Carers’ Thursday Christmas celebrations and carols at Sue Ryder St John's Hospice

A support group for carers in Bedfordshire marked the festive season with a special Christmas celebration on Thursday 12th December. 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.

Sharing experiences while enjoying some seasonal food and drink

The festive celebration 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.

From strength to strength

“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 9th 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: 9th January, 13th February, 12th March, 9th April, 14th May, 11th June, 9th July, 13th August, 10th September, 8th October, 12th November and 10th December.

For more information please call Chairman 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.

You can also find further information on Sue Ryder St John's Hospice and the expert care they provide for people with life-limiting conditions here.