MEN LIVING with advanced prostate cancer or other life-threatening conditions are being given their own special time and space in the gardens at a city hospice.
A new group called Men’s Space launched last Thursday (April 24) at St Richard’s Hospice in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK.
The group will meet each Thursday and members will have the opportunity to help create and maintain the garden as well as relax and speak to others in similar situations to themselves.
A therapeutic gardener will be on hand to guide men with little or no experience of gardening and will also help experienced ‘green fingered’ men develop their skills.
Vanessa Gibson, who leads the St Richard’s community nursing team, said: “Sometimes in the midst of hospital appointments, health concerns and treatments, men may feel they need some time out, some space.
“This group offers the chance to take some time out in the gardens at St Richard’s to relax, share experiences, talk to a specialist nurse or doctor and, if they wish, use some of our other services. We support patients at all stages of illness, including those newly diagnosed with incurable conditions.”
“The men can be as active or as inactive as they want! There are no forced activities or group discussions – it’s a chance for them to come and meet others a similar situation.”
St Richard’s Hospice volunteer gardeners will be on hand to give any help and guidance whether that is planting hanging baskets, digging raised beds or cultivating the small cottage garden.
Group members can be given support from other St Richard’s services if they think they will be helpful, including benefits advice, counselling, complementary therapies and time with specialist doctors and nurses.
Louise Jackson, community support services manager for Prostate Cancer UK, added: “40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK.
“Some face the prospect of their cancer never being cured which can be incredibly difficult to come to terms with.
“Gardening, being outside and sharing experiences with others who can relate to what you’re going through can be a tremendous comfort to many and we’re thrilled to be launching the new group with St Richard’s Hospice.
“We look forward to welcoming men keen to develop their gardening skills as well as those just looking to relax and enjoy a beautiful garden.”
To join the Men’s Space group the person must have a confirmed life-threatening diagnosis; a South Worcestershire GP and be referred to St Richard’s Hospice.
Anyone can refer to the group including patients themselves and hospice staff will liaise with the patient’s GP.
For more information contact The Triage Nurse at St Richard’s Hospice on 01905 763963 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org