Two local hospices have taken a proactive approach to reaching out to men in their communities who may feel isolated either because they are living with a terminal illness or because they are bereaved.
St Barnabus House in Worthing has introduced a ‘Manbus’ to offer monthly outings to men who are living with advanced illness and may have become isolated. Devised by Sophie, the voluntary services manager, the service is aimed at men who would prefer a day out in a group rather than one to one visits in the home. Outings take place once a month and involve trained male volunteers from the hospice taking out groups of up to six people in the hospice minibus. So far the bus has taken patients to the pub, and Shoreham Airport to watch the planes and have lunch in the restaurant. Future trips include a visit to Tangmere Air Museum and Arundel.
At the other end of the country Halton Haven Hospice on the Wirral have opened a 'Man Shed' to support men during bereavement. The idea, introduced from Australia, was promoted by Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pauline, who noticed that men were not always interested in the traditional bereavement support offered. The project is for men of any age and has one simple criterion: they must be bereaved or soon to be bereaved. Pauline’s idea was clearly a good one; the first 25 calls resulted in 15 recruits to the shed.
The ‘shed’ has a range of tools and workbenches, computers and a kitchen for those who want to learn to cook. There is also the opportunity to learn photography or develop gardening skills. However, if all that is required is a chat and a cup of tea with new friends then that is fine. The first group of users have decided to ban the TV as they can watch that at home, they want the shed to be for doing and being.
Both projects show how hospice care is constantly thinking of new ways to support patients and families.
Originally published on ehospice: Hospice launches unique project to support men who have been bereaved