world wellbeing week 2021 banner

Looking after the wellbeing of patients and their loved ones

As 21-27 June is World Wellbeing Week 2021, we thought we would update you on Martlets’ wellbeing services. During the pandemic we have continued to run many of our social and therapeutic groups, delivering sessions online via Zoom to patients and their partners, carers and families.

Now in its third year, World WellBeing Week 2021 promotes awareness of wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing. Here at Martlets, we offer a variety of weekly sessions to support the wellbeing of patients and their families. Prior to the pandemic, these took place on site at the Hospice. But to protect more vulnerable patients and our staff we adapted our services and were able to deliver some online.

Relaxation sessions include chair yoga, guided walks in nature meditations, mindfulness and Tai Chi QiGong. We also hold online coffee mornings to encourage social interaction and run creative writing and art sessions. Our services via Zoom continue to be popular with our outpatients, and their partners and carers. A few of our inpatients have also accessed sessions on iPads from their beds on the ward.

“We’re finding people will attend three or four online sessions a week,” says Ann Borg, Martlets’ supportive care project lead. “Whereas before they might only have been able to make it into the Hospice for one. It feels like a little community now online and we’ve all adapted to connecting via our screens. We did a survey of everyone involved and the feedback was really positive. People appreciate being able to take part from their beds and sofas even if they are feeling poorly; it means they don’t have to leave the house.”

All the sessions have a wellbeing focus and the emphasis is on taking time out to relax.

“We have plans for some new wellbeing groups next year,” continues Ann. “Hopefully, these will include the use of aromatherapy oils, African drumming sessions and performance story telling.”

What our patients and families have to say

“The online art class is accessible for Mum to attend from her bed in the Hospice. We can both take part (me from my home and Mum from the Hospice) and see each other over Zoom. It connects us without using up our allocated visiting time at Martlets which is wonderful.”

“Myself and my husband would feel devastated if our connection with Martlets was taken away. The community and the wellbeing sessions provides us with comfort and security.”

“The sessions are very therapeutic. Remembering and drawing a favourite gift I had received made me cry, but this was a good thing as it released tension. I also made my grandson a birthday card which was a lovely to do.”

“I can be myself with my disability and I don’t scare anyone when I talk about my illness.”

“I am a carer for my husband and my mother-in-law, so just the switching off for a little while is really beneficial.”

“The art group makes such a difference to me. My partner is keen for me to attend as she sees moments of joy in me. We have started doing art together at home, it’s so great that we can now do that. Our tutor Helen is brilliant.”

Our new ‘Life Writing’ group

“I feel lighter and full of joy. I’m always delighted to learn about the life stories of others.”

Ann talks about the new writing group that has just launched online:

“The lovely Helen who runs our creative art group has just started running ‘Life Writing’ on a Friday. We give people a choice of two topics a couple of days ahead. This week it was ‘a holiday memory’ and ‘the view from my window’.

“The process is about reminiscing and the journey of writing rather than trying to finish the piece in the session. It’s about encouraging wellbeing through connecting with memories, emotions and creativity; the inspiration to be found in small things that bring us joy.

“These sessions really do support the wellbeing of so many people”

“It’s a four-week course and people can share some of what they’ve written at the end of each session if they wish. At end of the course, we’ll read out some stories in full that people have been working on.

“Several volunteers are on hand to help participants to share their thoughts. We use online ‘break out’ rooms for this and people can continue to write afterwards if they want to. The volunteers can work on a one-to-one basis with anyone who needs support with their writing. We then send the person the notes the volunteer has made after the session. For example, we have a volunteer who helps a patient with arthritis to get his thoughts down on paper.

“When we ran similar writing for wellbeing sessions previously people got so much out of the process. I will never forget the wonderful gentleman in his late 80s who loved the writing group. He was inspired to write his life story as part of the sessions. It covered the period from VE Day in 1945 when he was a boy up until 2015. These sessions really do support the wellbeing of so many people.”

Find out more this World Wellbeing Week 2021

  • For more information about Martlets’ wellbeing services please call 01273 273400.
  • Or view some information on our website