A NEW support service to help the terminally ill and their families has been announced by Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice and Carers' Resource.

The one-to-one service will help people access and manage benefits and finances, secure specialist equipment and give ongoing support.

It will officially start during Dying Matters Awareness Week, which begins on Monday, May 18.

Palliative care workers Kim Reddyhoff and Vanessa French, who have health and social care backgrounds, will be working with people across Airedale, Craven and Wharfedale.

Initially, the two women will be based at the Carers' Resource offices in Skipton and Shipley, and the Sue Ryder charity shop in Cavendish Street, Keighley.

In time people will be able to access the service in other locations.

Director of Carers’ Resource Anne Smyth OBE said: “The new Palliative Care Link Workers will be supporting patients - including where there is no carer - as well as the carer and the whole family, where necessary, to give them the bespoke support they need to achieve the best quality of life.

“Looking after someone with a terminal illness or progressive condition where there is no cure, or being faced with end of life as an individual, is a traumatic and extremely difficult time.

“Our link workers will be there to accompany people every step of the way, helping to make sure everyone involved gets the full support they need.

“Each individual case will be unique and part of the link workers’ role will be to work with patients and carers to find the best solutions and services for those in need, while also offering options they may not have considered.

“This joint service means we can offer comprehensive support to patients and their carers, including in-depth benefits work, longer-term support, and be there for the whole journey.”

Hospice director at Sue Ryder Manorlands Lizzie Procter added: “Caring for a loved one can be a very challenging role.

"People can often feel isolated and at times vulnerable and emotionally distressed.

“It is important to have someone they can talk to. Sometimes people are so busy with their role as carers that they simply don’t have the time to look at what services they can access or what is available for them in their area.

“We have joined forces with Carers’ Resource to ensure people can receive a seamless high-quality service benefitting from each organisation’s specialist expertise.

"Our aim is to ensure we can support people before they reach a crisis point.”

For more information, contact Sarah Bottomley, the head of Clinical Services at Sue Ryder, by e-mailing sarah.bottomley@sueryder.org or calling 01535 642308.

Alternatively, contact the Carers’ Resource team in Shipley on 01274 449660 and in Skipton on 01756 700888.