What we do
Family Support Service
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.