Sue Ryder’s specialist teams supporting families

Categories: Care.

Did you know your local Sue Ryder hospice has a specialist team supporting families too?

When people think about the role of a hospice they will often think about the specialist teams of nurses, doctors and care staff supporting patients – but not many will know of the team behind the scenes supporting patients and their families and carers too.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Family Support Team in Peterborough understands how families can be affected when someone close to them is ill or dying. The team has a number of specialists on the team offering families emotional, practical and spiritual support. By sharing more about what they do they hope more people will become aware of the support available to them.

“We are available to the needs of all – whether they need spiritual care, psychological support and intervention or more community-based social support. We have a fantastic team of staff and volunteers who are there for those who need us,” shares Head of Family Support Nanouchi Malo.

“We are available to our patients, their families and relatives who receive care from our inpatient unit or hospice at home service, but not many people know we can accept referrals from people in the wider community too who may need support in dealing with a diagnosis or bereavement.”

Katy Garwood and Jill Landels are both counsellors on the team. They both share how rewarding it is to support families at such a difficult time.

“It is a privilege to be part of Sue Ryder as part of the Family support team. I’m in a position to be able to help people through a most difficult time in their lives,” says Jill. “Making a positive difference in helping people deal with their struggles is so rewarding, particularly when you can see the difference in someone you are supporting.”

Katy agrees, “It is a privilege to be able to work with people who are going through a difficult time. We can’t change the situation, but we can be there to listen to them or sit with them in their pain.

“Sometimes we are able to see that we have helped people to find the tools to cope or have helped them see they do have resilience and can make some new sense of their lives.”

Nanouchi echoes these experiences, “When a person I am supporting is able to share a memory with me – any memory – it is really special. You are being invited in and given permission to get to know someone they love on a more intimate level. And as our sessions progress we can see the person we are supporting begin to grow as they begin to learn to trust or become kinder to themselves again.”

Working alongside Nanouchi, Katy and Jill providing spiritual care is Spiritual Care Lead and Hospice Chaplain, Mark Burleigh. “I want people to know that spiritual care is for everyone, not just people who are “spiritual” or “religious”.  It is for anyone who is seeking to come to terms with, or make sense of, what is happening to them.  We provide a listening ear.”

Mark also wants people to know that hospices are not depressing places. “When I tell people about the role I do, many people imagine that working in a hospice is all about death, but in my view a hospice is about living the best possible life you can.”

Katy agrees, “It would be nice for the public to see and understand more about the different roles of the hospice and that there is support available to them here.”

“People’s reaction to my work is often, “oh how difficult, I couldn’t do that” but I say it is not like that, the hospice is a good place to work, I sometimes describe it as “warm and sunny.” There is a lot of good that happens there.”

Nanouchi agrees, “Hospices are not all pain and suffering. In the Family Support Team we focus on memories and we give those memories space to live on. We also offer space for tears, laughter, remembrance, reflection and pain.”

The team hope by sharing their experiences that they can encourage more people to seek help if they need it – no matter who they are or where they are from.

“We are very big on inclusivity, so if anyone has any query, concern or question or want to know more about us or our service please contact us,” says Nanouchi. “We are a diverse team and Peterborough is a diverse community and we really are here for all. We support people from all walks of life.”

Katy adds, “I am looking forward to sitting with and offering more people the chance to be heard, looked after and tell their story. I am also really looking forward to taking that support and opportunity out to the wider community.”

For more information on the services offered by the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice Family Support team email or call  01733 225921 .

For more information on Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice visit


Picture Caption: Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall’s Family Support Team; L-R Mark Burleigh, Katy Garwood, Jill Landels and Nanouchi Malo.


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 aHospice 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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