Kirkwood Hospice’s Support and Therapy team have launched a new support service for male service users, patients, carers, and bereaved men, taking place as a drop-in group held weekly. This new initiative has drawn upon the wider multi-disciplinary (MDT) approach at Kirkwood, with input offered by our trained Counsellors and Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers. Working closely with MDT members, we hope to develop this group, along with the service users, so that it is truly meeting the needs identified by the group.
Feedback from Kirkwood’s service and carer user forum had previously indicated a demand for a male-specific service at Kirkwood Hospice. This was alongside recognition of existing services offered perhaps not appealing to male patients. Given the national ‘Men’s Shed’ movement has been gaining momentum and demonstrating positive links with mental health and wellbeing, it has felt like the right opportunity to develop a Men’s Space session.
With the aim to engage and support more male service users at Kirkwood, the ‘Men’s Space’ sessions have been developed and launched. The sessions are being envisaged as a developmental 12 week programme where service users, alongside Kirkwood Hospice staff, come together in a supportive manner with the option to plan and deliver a specific project such as gardening, creative activities or IT based projects. The activities undertaken by the group will be led by the group itself and supported and facilitated by staff from the Support and Therapy team, Family Care Team and IT team members. Users can attend for as long as they want to during a weekly four hour period.
Initial feedback has been extremely positive and the service will be evaluated through the ‘Short Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale’ at week 1, 6 and 12. The sessions are also being promoted to local stakeholders including other Men’s Sheds groups based in Kirklees.
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