Living Well Services

Living with illness can be hard. There are different ways people find to manage illness. Some find it helps to talk with those with similar problems, learning together how to manage. Many find staying active through exercise and other activity helps. Having fun with others can also take your mind from your illness.

Our experience is that we can learn how to influence our health and improve our wellbeing.

It’s all about enabling you to enjoy life – understand yourself better, connect with other people and feel the benefit of kindness, friendship, support and having a good laugh.

The Compassionate Communities Team:

We have a team comprising of a clinical lead, complementary therapist and creative therapist who provide a range of group and individual therapies for people living with long-term conditions that impact on their lives. These are provided in our St Mary’s Hospice Community Hub in Barrow, as well as at the hospice in Ulverston and within the home setting. The team are skilled at adapting therapeutic techniques and approaches to meet the needs of individuals.


Who is the service for?

The Compassionate Communities Specialist Palliative Care Team at St Mary’s Hospice offer support for individuals living with advanced, progressive conditions who have associated palliative care needs and one or more of the following:

• The patient is being negatively impacted by the symptoms of their condition.
• The need for specialist palliative support, and/or symptom control.
• Generic services are unable to meet the patient’s needs.
• The problems identified are best dealt with by the Hospice.
• Need for specialist help with rehabilitation or adjustment to deteriorating function.
• The patient is registered with a GP practice within the Furness, Ulverston, South Lakes, Millom or Duddon Valley area.
• Aged 18 years or over.

The patient should consent to a referral being made to the Compassionate Communities Team, if they have capacity to do so. If the patient does not have capacity, the decision should be made on ’Best Interests’ from discussions with family and any other relevant health professionals involved in the care of the patient.
Family carers may attend with the patient, and can access complementary therapy for themselves.

What support is available?

The Compassionate Communities Team can offer a range of programmes to support individuals. These include:

• Mindfulness Programme
• Creative Therapy
• Complementary Therapy

How do I know what service is suitable?

Individuals will be assessed for their suitability for these programmes by a member of the Compassionate Communities Team. From assessment the team will decide on the most suitable programme to offer to meet their needs.

For more information on how we assess (from assessment) you can view the assessment criteria here:

More information on Referral Criteria

Session dates:
Memory Lane Cafes
Woodland Wellness
Compassionate Cafes

The Living Well Team offers a range of programmes which are held at both St Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston and the Living Well Centre in Barrow. There is no charge for any of our programmes.

Mindfulness Programme – A 6 week programme for patients, their families and caregivers. Our minds are very powerful tools and with practice we can learn to control and direct our thoughts in order to reduce stress and anxiety and aid in relaxation.

This in turn can lead to improved sleep, better mental health, lowering of depression, improved relationships, better digestion and pain management.

Each session lasts approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.


Art Therapy has been researched and proven to help improve the quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with life limiting conditions or are coping with the emotional distress of bereavement.

It has been clinically proven to:

  • Help lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Treat anxiety and depression
  • Improve self esteem and confidence
  • Help maintain fine motor skills
  • Help improve visual cognitive skills and general motor function for patients with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Help improve the symptoms of dementia by engaging the patient and help alleviate anxiety and apathy
  • Improve self esteem and confidence

Our Creative Therapist runs weekly Creative Therapy sessions, a varied program of Thursday afternoon sessions as well as running groups in the communities of Barrow and Windermere.  She also works with patients on a 1-1 basis, holds creative sessions 1-1 for people who are housebound, and is able to send out individual Art Packs on request to people unable to attend group sessions.

All groups are by referral only.

To be referred or have a chat with Lex about how Art Therapy could help you please contact the Living Well Centre 01229 444407

Complementary Therapy – Our complementary therapy team can offer a range of 1:1 and group therapy sessions for patients and carers. A treatment plan will be developed on assessment. Complementary therapy is available at any point from diagnosis.

How can I refer to the Living Well Team?

The Living Well Team can accept referrals from patients themselves and any health and social care professionals.
Referrals can be made via Strata or completing our referral form. Completed forms can be emailed to or posted to:

Living Well Team
Living Well Centre
229 – 301 Duke Street
Barrow in Furness
LA14 1XU

We can take referrals over the phone, please contact the team on 01229 444407 to talk this through or find out more information.


Thank you

As with many of our services, in addition to community generosity the Living Well Programme has been funded through the support of grant giving trusts and foundations. Both the Walney Extension Community Fund and the Frieda Scott Charitable Trust enabled the adaptation of Living Well Service delivery during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the purchase of tablets to support remote delivery funded through a Cumbria County Council Community Grant.
We are grateful for the financial support we receive towards service delivery and for the vital funds to replace much needed equipment or purchase new technology in order to provide an enhanced level of care.

In the last year The Medicash Foundation have funded a Stand Aid for the Living Well Centre supporting patients with reduced mobility to stand and transfer to a wheelchair or therapy couch. The Roselands Trust have funded a Raizer II Emergency Lifting Chair enabling staff to help a patient should they experience a fall to get back up into a chair or onto their feet. Both pieces of equipment enhance the care we can provide to patients and ensure our nursing team is supported in the best way possible.

In addition to the trusts and foundations who have supported our Living Well Programme over the past year, we would like to say a huge thank you to all the trusts and foundations who have enabled us to continue to provide the best possible care in many ways to our community, those listed below and those who choose to remain anonymous:

CRASH, Sir john Fisher Foundation, David Snowdon Trust, Herd and Muriel Lawson Trust, The Hadfield Trust, BAE Systems, The Masonic Foundation, Herd Lawson and Muriel Lawson Charitable Trust, Taylor Newton and Hibbert Charity, The Co-op Community Fund, Morrisons Foundation, Town Lands Trust, The Albert Hunt Trust, Ulverston Town Council. Ulverston CGP Trust. The Harold and Alice Bridges Charity.