Social Prescribing / St. Nicholas Hospice


Here at Suffolk Carers Matter we are in full support of Social Prescribing: ‘a means of enabling GP’s, nurses and other professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services’ (The Kings Fund). Part of our ethos at Suffolk Carers Matter is to work in partnership with other organisations and promote services that we feel are useful to carers.

Last month we met with representatives from the clinical and community teams at St. Nicholas Hospice Care, along with their staff from fundraising, HR and family support. The team at St. Nicholas were kind enough to give us the time and opportunity to talk about how we are supporting carers here and we look forward to working with them more closely in the future.

As much as St. Nicholas Hospice Care has an outstanding reputation for their clinical care this isn’t the only aspect of their remit. They offer many non-clinical services to people with life-limiting illnesses, their carers and those who have been bereaved.

Services include:

Creative Writing Group @ St. Nicholas Hospice, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds Fridays 2-4pm

If you have a long-term illness, are a carer or are bereaved then you are welcome to join. Please contact 01284 702525.

Creative Writing Group


Mindful Movement @ St. Nicholas Haverhill Hub, Tuesdays 2-3pm

Tai Chi inspired exercise and relaxation group; delivering gentle exercise, sitting or standing. Spaces are limited please call the community team on 01284 766133.

Mindful Movement


Bereavement Café

The Bereavement Café is an informal drop in, a chance to meet and talk with other people who have had similar experiences to your own. Anyone who has been bereaved is welcome, no matter how long ago that bereavement was. The pilot Bereavement Café at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds has just celebrated its first year anniversary and there are now also café’s in Haverhill (at the Haverhill Hub) and in Mildenhall (at the Bell Hotel), both on Fridays from 10am-12pm.

Bereavement support groups


Open House

This is an informal drop in for people who are suffering with a life-limiting illness, their carers or those coping with bereavement. There is no need to book and there are members of staff from the Hospice there to offer information, support and educational nuggets on relevant topics such as managing fatigue and nutrition.

Open House takes place across West Suffolk and Thetford including Botesdale, Sudbury, Mildenhall and Newmarket. See their website for specific details.

Open House

Hospice Neighbours

This is a community-based scheme; trained volunteers go out to visit people who have a life-limiting condition. Volunteers help with practical things such as shopping or dog walking. Most importantly they offer companionship and this can often develop into friendship. It is extremely rewarding for all who are involved.

If you know of someone who could benefit from having a Hospice Neighbour you can refer them yourself by calling Glen, Bernie, Genaya and Louise on 01284 716938. Similarly do get in touch with the team if you would like to find out more about volunteering!

Laura at Suffolk Carers Matter has been a Hospice Neighbour herself since September 2016. She says:

Being a Hospice Neighbour has made a huge difference to me; it has opened my eyes to other people’s way of life and has taught me to be respectful of that. I feel such fondness and admiration for the person I visit, it is a very different sort of friendship but one that I really treasure. 

It may sound a small thing, but we really do have such a laugh together which is an amazing feeling. I feel very privileged to be a part of her life and can’t imagine not seeing her now, over the past two years of visiting her there have been many highs and lows but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.