Two 8-week programmes to help you live well
In addition to support at home, we offer two programmes, run at the Beacon Centre in Guildford. Both programmes are made up of eight weekly sessions, which are held on a rolling basis. Patients who are assessed and would benefit from our service will be invited to join at any time within the programme and still complete all eight sessions. Up to ten patients can attend each session and each person will follow the rolling programme, so you will be able to chat to and get to know each other over the course of the eight weeks.
Living Well with Illness programme
Beacon Centre, Guildford – Tuesday
Sessions are two hours long, with an hour-long talk and discussion on that week’s topic, and 30 minutes before and after this main session, when you will be able to see our doctors, nurses, therapists and Pastoral Care team, socialise with other patients and have some refreshments. Each session covers a different topic and they all link with each other to form a comprehensive basis for supporting you as you live every day with your illness. They will also give you the opportunity to meet others and make new friends, share tips and advice, and receive individual care from our staff. It is therefore important that you attend every session, if you can, even if you don’t think it’s relevant to you. The eight sessions cover the following topics:
1 Assessment and Introduction An initial meeting to help us get to know you as a person, as well as to assess what matters to you and what concerns you and introduce you to the Living Well with illness programme.
2 Introduction to Living Well and Rehabilitation This session explores how the support we provide can help you to stay mobile and active, and enable you to continue living your daily life. We’ll explain what you can expect from the Living Well with Illness programme and find out what things matter to you the most, so that we can set some realistic goals for you to work towards over the coming weeks.
3 Managing your Mood In this session we will discuss the various ways in which physical illness can affect your mood. We will help you to understand the emotions which you may experience as you adjust to your illness, and discuss strategies that can help you adapt and maximise your emotional wellbeing.
4 Improving Sleep In this session we will discuss normal and abnormal sleep patterns, and the impact of daily routines and circadian rhythms on your sleep. We look at how sleep can be affected by age and illness, discuss your expectations of sleep and sleep problems, and look at some simple changes and techniques which may help you to improve your sleep.
5 Managing Fatigue Fatigue is different from feeling tired. We look at why people can feel fatigued, and the difference between chronic and acute fatigue. We also discuss ways in which you can manage fatigue, conserve and improve your energy levels, and make the most of the energy that you do have.
6 Remaining Active This session highlights some of the benefits of keeping moving. With tips and advice, we’ll help you manage breathlessness, remain active and stay motivated.
7 Food and Nutrition It’s important to understand the role of nutrition and hydration on physical health and mental wellbeing. These sessions provide insight into the nutritional content of food, offering you dietary tips on mood, sleep, weight stabilisation and the management of symptoms which may affect your eating and drinking habits.
8 Living with Illness This session looks at the practical and emotional challenges that can be faced when trying to adjust to illness. We’ll explore strategies and sources of support that can help you to make those adjustments and enhance your quality of life when living with a long-term illness.
Beacon Centre, Guildford – Wednesday
Sessions are two hours long, with an hour-long talk and discussion on that week’s topic, and 30 minutes before and after this main session, when you will be able to see our doctors, nurses, therapists and Pastoral Care team, socialise with other patients and have some refreshments. Each session covers a different topic and they all link with each other to form a comprehensive overview of creative therapy. They will also give you the opportunity to meet others and make new friends, share tips and advice, and receive individual care from our staff. It is therefore important that you attend every session, if you can, even if you don’t think it’s relevant to you. The eight sessions cover the following topics:
1 Assessment and Introduction An initial meeting to assess your needs and capabilities and introduce you to the Creative programme.
2 Therapy Through Nature This gardening session will focus on the therapeutic benefits of nature, and the physical and sensory skills that you will use to complete a gardening task, such as potting up a planter or creating a flower basket, for example. Engaging in this type of activity can give a wonderful sense of achievement, and an enjoyment of the hope and living legacy that nature gives us.
3 Aromatherapy – Lotions and Potions This workshop will give you an understanding of what Aromatherapy is, how it is used at Phyllis Tuckwell and the ways in which it can ease many of the symptoms that you may be experiencing. Using therapeutic essential oils in creams and nasal inhalers, we will make products which you can take home with you to help support your physical and emotional wellbeing.
4 Positive “Moments in a Bottle” In these sessions, you will be asked to recall positive moments, which we will help you to record in words and pictures, so that you can create a visual record of them which you can look back on, to support your emotional wellbeing and lift your mood when you are feeling down or going through a challenging time.
5 Soothe and Calm The aim of this session is to discuss how complementary therapies and essential oils can help various symptoms, such as insomnia, shortness of breath, anxiety and numbness in the hands or feet. We will finish with a guided relaxation.
6 Track of your Years Prior to this group you will be sent a letter, asking you for any songs or pieces of music which have significance for you or bring back memories. We will play everyone’s songs in the group, and all will be invited to share why they chose these particular songs. The aim of this is to bring to mind forgotten memories through music.
7 Mindfulness with Clay Clay is a very tactile, soothing and therapeutic medium to work with, and is easy to make into simple sculptures. Working with it can improve your mood, calm your anxiety and awaken your creativity. Combined with mindfulness, which encourages you to focus on the present moment, it can help you to explore your creativity and improve your wellbeing.
8 Confidence Through Cooking At this session you will be able to take part in a cooking activity, regardless of your physical ability or previous knowledge. During the session you’ll learn practical ways in which you can continue to cook at home, and will be given a Take Home Bag. The session will help boost confidence, and you’ll be able to socialise with others in the group and talk about your past experiences of food.
