Carers respite service launches in Somerset St. Margaret’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to provide breaks for carers in a charming Somerset cottage. Quantock House offers the chance for carers supporting a loved one with cancer or a life-limiting illness to relax in a restful environment, either individually, as a family or to meet other carers. On Friday 08 July, the service officially launched, with health and social care professionals and key potential referrers in attendance to experience all that Quantock House has to offer. Two members of St. Margaret’s team were at the event offering hand massage and reflexology, and everyone enjoyed cream teas freshly prepared by Macmillan Quantock House Coordinator Barbara Ruff. The ribbon was cut by a carer who has already benefitted from the facility. He reflected; “I didn’t realise how run down I was until I took the time out to relax. Looking back now, I don’t think I could have coped without that short break.” Hilary McKegney, Governance Director at St. Margaret’s Hospice, said “We are so lucky to have Quantock House as a resource available to carers across Somerset. Quantock House is a fantastic example of how joint working can really benefit our local community. We are delighted to be working with Macmillan on this project along with many others and thank them for their support. We have already had some incredible feedback from carers as to the benefit of a break and hope to increase our reach, helping more carers and their families in Somerset. Maggie Crowe, