Groups and workshops

We offer a wide range of groups that meet during the week and at weekends, virtually and in person. Some groups are for patients, some for carers, some for family and some for all three!

All off them are needs-led meaning that we have designed them to support you. Some are practical courses you may find helpful and others are more informal and interest-based.

Whether you’re interested in picking up a new hobby, reviving an old one, meeting new friends, looking for a little extra support or just fancy some cake and coffee – we have a group for you! Take a look at the groups currently running and get in touch with our team to find out more.

Allotment Group

Research strongly suggests that even a short time outside, connecting with our natural world, has lasting benefits to our wellbeing. Using our senses helps bring nature closer to us; we observe seasonal changes, notice details on leaves, bark, or insects, hear the crunch of frost underfoot and smell the flowers in bloom. Being in the moment like this helps us to be distracted from everyday worries and can reduce our stress response. This helps us think more clearly, enhance our concentration, sleep better and feel more energised.

This is the essence of our community allotment in Trowbridge where our Allotment Group grows a variety of vegetables, fruit and edible flowers. The site has raised beds, paths that make the plot accessible to everyone, a toilet onsite and a club hut for refreshments. Our Allotment Group also tends to plots at the Springfield Community Centre in Corsham and our herb bed at Dorothy House in Winsley. Produce grown is shared among the group and with Alzheimer’s Wiltshire who are able to benefit by using our excess veg in their day centres across Wiltshire.

Everyone is welcome and we have great fun – whether you’re a gardening novice or green-thumb expert!

Currently, the group meets virtually on Zoom fortnightly. We hope that when restrictions are eased it will be possible to run small, safe and socially distanced groups at the allotment.

If you’d like to know more about the group please contact our Clinical Coordination Centre for more information.

Cope My Way

Cope My Way is a group programme that aims to provide information and tools to enable patients to live well and to continue doing things that are important to them. Patients who are referred to Cope My Way will be contacted so that a personalised programme of self-management and wellbeing support can be planned over a number of weeks. Patients that attend are invited to bring a carer, relative or friend along with them to the sessions.

The sessions available include topics covering:

  • breathlessness management
  • sleep, fatigue management and energy conservation
  • Qi-Gong
  • physical exercise
  • relaxation.

The sessions are informal and relaxed; this gives patients the chance to learn while getting to know other people who are going through similar experiences.

After attending the agreed sessions, patients will be offered a review to see if there are other services that will benefit them.

Cope My Way is currently being offered virtually. To access this service, please contact the Clinical Coordination Centre for more information.

The Coffee Connection

Dorothy House and We Hear You have come together to offer a virtual support group for anyone in the local area affected by a life-limiting illness or associated bereavement. This group is an opportunity to connect with other people in a similar situation and chat to our team from the comfort of your home.

Coffee Connection meets virtually every Monday and Thursday online. Come along and see some familiar faces, our team and others, with a cup of coffee or tea in hand. Each session lasts around 45 minutes.

The Same Boat Support Group

This is a safe, friendly, supportive and confidential space to share experiences and advice with other people, in the same boat.

The patient led group is facilitated by Dorothy House counsellors.  It’s a space that’s outside of your normal circle of family and friends where you can share feelings and speak honestly.

The Same Boat group is far from the conventional idea of what a hospice experience is like.  We meet to support each other, share life’s experiences, laugh and cry.  No subject is off limits and there’s no agenda.

We meet every Wednesday from 12.30-2pm online or in-person (depending on current Government guidance). There’s also a private Facebook page for the group to stay in touch and access information and support between sessions.

To find out more and to be referred, contact Jemima or Carolyn in the Family Support Team

Phone: 01225722988

Email: carolyn.bird@dorothyhouse-hospice.org.uk or

Jemima.penrose@dorothyhouse-hospice.org.uk

ON HOLD: Carers Support Group

The Carers Support Group is an informal meeting of carers (pre-bereavement) who meet to discuss and share experiences, providing mutual support for one another. There’s no set agenda; the meeting is shaped by those who attend.

A Dorothy House social worker facilitates the group and ensures the event runs smoothly and that everyone has the opportunity to participate.

The group meets at Winsley on alternate Wednesdays, 12.30–2pm, over a sandwich lunch. A social worker from the Family Support Team will contact the carer prior to attendance. If needed, we try to arrange volunteer transport and/or a volunteer Companion to sit with a patient so that their carer is able to attend.

ON HOLD: Friends in Grief

We recognise that grief is something we will all encounter at some point in our lives but when someone close to us dies we can be left feeling lost and alone, in a strange world. Having a place to go, where we feel able to share our thoughts and fears, can help us to see that, far from going ‘mad’, what we are feeling is a natural and normal part of grieving.

Friends in Grief (FIG) is a community-based ‘light touch’ drop-in service where anyone who has been touched by grief is welcome. In an informal but supportive setting, facilitated by trained Dorothy House volunteers, it’s a place where you can be with others who are bereaved.

ON HOLD: Peer Art Support Group

This group is a fantastic opportunity for patients to work individually, but in a group setting, using creativity to:

  • rebuild confidence and independence
  • learn new skills
  • explore difficult emotions
  • make new friends
  • get to know Dorothy House
  • experience diversion.

Patients can attend up to 10 sessions.

ON HOLD: Qi Gong

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice that enhances wellbeing through gentle stretching and breathing exercises, either standing or sitting. It can help to relieve stress and improve energy levels. It requires minimal flexibility and you don’t need to be aerobically fit to take part.

Qi Gong sessions are informal, relaxed and take place in the beautiful Beacon at the Hospice in Winsley. The calming views across the Wiltshire countryside enhance the experience, sessions are suitable for everyone and all abilities are welcome.

ON HOLD: Singing Group

This relaxed and informal group meets to sing well-known songs together, followed by refreshments. It’s open to anyone affected by a life-limiting condition.

ON HOLD: Tea@3

Tea@3 is an informal and friendly afternoon drop-in for people who have been bereaved and feel they could benefit from some ongoing support.

This group takes place at the weekend when we know it can be hard for some. It doesn’t matter how long ago you were bereaved, come along and meet others who are going through a similar experience. Pop in as a one-off or attend as many times as you like — you are always welcome.

The emphasis is on mutual support and offering help to one another in a very relaxed and safe environment. The group is led by two of our experienced hospice staff and meets once a month. Tea, coffee and cakes are available.