A new day-service for those living with life-limiting illnesses has launched in York.

The Sunflower Wellbeing Cafe opened its doors for the first time on Thursday, May 11 following the feedback from people who are affected by a life-liming illness, those that care for them, and their loved ones.

The cafe offers one-to-one chats with experienced staff and volunteers in a relaxed environment, with hot drinks, savoury snacks, and cakes.

The cafe will initially be open every Thursday from 10am to 3pm in the Sunflower Centre at St Leonard's Hospice, in Tadcaster Road, with more sessions and community day services planned for the future.

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Last year, the hospice asked people what they wanted from day services following the closure of the Sunflower Centre during the pandemic.

A survey was completed by more than 220 patients, family members, staff, referrers to the hospice and others, who gave insight into what they wanted.

Emma Johnson, Chief Executive at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: "We already knew that the Sunflower Centre provided highly valued support for those who accessed it.

"However, we want to make support available to more people who could benefit from it. So, with this in mind, we’re developing services and more specialist provision for those people with the greatest needs.

“There is a huge desire in the community to increase disease-specific awareness and talk about end-of-life. People want education and information on various aspects of death, dying and bereavement, as well as engagement earlier in the end-of-life journey.

"The Sunflower Wellbeing Café is the first step in addressing these needs. By talking to people facing life-limiting illnesses, and their friends and families, we can support by developing tailored wellbeing plans and sessions, in addition to signposting to other support groups in the area.

"It’s exciting times as we look to support even more people to help them navigate end-of-life care.” 

Other services that the hospice has promised include wellbeing programmes, public education sessions, a 24-hour telephone helpline, and more information resources.