“The amount of help that St Clare has given me is incredible. All anyone in my position wants is time – time to talk, time to explain, and that is exactly what St Clare offers.”
Colin holding up a sign that says "St Clare is here for Me and My Family"

I see a heart failure nurse on a regular basis and it was her that recommended that I came to St Clare for a Day Therapy course. I was slightly shocked when she first mentioned it – because of course the first thing that goes through your mind when you hear the word ‘hospice’ is ‘oh no, they think I’m more ill than I am.’ I thought I wasn’t ill enough for St Clare’s services. I didn’t realise that they offered care at other stages of need, not just palliative care.”

“After talking to my heart failure nurse, she brought me down from a high level of fear and then I agreed to come. I have been coming to St Clare for 2 years now and I’m currently on my second round of the Day Therapy course. The first time I came was for a 15 week programme whilst I was waiting for my pacemaker to be fitted, and luckily enough, I was invited to come back after it was fitted for extra support.”

“I come to Day Therapy on a Friday and it’s just nice to be in a room with equal people. Quite often when I’m talking to a cardiologist or a doctor, I feel like I’m nothing new to them. Sometimes you feel like they just don’t have the time, or you’re just another number. But there’s none of that at St Clare. You can talk to people and get feedback on how they live and sometimes that really helps. Some people will never say the reason they are here or what their illness is. You don’t have to disclose anything, you can just enjoy being with the other people in the class.”

“The amount of help that St Clare has given me is incredible. All anyone in my position wants is time – time to talk, time to explain and that is exactly what St Clare offers. There is no looking at their watch, or ‘I think it’s time for you to leave’ – each staff member has so much time and respect for each and every person. They help you in the nicest, easiest way possible, making sure that you understand everything. When you speak to one of the nurses or doctors, you just feel so relaxed and grateful, it’s just so helpful.”

“Every time I leave here and I drive home, I just feel so relaxed and the peace of mind is unbelievable. And it really is each and every time I come here. I came for 15 weeks last time, and I’m now on week 9 of my second course, and they have helped me as much today as they did the first time they met me.”

“I can understand why people would be scared to come to St Clare once they hear the word ‘hospice’.  But once you get over that initial worry and come here, you realise that what St Clare offers is unbelievable. I feel so at home coming here now. The help that they are giving me is just amazing.  I would honestly say to anyone in my situation to come and try it, it’s remarkable.”

“In the months before I came to St Clare, I lost the ability to laugh. Now when I come to the Friday sessions there is always a comedian amongst us.”

“You’re in a group filled with people you are unwell, but you all just have a laugh. Sometimes I just sit there and think ‘what on earth am I laughing about?’ but you just can’t control it! Someone will always come up with a comical crack that makes the whole room light up.”

“You can really let it all go here at St Clare – you can just let your heart go.”

“You can’t always do that at home with your partner and your family. You don’t want them thinking, ‘he’s moaning again’. But it’s not like that at St Clare, it really is a different type of conversation and that is why I find it so helpful. It definitely gives you a good feeling. Sometimes it is difficult to get up in the morning, but by the time you’ve been at St Clare for 10 minutes you feel different. It’s worth every second.”

“When a new person joins the group, you can feel that they are a bit tense. But within an hour they have mingled in, and it’s as if you’ve known them for a long time.”

“I know you’ve got to be called a ‘hospice’ because that is what St Clare is, but there should be a ‘hospice and…’”

“I’m sure people drive past and think ‘oohh, that’s a hospice, shh be quiet’. But they’d be surprised if they actually came in and heard all the laughs and banter that we have, they really would.”

– Colin

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