Group of people celebrating in Wellbeing Cafe

Treetops Hospice Care has welcomed its 1000th visitor to its weekly drop in Wellbeing Café which opened its doors in January.

The Café, open every Thursday from 10am to 3.30pm, is open to people with a life-limiting illness, or those who’ve been bereaved, along with their families and friends, as a way to access advice and information informally. Treetops staff and volunteers are available to chat whilst visitors enjoy tea, coffee and homemade cake.

Treetops, based in Risley, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease, respiratory conditions and heart failure. Services are provided free of charge to people living in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and last year the hospice supported over 1,800 people and their families.

The Café is one of several new Wellbeing Services aimed at encouraging people to maintain their quality of life and capacity to care for themselves. Other opportunities include a Men’s Group, Women’s Group, a Get Moving exercise group, Gardening Group, Singing Group, Knit and Natter session, and supported bathing Spa Days.

Immediately when you walk through the door, there’s a feeling of relaxation

The 1000th visitor to the Café was Shelagh Hind, 80, from Stanton by Dale. Shelagh explained more about why she attended:

“It’s wonderful here – nice and airy, welcoming and everybody’s so lovely. It’s a very warm environment. Immediately when you walk through the door, there’s a feeling of relaxation.

“Since coming here, I’ve found out about other services and I’ve been attending the Wellbeing Programme on a Monday and the Clinic in Palliative Medicine as well as having Complementary Therapy.

Coming here has been good for me as well as Shelagh

Shelagh’s husband, David, has also had Complementary Therapy:

“It’s been marvellous and coming here has been good for me as well as Shelagh. It’s given Shelagh company and expert advice.”

Shelagh was very surprised to be the 1000th visitor:

“The balloons were the first thing I noticed when I arrived this morning but no-one would tell me any more apart from it was a surprise for me! I can’t get over it.”

An easy and flexible way for people to find out more about the support and services available to them

Ali Jordan, Treetops senior staff nurse, said:

“We’re thrilled to reach this milestone and welcome so many people in such a short space of time since we opened.

“The Café is a huge success and an easy and flexible way for people to come to the hospice, often for the first time, and find out more about the support and services available to them.

Wellbeing is about every area of your life

“When you are living with a life-limiting illness it can be difficult to know what is most important for you and how to achieve it. It could be your emotional wellbeing, your physical health or simply maintaining a sense of normality.

“We understand that wellbeing is about every area of your life including physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects. The new Wellbeing programme offers support to help people deal with concerns that may arise as a result of their condition as well as sharing skills and knowledge to be able to manage and maintain quality of life.”

It’s helped me and come at the right time

Tony Rogers, 77, from Ilkeston, also started attending the Café earlier this year:

“My wife, Margaret, died three years ago. Treetops were able to support us with Hospice at Home nurses for her at night and during the day. They’d only given her six months but with Treetops help and my help, she lived for another two years.

“I got a little depressed and down but I saw an advert for the Wellbeing Café and thought I’d come along and my children thought it was a good idea.

“It’s nice to be treated normally here. It’s helped me and come at the right time as I’ve been struggling a bit.  I’d not been to the hospice before – it’s very friendly and homely.

Full details of all the Wellbeing Services can be found on the Treetops website here.

Treetops also offers confidential support and advice from diagnosis onwards, Hospice at Home nurses to care for people at the end of life in their own home and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.