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Saint Catherine's Hospice

Funded: June 2023

Blue Light Card Foundation is funding wellbeing initiatives for staff and volunteers including Qi Gong sessions and wellbeing workshops

Sectors supported: Social care

Saint Catherine’s Hospice is a Scarborough-based hospice that operates throughout North and East Yorkshire. Care is provided both in the hospice and out in the community, so that it can be tailored to the needs and wishes of patients, their carers and their loved ones.

Their Wellbeing Centre provides a flexible space for delivery of wellbeing services to patients and staff alike.

This funding will facilitate the launch of an eight week ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ course free to all staff and volunteers, where they can explore the benefits of mindfulness to improve their quality of life and manage stress.

The Hospice is also welcoming a complementary therapist to offer services to staff and volunteers, providing weekly Qi Gong sessions – a form of practice, through movements and breathing, for cultivating and balancing Qi, our life force. Studies have demonstrated that regular practice of this type of exercise can not only result in physiological benefits, such as improved cardiopulmonary function, balance and reduced osteoarthritis, but also improvement in cognitive function in older people with or without cognitive impairment.

Their aim is to overcome barriers and stigma related to accessing wellbeing and mental health support by dove-tailing these wellbeing initiatives into their current employee assistance programs and workplace wellbeing strategies. There is anticipation that this would have the effect of reducing instances of staff reaching crisis points or mental health issues escalating and increasing the need for more specialised support.

John Ashfield, Wellbeing Services Manager, said: “On behalf of all the staff and volunteers at Saint Catherine’s I would like to thank the Blue Light Card Foundation for their incredible generosity. This funding will mean that we are able to reinstate some initiatives that we have had previously as well as introduce new ones that will contribute to the health and wellbeing of all our staff and volunteers.”

For more information on Saint Catherine’s, please see their website: