“After every session I feel refreshed and happy”

Karen has osteoarthritis and being in a wheelchair, needs support from carers. She attends Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s eight week Virtual Day Services programme, enjoying five sessions every week including quizzes, discussion groups, writing for wellbeing and art.

Karen Clifton

“I love the company the virtual sessions bring”

“Initially, I felt like the virtual service was not for me,” Karen said. “I really wasn’t sure what a virtual service on a laptop would be able to offer me, but I decided to give it a go and I have not looked back since. It’s brilliant.”

“I love the company the virtual sessions bring. I love seeing everyone’s faces on my screen. We have a laugh and we have a joke. When I am on the virtual sessions, I feel like I am meeting up with a group of friends – just in a different way to how we usually would.”

“Over the course of the eight week programme I have seen so much change in people and I hope by sharing my experience other people will be encouraged to find out more about the service and how they can benefit too.”

Supporting people in and around Peterborough

Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Virtual Day Service is available to anyone living in and around Peterborough with neurological conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, dementia or following a stroke.

Through an online 8 week programme people have access to Sue Ryder experts offering them support and the chance to enjoy a number of virtual interactive activities and social opportunities.

Great variety of sessions

“There is a great variety of sessions offered over the eight week programme,” Karen says. “I really enjoy the discussion group. We get together and talk about any number of different things – from the news to restaurants, or places where we have been. The discussion is always led by the people in ‘the room’, which I really love. We are allowed to be us and the session is completed guided by us and our choices.”

“Recently we had a guest speaker who was a Formula Three racing car driver. I am really looking forward to seeing what other guest speakers we’ll have on our guest speaker slot in future!”

“I also really enjoy the weekly quiz. I have never enjoyed quizzes before but these are such fun and every week is different. The session is really enjoyable. We’ve had quizzes from general knowledge to chocolate and after one person on the group said they loved watching the soaps, the very next week we had a soap-themed quiz.”

Sessions are tailored to our own abilities

“I find the art sessions really enjoyable and the sessions are tailored especially for your own ability. I even get a box delivered to by front door with all the equipment and materials I need for the session if I don’t have them.

“We have done paintings, drawings, water colours, scratchings and colour by number. We pick a topic and we work our way through it. They’re led by an art volunteer and she is so knowledgeable and helps us progress our skills to the best of our own ability. She shows us what we are doing on the screen and we do it alongside.”

“The encouragement offered is always at a personal level and the sessions really do cater for everyone. I find it fascinating to see the different perspectives of people in the group and I love seeing what people have achieved if they want to share it too.”

“The Sue Ryder Virtual Day Services Team are always open to our suggestions – I was really pleased when they organised someone to come in to teach us the art of origami. I am just disappointed I have an appointment that day so I won’t be able to enjoy it. Now I have suggested calligraphy too!”

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice's Virtual Day Services team
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice's Virtual Day Services team

I get so much from the sessions

“Another session I am enjoying is the writing for wellbeing course which is offered jointly with people supported by Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in Gloucestershire. I get so much from the sessions. They are fantastic and we are really encouraged to get involved and talk about different pieces of writing and how it makes us feel. It’s fascinating.”

“I have also participated in their meditation group, but it was so relaxing I used to drop off to sleep and they woke me up at the end. This is a very relaxing group where music plays and the Sue Ryder lead speaks very calmly and in a way that is really relaxing.  Unfortunately I did not get the benefit of them speaking as I only heard the first 10 minutes – so it does work!”

Other sessions offered by the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall virtual days service include complementary therapy, where a therapist leads the group with patients and carers completing the relaxing therapies together at home, and chair-based exercise which offers gentle exercise for stretching and improving strength.

I look forward to each session and it is so easy to take part

Karen is keen for others to join the service to enjoy its benefits.

“The team at Sue Ryder always listen, the sessions are always guided by what we as patients want to do and achieve. The sessions are much fun, and very informative. We learn new things, we have a laugh and build friendships really quickly within our virtual experience."

 “The sessions are getting better and better each week and there really is so much choice on what to do. The team at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice put so much thought and care and attention into the programme. I really enjoy the sessions and after I come off one I feel refreshed, happy and elated. I will go and talk to my husband about what we have done and what I have achieved.”

“I’m always left looking forward to my next session and being together again for that hour – which always seems to go so quickly as we are having such fun.”

“There really is nothing to lose by signing up to the eight week programme. It is so easy to take part - you don’t have to travel, you don’t have to be worried about getting out and about in the bad weather. You can stay at home and take part. The team help you get set up and get you going and if all you do is switch on the laptop and listen to the sessions then you will benefit.”

“I really hope people will get in touch to find out more to join us, as it would be great to meet more new people.”

Virtual day services are invaluable to me

“The virtual day services offered by Sue Ryder are invaluable to me. They have really helped me and I know the support is there if I need it one to one following a session too.”

“The team always know if I am not feeling right – if I am in pain, if I am not in the mood. At the end of the session they will ask me to hang on and we catch up after the session in private so the team can check in to see how I am doing. We sit and we talk. The service and the support are so personal and it makes me feel special.”

“I know that if I needed their support that the team at Sue Ryder would be there for me.”

How to join

There are currently available spaces for new patients to join the Thorpe Hall Hospice Virtual Day Services eight week programme.

Patients are able to create a fully individualised programme of five one hour sessions per week over an eight week block at the weekly cost of £35.

Patients can pay for from their personal care budget, which is allocated to them by their local council to support their eligible social care needs.

Find out more information on Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, the specialist care they provide and ways you can help to support them.

Make a referral

Referrals can be easily made by anyone – patients themselves, their carers or a lead healthcare professional by emailing sryc.thorpehall.dayservices@nhs.net or calling 01733 225900.

Karen Clifton

Day hospice patient

Karen Clifton
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice

Karen from Peterborough, has osteoarthritis and being in a wheelchair needs support from carers. She attends Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s eight week virtual day services programme, enjoying five sessions every week including quizzes, discussion groups, writing for wellbeing and art.