Pilgrims Hospices, including its site in Margate, care for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.
At the Thanet Hospice people can also discover their artistic side at Time to Create sessions, run by the Wellbeing team. These offer patients an opportunity to express themselves through arts and crafts activities in a group setting. This can help with the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges they may face after a diagnosis and referral to hospice care.
Angela Clarke, from Westbrook, attends the weekly sessions. The 60-year-old is enjoying creating artwork, meeting new friends and experiencing a different side to hospice care that she didn’t know about until coming to Pilgrims.
Through being referred to a Pilgrims breathlessness management course by a nurse at Guy’s Hospital, London, Angela heard about the charity’s wider wellbeing services and was keen to find out more. She was introduced to Billy Williams and Kyla Szukala, Wellbeing Practitioners, who welcomed her to the Time to Create group at the Thanet hospice.
Angela said: “I’m a complete novice, but I’m really enjoying it. We’ve worked with acrylics, watercolours and pastels, made Easter wreaths and done a project for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We also made felt teddy bears; I didn’t finish mine in the group because I had to go to hospital, but I took it with me to work on during my stay, and it helped to keep me busy and take my mind off things.
“Having a finished product is lovely, although that’s not what matters really – it’s the taking part and enjoying others’ company. It’s nice to be away from home and spend time with different people. I look forward to the Time to Create groups, and I miss them when they don’t run.”
Angela also takes her newfound creativity home with her; after using watercolours in the group, she now paints the fruit and flowers in her garden.
She added: “I always thought hospice care was just offered at the end of life, and there was a fear around it. How very wrong I was. It’s friendly; we’re all struggling, but you can lose yourself for a few hours and just be.”
To find out more about the Wellbeing services offered at Pilgrims, visit: pilgrimshospices.org/wellbeing