Mindfulness courses currently run for patients at St. Rocco's, helping them comes to terms with, and live well with, their illnesses.

Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of the here and now, and provides a way to experience yourself and the world around you with non-judgmental awareness.

The courses run at St. Rocco's help patients to accept and cope with their diagnosis, and is part of the holistic care and support provided by the Hospice.

The key principles of the sessions are learning to live in the present moment, learning to respond - rather than react - to circumstances, and learning to respond to difficult moments with kindness, care and understanding.

Angela started attending the Day Unit at St Rocco’s at the end of 2013, six months after being diagnosed with cancer. She said: “A lot of people refer to themselves or others as dying of cancer, but I say I’m living with cancer, and so much of that has been down to St. Rocco’s.

"The Hospice has been like a lifeline to me – it’s been both life changing and life affirming. For me, mindfulness has been better than any drugs. If it wasn’t for these courses I know I’d feel very differently today.”

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga.

Carol was initially referred to the Hospice for counselling for her anxiety following her cancer diagnosis.

 She said: "I learned the effects that my thoughts were having on me and was taught how to take control of my mind. After all, when you’ve got a life-limiting illness, why would you want to waste your time on debilitating thoughts?

“It’s taught me the importance of self-kindness and putting myself first sometimes, and it’s made a real difference.”

Practicing mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions and boost their attention and concentration.

For more information please contact course leader Kate Diggory: KateDiggory@stroccos.org.uk