THE work done at a hospice in York has been hailed.

St Leonard’s Hospice in Tadcaster Road in York is raising awareness during Carers Week this week of their Carers Support Service that provides help to family, friends and loved ones of those living with a life-limiting illness.

Alan Dews from York, cares for his wife Cath and receives support from the Carers Support Service. Cath has a rare brain disease, leaving her paralysed. Alan admits her illness has taken everything from them and he finds it hard.

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The St Leonard’s carers support team visit to support Cath, so that Alan can use this time to do the shopping or catch up on sleep.

He says: “The service is excellent. They are the nicest, most caring people. It is marvellous to see them with Cath, making her a cappuccino and treating her to soft biscuits.”

Alan also comes to the St Leonard’s Hospice Wellbeing drop-in sessions at the Hospice’s Sunflower Centre every week, when the carer support team are with Cath.

“I don’t really have anyone to talk to about what’s happening, so it’s good to be able to chat to other people in the same position as me," said Alan.

"I have a routine now where I go to a nearby café for a bacon sandwich before coming to the Hospice. It gives me a much-needed break. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to come into the Wellbeing drop-in, at the start I’d drive here and not come in, but I’m glad I did in the end, and I’d like others in my position to know about the support here.”

Alan said the impact of caring on all aspects of life can be significant, and it is a challenging role.

The St Leonard’s Carer Support Service helps by arranging much-needed regular breaks and respite to carers of people who are in receipt of fully funded NHS Continuing Care. A trained care worker spends time with the patient so the carer can have a rest, knowing their loved one is being looked after. In the past year the service has enabled 226 carers to have breaks and provided 3,050 hours of carer respite support.

Anne-Marie Roberts, Clinical Director at St Leonard’s said: “As a Hospice, we’re not just here to support patients. Terminal and life-limiting illnesses can have a huge impact on family, loved ones, and those who provide support, and we’re here to care for those who care too.”

To learn more about St Leonard’s Hospice and its Carers Support Service, please contact 01904 777 770.

To find out more about Carers Week, visit