The first 100 days of our new information and support services
It's been 100 days since Marie Curie launched a range of new information and support services: a telephone Support Line, an online community, information pages on our website and a series of booklets. So it's a good time to reflect on what we've achieved so far.
We launched these services because people told us that when they or someone in their family received a terminal diagnosis, they found it difficult to find the information and support they needed. We wanted to change that, and to help people make the most of the precious time they have left together. The results from the first 100 days suggest that the new services are helping to meet people’s practical and emotional needs at this very difficult time.
- Our trained Support Line advisers have received over 2,000 calls since launch, averaging around 35 a day with Mondays being particularly busy.
- Most of the calls are coming from family members of someone who has just found out they have a terminal illness, and are about what support is available and where to find it. Wanting to help someone die at home is another common topic.
- Many of the callers are looking for emotional support as well as for information, with calls lasting 20-30 minutes on average.
“You’ve really helped… It’s so difficult to find the right information, so thank you. I really appreciate what you’re doing.”
There are times when people just want to talk to someone else in the same situation, someone who understands what they’re going through. Our Community is a safe place where people with a terminal illness and their families can share experiences and find and give support.
- Since launch, there have been a total of 8,079 visitors and 16,165 sessions.
- Weekends and evenings are a popular time for people to get in touch.
- The Community has also been running lively Q&A sessions with expert hosts, on topics such as
- talking to children about terminal illness
- benefits and terminal illness
- self-care for carers
“In two words you've summed up what I've been experiencing over the last year, since we learnt my husband's cancer couldn't be cured.”
On the website
Meanwhile on the new help section of our website there are now more than 200 information pages for people living with a terminal illness and their family and friends. These cover a wide variety of topics, from managing money to symptom management to bereavement, and lots more besides.
- The new section has attracted over 47,000 visitors and 53,000 sessions.
- The most popular topics are What is palliative and end of life care? followed by Preparing for the end of life and Coping with grief.
- Our new printed booklets are also popular, with over 17,000 distributed so far. The most popular booklet is Being there for someone with a terminal illness. These are also available to download from the website.
Finding out that you or someone in your family has a terminal illness is never easy. But getting the right information and support makes it possible to make the best choices for you and to spend the time that you have in the way that you want.