Living Well courses, social groups and information sessions

Living Well social groups

Meet others, relax and have fun in our social groups. These are free monthly sessions for people with a serious progressive illness & their carers and include Love Books, Knit and Natter and Making your life easier with Technology.  Please see the event calendar below to book your place.

Information sessions

These are free six-weekly information sessions for people with a serious progressive illness & their carers. The introductory classes include Understanding pain and its management. Please see the event calendar below to book your place.

Please note the social groups and information sessions will not include one-to-one medical advice.

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Living Well courses

Our free Living Well courses and are designed for people with a serious progressive illness to help them to learn new skills, strategies and techniques through education, exercise, therapies, creativity, relaxation, and group support.

The courses are open to people living with a serious progressive illness such as cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease and who are registered with a south Worcestershire GP. With many courses participants will be encouraged to practice techniques to learn how to manage symptoms at home; to help gain the maximum benefit from the course and develop confidence to continue practicing once the course has come to an end.

As the Living Well programme is individually tailored to your specific needs and goals, it begins with a short assessment, which lasts up to an hour. At the end of the assessment you may be offered an individual programme (which may be one or more of the courses below) or signposted to an alternative service. During your Living Well programme you will be offered a re-assessment at key points. Once you have come to the end of your programme you may wish to look at community-based projects and activities to continue to practice your skills and benefit from the courses you attended.

Our Living Well courses are co-ordinated and run by a wide range of hospice staff with support from trained volunteers. If appropriate you may be referred to other hospice services. Please contact the Gateway Team if you have any questions or to discuss the Living Well courses on 01905 763963.

We are unable to provide transport for the Living Well sessions. We do have a free car park and are easily reached by a regular bus service.

Please note we are unable to administer medications at Living Well.

Courses on offer

Coping with illness

6-8 week course

This is an informative and supportive group to help people manage and live well with a serious, progressive illness. It will be an opportunity to share and learn from others who are going through similar challenges and provide practical and emotional coping strategies. The programme includes: dealing with stress, worry and uncertainty; communicating with others; tips for managing breathlessness and fatigue; coping with pain; the emotional journey and adjusting to the new me. The content is flexible and other topics chosen by the group can be included.


6 week course

This course aims to help individuals learn why and how we need to relax. Relaxation is helpful if you are experiencing anxiety, sleep disturbance, pain, nausea, breathlessness or fatigue and enhances your general well-being. We will teach and encourage people to practice a range of techniques with the intention that one or more will become meaningful to them and be used in their everyday living.

Fatigue Management

4 week course

These sessions are useful for people struggling with fatigue. They are designed to help them cope with the symptoms of extreme physical or mental tiredness.

Adapted Tai Chi

6 week course

Tai Chi consists of exercises, which combine deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements. The exercises are recognised as being good for stress, breathing, balance, blood pressure and general health. Classes are suitable for all conditions and can be adapted to meet individual needs. Two classes are available with one all-seated class and a second which involves some standing activity.

Managing your breathlessness

6 week course

This course gives an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation, find out strategies to help, discuss how being breathless affects people and receive support and advice for coping.  The course covers understanding of how breathing works and skills to bring episodes of breathlessness under control. A carer may attend with a patient if considered helpful.

Men's Space

6 week course

The Men’s Space group provides the opportunity for males to meet others in a similar situation. The ethos of the group is of care, support and a sense of fun, humour and enjoyment. The group meets weekly for 6 sessions and enjoys activities such as talks from a range of guest speakers, visits to local places of interest and some relaxing social time.

Sharing stories

5 week course

Therapeutic, creative and fulfilling – share stories based on memories, images and personal experiences to help express feelings, thoughts and emotions. Build a personal history of your life experiences to take away with you.

Arts and crafts

4-6 week courses

A variety of painting and craft courses. Take time out, relax, be creative and learn new skills. The timetable is variable and covers: exploring different painting techniques and a variety of arts and crafts; courses on card making, jewellery making, felting techniques as well as the occasional flower arranging classes

Finding inner peace

6 week course

In a busy world the opportunity for finding inner peace is challenging. This course is designed to support those seeking tranquillity and meaning in their journey through life. “Finding inner peace” will be led by members of the chaplaincy team and will explore spirituality using poetry, music, art and all of our 5 senses. It is designed to be suitable for all searching for answers, whether in faith or elsewhere.

Session 1:  Finding inner peace in a treasury of words Session 2: Finding inner peace in the beauty of the world Session 3: Finding inner peace in musical harmony Session 4: Finding inner peace in helping hands Session 5: Finding inner peace in scented memories Sessions 6: Finding inner peace in the pilgrimage of life


The Tree of Life

3 sessions

The Tree of Life is based on narrative therapy that focuses on culture, heritage, spirituality, strengths and hope. It originated in Zimbabwe to help traumatised communities. It is now being used in many services and communities across the world with people who are living with many different experiences and facing different challenges. The tree is used as a metaphor for life and by the end of the group each person will have a tree that represents different positive elements of life that can be taken home.

This is a three week group with the same people each week so you will have the chance to get to know others. We will meet from 10.30-12.30 each Friday and we will provide all the supplies you need. There is no minimum requirement for drawing or creativity – it does not matter how good you are at drawing as templates are provided.

The group offers the chance to:make connections with others living with a health condition; identify and build on your strengths, interests and personal qualities that make you who you are; find different ways to live with a long term health condition; ·have a chance to see yourself through other people’s eyes; explore and share your hopes and dreams with others; gain a different perspective on yourself and others; and reconnect with what is important to you through the medium of art, creativity and fun!


Pilgrim course: the Lord's Prayer

6 week course

This course is suitable for those who have a faith and those who are exploring what they believe. It will be led by members of the chaplaincy team.

Each session includes a reflection and a film clip based on a different aspect of the Christian faith. The course lasts for 6 weeks, 1 ½ hours per week.

Those of other faiths are welcome to participate. Alternatively, if you would prefer to attend a course more specific to your own religious background, the chaplaincy team are willing to discuss this with you and with our local faith leaders.

Session 1:  Relationship Session 2: The Kingdom of God Session 3: Our daily bread  Session 4: Forgiveness Session 5: Strengths and weaknesses  Session 6:Praise and worship

Horticultural Therapy

6 week course

This course will aim to demonstrate how to continue an interest in horticulture and gardening with changed abilities or to discover a new skill which is both pleasurable and peaceful.

It is an opportunity to continue with the feeling of connection to nature and the environment; to meet like-minded people with a similar interest and share experiences and knowledge.

Horticulture and gardening have many known therapeutic, exercise and well being benefits. They can support the body to be active and help with stress management.

Come along and participate in a fun, simple and enjoyable activity. There will be mostly table top gardening and similar activities, planting seeds and nurturing growth.