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In a flurry of glitter, wool, paint and pencils, we spent an afternoon with guests in our Living Well Centre chatting about how our care makes a difference.

On Thursday afternoons the Sycamore Room is filled with laughter and chatter. From decoupage to making pom poms, sequin art to drawing and painting, our guests enjoy creating art together for a couple of hours each week.

Volunteer and self-confessed craft lover Janette helped our team re-start the group after the pandemic:

“We started back up in 2022 after covid with only two guests, but now the group has grown and grown, and we have 10 people attend each week.

The Hospice cared for my mum and this is my way of giving back, volunteering and this group have really helped heal my grief.

I absolutely love it. Everyone gets involved and gives it a go, no matter their ability. We always have a good laugh and we get on so well.

The Hospice’s Meadowfield Furniture Outlet often give us things for the group and my husband prepares things at home for us to decorate such as picture frames or things made from wood.”

“We’ll decorate anything we can get our hands on!”

Norma, one of our guests is busy making pom poms in this week’s session:

“I’m housebound, so I am so pleased when I am able to come to the group – as I’m leaving the session I always say ‘roll on next Thursday!’

It does me so much good to be here.

I would say to anyone, don’t hesitate to go, the staff are wonderful here.”

She shows us the decoupage brooches she’s wearing today which her friend Susan, a fellow guest, made for her at a previous session. Susan laughs, “We’re all pom pom daft, we love making them! I love every bit of the group”.

Deb tells us, “I can relax when I’m here. You can lose yourself in what you are doing and forget about everything else. Everyone always has a go and it’s nice to do something like this”.

Elaine praises the friendly, helpful, staff and volunteers and tells us it’s great to meet new people. “If I wasn’t here I’d just be at home feeling sorry for myself, the group really isn’t long enough. I could stay for hours!”

Barbara agrees, “everyone is so caring and friendly”.

Surrounded by art supplies, James tells us:

“I initially came to the Hospice for Reiki and counselling. I got chatting to Ann-Marie one of the Hospice team about my love of art and crafting and brought in one of my art scrapbooks to show her. That’s when she suggested I join the craft group on a Thursday.

I enjoy coming to the group and seeing what everyone else is up to. Lots of people bring their own crafts and you can choose what you like to do.

It’s also nice to be able to make something personalised, you get a real sense of achievement when you’ve made something”.

Volunteer Claire echoes the group’s sentiments: “I really would like to let people know how much this group helps and how much it matters. Everyone knows everyone now, we talk about all sorts of things like pets, hobbies, children, and what we’ve been up to. No one is afraid to ask for help and everyone gets stuck in. It’s a lovely, light-hearted group.”


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