For many this week is their last week at work, and can feel especially busy in the lead up to Christmas.

Looking after ourselves is incredibly important, and looking after each other during these times of change is equally so.

We must all take heed of the Government’s recent announcement to increase our safety measures whilst out in public. It’s not just our physical needs we should look after though, our mental wellbeing is so important too.

At Bury Hospice we recognise that patients and their families need more than medical care and we are developing our services to provide emotional, spiritual and wellbeing support too.

We’re committed to making the journey for people who need our help as seamless and all-inclusive as possible and are particularly excited about the development of our supportive care services.

We recently opened up our new complementary therapy service which is dedicated to holistically looking after the person – and that is not just the patient but their family too.

Joanna Cohen, a former nurse on our inpatient unit runs the service and is passionate about the difference complementary therapy makes. For many people we look after, our complementary service has already become an anchor they look forward to.

One of Jo’s current patients is Linda Fleming, who was diagnosed in August 2020 with cancer.

Linda was referred to Bury Hospice’s complementary service through her specialist cancer nurse and says: “I love coming here.

"Jo is absolutely wonderful, I find her so easy to talk to. We discuss everything during my treatments from cricket to dogs, as well as the more serious matter of my illness. It is a bit of ‘me’ time when I can relax and forget my worries.”

Through the complementary therapy treatments Linda has seen a definite improvement in the neuropathic pain caused by her chemotherapy treatment.

She added: “Bury Hospice is my haven and I would be lost without it. It is a joy to come here, but obviously I would prefer it I didn’t have to.

"I cannot believe the hospice doesn’t charge a penny for its services. I support Bury Hospice in every way possible, and I take every opportunity to encourage others to do the same, whether it is playing the lottery, making a donation or supporting an event. I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause.”

As we head into the last week before Christmas, take care and look after yourselves as well as each other.