Telephone: 01229 580305


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What we do

Family Support Service


Family Support

Our Family Support Service provides psychological, emotional and spiritual support for patients throughout their illness and for families and carers facing or coming to terms with a bereavement.

Here at the Hospice we understand that life-limiting illnesses affects not only the patient, but their network of family, friends and carers also. With this in mind, the care we provide is extended to include these integral people within a patient’s plan of care, as well as offering support and help to them during what can be a difficult, uncertain time.

Our emotional, social and spiritual support is available to you and to people who are important to you through our specially trained Family Support Team, which is made up of a palliative care Social Worker, Family Support Coordinator, and a team of trained and supervised volunteers. We will work to support you all through the varied and often confusing feelings you may experience.

We understand that you may need more or less help at any given time, and we respect this, so the level of support we offer will be tailored to meet your needs wherever possible.



Bereavement Support

Are you feeling overwhelmed, confused, empty, helpless, guilty, angry, anxious, depressed, tired or tearful? These are just some of the many dimensions of grief. It can be all-consuming, debilitating and one of the most difficult experiences you will ever go through, but you don't have to cope alone.

Our support service is available to anyone over the age of 18 who is grieving, irrespective of time, cause or relationship. There is also no requirement to have had previous contact with the hospice services.


One to One Support

Support is available, providing a confidential, safe space in which to work through your grief with a trained and supervised bereavement support volunteer. Appointment times and dates are flexible and arranged around your availability and there is no set number of sessions.


Online Community- You are not alone. If someone you love is has died, our online community is a place to share experiences, get things off your chest, ask questions and chat to people who understand.

From January 2018 we will be holding monthly coffee evenings for our online group members. The coffee evenings are for anybody experiencing bereavement who would like to meet up with others who have experienced something similar. The gatherings are informal and there is no rule that you have to speak about your bereavement- you may just want to meet some new people who are also going through the journey of bereavement. You are also very welcome to speak about your grief- it can be extremely cathartic and beneficial to open up to others and feel accepted as you are. A few of our team will be there to chat to you and are always happy to answer any questions you have. Our Coffee evenings will be held at St Mary's Hospice Orangery the last Thursday of each month 6- 7:30 pm. Our first coffee evening will be Thursday 25th January.


Social Work

Our Palliative care social worker can offer a wide range of support to both the person and those that are important to them. This can include sourcing practical help at home, accessing other services, advice around debt or income maintenance, help with housing, advocacy, or offering psychological support.

Support can include:

  • Support with onward care needs, which may include discharge home and arranging a suitable package of care
  • Decision making about alternative care settings and where care is delivered
  • Support your care and treatment options about where you are cared for throughout your life journey
  • Family support, advice and Mediation/Advocacy
  • Signposting for finance and benefits advice
  • Referrals/Liaison with other agencies
  • Support with Housing issues
  • Carer’s assessments and support


Memory Making

A memory box is a container to hold special items belonging to you or a loved one who has died. The items in the box can help a family hold on to memories. Anything that has a personal story attached to it can be included. This might include jewellery, cards, toys or tickets from places you visited together that hold special memories. It can help to attach a small note to the object as a reminder. A memory box can be as simple or elaborate as you like.

Deciding to make a memory box can feel overwhelming, and it can be difficult to start. The Family Support Team can support you to create your own memory box whilst offering support and comfort and an opportunity to talk about your memories.


Drop in's

We run a Family support and Bereavement drop in at Barrow Library every Monday morning between 10am - 12pm. (Starting 3rd Sept 2018)

This is a chance for you to:

- Find out more about our service

- Pick up leaflets 

- Speak to a member of our team

- Receive support


Let us answer any questions you may have ...(Click here)

How do you get in touch with us:
Telephone: 01229 580305 during office hours Monday-Friday and ask to speak to Family Support Team


What is Grief? Please follow this link to find out more about some common feelings in bereavement         

Grief Support Resources - for more useful links please click here

Resources for children, young adults and schools - please follow the link to find out support available and tips and advice to help children, and for more useful links for children and young adults please click here

Gill and Gordon Cooney kindly agreed to share their story about their experience of St Mary's Family and Bereavement Support. Please click here to read Gill and Gordon's story.


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