Wellbeing Day and Assessment
At the end of each of the programmes, you will be invited to attend one of our Wellbeing Days, which are held on Fridays at the Beacon Centre in Guildford from 11am – 2.30pm. Here you will be able to see other members of our multi-professional team as an outpatient. They can help you further with advice, including advance care planning, or medical concerns. You will also be offered complementary therapies and lunch. Other patients from our Living Well sessions will also be there, and you have the opportunity to socialise with them during the day.
Other ways to support you:
In addition to our Living Well with Illness and Creative programmes, we also offer individual therapeutic sessions:
Open door Coffee Afternoons
Our drop-in coffee afternoons are an opportunity for you to socialise with other patients and have some refreshments. They also offer a friendly and informal way for people who have not yet been referred to our care, to find out more about the services that we offer, meet some of the team, and see our Beacon Centre building. They take place on the first Thursday of every month, from 2-3pm. There is no need to book – just drop in!
Getting Back to Exercise
This eight-week programme is for patients who are keen to do more activity and would benefit from physiotherapy guidance to get started on the journey. It introduces a variety of ways to exercise and advice on keeping active, tailored to the individual.
A 30-minute session where you and your carer can learn techniques aimed to help you relax, focus and reduce any anxiety caused by your illness or treatment. Groups are currently run virtually on alternate Thursdays at 1.30pm, via Zoom.
A four-week programme to help you and your carer to learn gentle exercises and breathing techniques, and receive advice on relaxation techniques and psychological strategies.
Art Therapy and ARTscape
Our ARTscape art group is held at the Beacon Centre on Monday afternoons for two hours. One hour 1-2-1 art therapy sessions are also available on request.
Find some time and peace for yourself and learn practical ways of coping with being a carer. Read our Carers programme leaflet which provides support for you as a carer of one of our patients.
Bereavement care continues for families through our First Steps and Second Steps programmes.
Getting Back to Exercise
This 8-week course is for patients who are keen to do more activity and would benefit from physiotherapy guidance to get started on the journey. It introduces a variety of ways to exercise and advice on keeping active, tailored to the individual.
Adapted Seated Tai Chi
This practise involves a series of gently flowing movements, combined with breathing control. The aim is to promote mobility of the upper limbs, calm the mind and settle the breath.
This is a gentler version of standing yoga, emphasising a more passive type of flexibility with the support of your chair. Combined with a guided meditation, this can help bring feelings of calm and wellbeing, connecting the body, mind and breath, to achieve balance and harmony.
Pamper Days for Patients
Our pamper days offer patients relaxing complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology, and treatments such as manicures, pedicures and haircuts. They run from 11am – 3pm and include lunch. We offer both ladies’ and men’s pamper days, and at the end of each session all who attended are given a goodie bag to take home, containing items such as body lotions, shower gels and relaxation nasal inhalers. If you are interested in coming along to one of these wonderfully relaxing days, please speak to a member of the team.
Pamper Days for Carers
As well as offering pamper days to our patients, we also offer them to our patients’ carers, too. It can be hard looking after a loved one who is ill, and it’s important for carers to take some time out for themselves. Meeting others who are also caring for a loved one can provide important peer support and let carers know that they are not alone. At these pamper days, carers will be treated to relaxing complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology, treatments such as manicures, pedicures and haircuts, lunch, and a goodie bag to take home. To find out more, please speak to a member of the team.
Carers Support Drop-in Sessions
At these sessions we invite carers to meet our patient and family advisors, and get information on how we can support them with practical advice. They take place every Friday, from 11am -12pm at the Beacon Centre, and virtual appointments are available to those who are unable to attend.
A memory box is a way of creating a legacy of who you are and what is important to you, for you to give to your loved ones. It can contain thoughts, souvenirs, photos, stories, and items which are special to you.
Each memory box is unique to the individual who created it, and your memory box will be a lasting representation of you and your life, and how you would like to be remembered.
Life Story Therapy
Some patients find it helps them to gain a new sense of purpose through telling another person the story of their life. We work with the Hospice Biographers charity to offer you the opportunity to tell your story to one of their specially trained volunteers. The biographer will record your ‘audio-biography’ and copy it to two USB sticks, for you to keep.
Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Support
If you would like to speak to someone from our Pastoral Care team or one of our Chaplains, we can arrange this for you. They can talk with you about matters that are important to you, or put you in touch with a local faith community if you would like. If you are a Christian and have not been able to attend church or receive Holy Communion recently, we can arrange this for you at the Hospice, before or after your Living Well Group.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell our loved ones how we feel. There may be things which we would like to say to them, but we just can’t find the right time, or the right words. And sometimes there are things we want to say which we really want them to remember, and to hold on to once we are no longer there to say them again. Some of our patients choose to write letters to their loved ones, to tell them how much they care about them and to give them something to keep and treasure for years to come. If this is something you would like to do, a number of our staff have experience of helping patients to write letters. If you would like to, you can meet with one of them. They can discuss your thoughts with you and write down what you would like to say, and then type it up for you. If you are struggling to find the right words, they can help you with this, too. “I had no idea that there was someone who could help me do such an impossible task so well and so eloquently.” – one of our patients.
If you have thoughts about your funeral, or questions about what might or might not be possible, our Pastoral Care team or Chaplains can help. They have experience of working with patients to discuss their ideas, and can also make a record of them so that they can be passed on to family or loved ones. Bereavement care continues for families through our First Steps and Second Steps programmes.