Looking after a loved one who is ill can be hard, and it’s important that their carers are supported too. Local charity Phyllis Tuckwell, which provides Hospice Care for people who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, also helps their families and carers too. It has recently introduced new carer support drop-in sessions, where the carers of its patients can come to find useful information, advice, guidance and signposting, as well as important emotional support.

The sessions are held at the Beacon Centre, which is located on the site of the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. They take place from 11am to 12pm every Friday and are run by Phyllis Tuckwell’s Living Well team, which includes its patient and family advisors.

The team offers a warm welcome and a listening ear to all those who come along to the sessions. Carers can find information there on matters such as eligibility and how to apply for Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Carer’s Allowance, Blue Badges and other welfare benefits. There is also information on pendant alarms and key safes, Wills and Power of Attorney, and funeral costs. There are lists of care agencies, domestic support, gardening providers, and meal preparation and delivery agencies, as well as information on local nursing homes, privately funded care packages and referrals to Adult Social Care.

As well as signposting carers to support outside of Phyllis Tuckwell, the team also provides information about the other services that Phyllis Tuckwell offers, including bereavement support and Home Support. Those unable to attend can make an appointment for a virtual session, and phone consultations are also available, with no appointment needed.

“Caring for a loved one can be very demanding, and many carers don’t know where to turn for help,” said Rachel Copes, Living Well sister at Phyllis Tuckwell. “These drop-in sessions offer both emotional and practical support, showing carers that they’re not alone and telling them about the help which is there for them, which they may not have been aware of.”

Carers whose loved one is being looked after by Phyllis Tuckwell are welcome to drop in to these sessions. Those who are unable to attend can phone the team on 01252 729430 for advice over the phone, or to book a virtual meeting.

To find out more about Phyllis Tuckwell, visit www.pth.org.uk.