A support group for carers in Bedfordshire has marked the festive season with a special Christmas celebration.
Carers’ Thursday, which is run by staff and volunteers from Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and Carers in Bedfordshire, aims to give carers a ‘listening ear” and the chance to chat with others in a similar situation.
The group held a Christmas party on Thursday 12 December, mindful that Christmas can be a difficult time for carers.
The festive celebration took place at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger near Bedford. It was a chance for carers to enjoy a performance by the Carers in Bedfordshire choir, who sang carols and Christmas songs. Attendees also had the opportunity to chat and share experiences while enjoying some seasonal food and drink.
Charmain Felts, Social Worker at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, said, “Thank you so much to the Carers in Bedfordshire choir who gave up their time to come and sing for us. It was a wonderful performance that had us all joining in!
“Caring for somebody can have an impact on many aspects of your life and leave you needing support. Carers’ Thursday is there to help make sure that local carers always have someone they can chat to.
“2019 has seen our group go from strength to strength, with many attendees dropping in to sessions to share experiences and benefit from the advice and support of the team that runs it. This includes former carers, social workers, bereavement support workers, a complementary therapist and an administrator.
“We have also enjoyed a variety of activities and guest speakers, including talks by an occupational therapist as well as a solicitor from Woodfines, staff from Langford Nurseries and Garden Centre and the Bedfordshire Police Bobby Scheme.
“We have lots more exciting plans for 2020, including a performance by a musician at our next session on Thursday 9 January.
We would love for new carers to come and join us – you will be made to feel very welcome. Please do spread the word.”
Doreen Wheeler from Bedford has volunteered at Carers’ Thursday for two years. “As a former carer, I hope to provide support to other carers,” she said.
“I enjoy volunteering. I hope I provide a sympathetic ear and empathise with the situations carers and former carers face. I also feel that in sharing experiences I am keeping memories of my husband alive.”
Carers’ Thursday is held on the second Thursday of every month from 10am-12 noon at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger near Bedford. The group is free and welcomes carers, the person they care for, and former carers of all ages and circumstances.
In 2020, Carers’ Thursday will take place on: 9 January, 13 February, 12 March, 9 April, 14 May, 11 June, 9 July, 13 August, 10 September, 8 October, 12 November and 10 December.
For more information please call Charmain Felts at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice on 01767 642446. Or you can call Donna on 0300 1111919 or Jenny on 01767 315079 at Carers in Bedfordshire.
Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice provides expert palliative care for people living with a life-limiting condition in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, as well as supporting their families.
To find out more about Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice visit: www.sueryder.org/stjohns