience and new skills. He said, “I think Sue Ryder is a great charity that helps a lot and during my time with Virtual Day Services I have seen how it makes a really positive impact.”

“I have been volunteering every week in the summer, joining a discussion group where I am told I provide a younger generation’s perspective, and I make a fun quiz for the quiz session too.

“I enjoy the discussion groups as they allow us to talk about interesting topics and also get to know each other better.

“Making the quizzes has also given me the chance to broaden my interests and knowledge – I recently discovered that I liked 80s music, which was a suggestion by the group something I should do a round on!”

Efe said he has got lots from volunteering with Sue Ryder too. “I am quite shy, so by doing this volunteering work I hope to improve how I interact with others and be more comfortable expressing my own ideas especially in big groups,” he shared.

“My parents are happy that I am volunteering and my friends think that it’s cool. I want to pursue a career in medicine, so I tried to find volunteering jobs for my age and I am thankful to Sue Ryder for giving me the opportunity to volunteer and spend my summer holidays doing something really meaningful and helpful.”

And as the first signs of autumn begin to appear further exciting developments are planned for the service, as Sue Ryder staff unveil their intention to begin holding their first ever community-based sessions too.

“Our service is built around what our clients tell us they want to do,” shares Linder Carnegie, Day Services Activities Assistant, “And they have told us alongside the many varied online opportunities we offer that they really value the regular opportunity to get together. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we will shortly be holding our first ever community-based sessions very soon.”

“The community session will take place once a month and will give everyone access to a variety of activities and therapies alongside the existing well-received virtual service we provide.”

Linder is keen to stress that Sue Ryder is always keen to welcome new people into the service. “We want to give as much care to as many people as we can and we’re always excited to hear from people who want to find out more about how our service could help them. Please get in touch to find out more.”

The Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice Virtual Day Services programme supports people living with a neurological condition to stay safe and independent at home.

Through the service’s eight week programme people are able to access Sue Ryder experts specialising in holistic care and enjoy exercise, complementary therapy and relaxation sessions alongside opportunities to socialise and take part interactive activities such as quizzes, art and poetry and listen to guest speakers.

The service is available to anyone living with neurological conditions such as MND, MS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, dementia or following a stroke in Peterborough, Rutland, Stamford, The Fens, Warmington, Ramsey, Bourne, March, The Deepings, Whittlesey, Wisbech and Huntingdonshire.

When joining, clients can create a fully individualised programme of five one hour sessions per week over an eight week block at the weekly cost of £35, which can be paid for from personal care budgets or via continuing healthcare funding allocated to support their eligible social care needs.

Referrals can be easily made by anyone – clients themselves, their carers or a lead healthcare professional by emailing or calling 01733 225900.

For more information on Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice visit


Pictured: 16 year old volunteer Efe is pictured top left in action supporting a discussion group held as part of the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Virtual Day Services. Also pictured, clients, carers, hospice volunteers and staff all got together this summer to celebrate the success of the programme, which will soon be adding to its services with a community-based sessions too.

About Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice

  • Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is the only specialist palliative care inpatient unit in Peterborough.
  • We provide expert palliative care and support for people who are living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.
  • Our multi-disciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapy, bereavement counsellors, and psychological and spiritual support.
  • We also offer a variety of other services, including a Hospice at Home service for people who prefer to receive palliative care at home, family and bereavement support, complementary therapies and spiritual care.
  • Our staff and volunteers provide people with the compassion and expert care they need, to help them live the best life they can.


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