Dover Outreach group is a wellbeing cafe and pop-in service for people who are accessing Pilgrims Hospices services. It is a space for patients and carers to relax in each other’s company, share their journeys and enjoy me time.
The group meets every Friday at The Phoenix Railway Club in Dover, a venue in the heart of the local community. New people are always joining. Pilgrims’ staff facilitate each week, in case there are any matters that need to be taken back to the medical team or other members of the multidisciplinary team.
Dover Outreach was created by Kath Steele, Wellbeing Practitioner at Pilgrims. It is a quiet and comfortable place for patients and carers to socialise and meet others in similar situations. They can also enjoy therapies like hand and foot massage from complementary therapist Jayne Dunsby, and volunteers Shirley and Mavis make lots of tea and coffee for everyone.
Maxine Lewis, Wellbeing Practitioner at Pilgrims, said: “Patients and carers often help each other. They might want advice with finding travel insurance, for example; staff don’t necessarily have that direct experience, but another patient or carer may be able to help.”
One patient who attends is Ruth Mitchinson. She said: “I enjoy being able to talk with others who’ve had similar experiences. We have tea and biscuits, and sometimes cake!”
Dover Outreach has good connections with Dover smART, a charity run by Dawn Maddison, Founder and CEO and Laura Graham, Project Coordinator. They attend most Fridays, offering creative art and craft projects for patients and carers to get involved with. Patients’ artwork is often displayed in their gallery on Dover seafront.
Leanne Clark, Wellbeing Practitioner, said: “Dover Outreach is so valuable to our patients and carers who attend. It is a quiet and safe space for people to relax and gain good peer support with others who are on similar journeys. It’s so important for them to have a place they can come to with no judgement and a friendly smile when they need it most.”