Two Scarborough charities have joined forces to provide a new service aimed at helping people in the area cope with what can be the most difficult time of their lives.
The Bridge project sees Saint Catherine’s Hospice working with Age UK Scarborough and District to provide greater support for people diagnosed with terminal or life-limiting illnesses, and their families.
Saint Catherine’s Hospice is providing emotional and psychological help through counselling whilst Age UK offers practical help and advice.
Initially for a three-year period, the Bridges project has been funded by the National Lottery and has been welcomed by both charities.
The hospice’s Supportive Care manager Kath Atherton said it would allow people to get emotional and practical support at a time when they needed it most.
“Saint Catherine’s specialises in providing holistic support for patients and their families,” she said.
“The Bridges project will enable us to provide far more emotional and psychological support whilst through Age UK they will also get the practical help they need.
“This is fantastic for Saint Catherine’s. Previously the need for counselling went far beyond the hospice’s resources.
“This enables us to offer more much-needed help irrespective of whether the people are hospice patients or not.
“It is a service that makes a real difference to people’s lives at a very difficult and challenging time. It helps the patient and their family to make sense of everything, both emotionally and practically.”
The funding has seen extra additions to the hospice team as it enabled the hospice to take on the services of four counsellors with a range of skills and expertise to provide support across Scarborough, Ryedale and Whitby.
Age UK Scarborough and District Community Development Manager Jackie Hutchinson said diagnosis of a life-limiting illness was a traumatic time for the patient and their family and the project would allow Age UK to help deal with the practical repercussions.
“For someone facing up to such an illness and their family this period of time can seem overwhelming,” she said.
“They have to come to terms with what is going to happen and dealing with the practical side of things – like their pensions and benefits, for example – can be another added stress.
“Through the Bridges project we will be able to help pick up those practical issues and also provide information and guidance on other places where they might get help.
“Where someone has lost a loved one, we can offer help in picking up the pieces and moving forward with their lives.”
The funding has enabled the hospice to train bereavement volunteers and if anyone is interested they should contact the hospice on (01723) 351421.
To access the services provided by the Bridges project, contact the hospice on (01723 351421) or Age UK on (01723 379058).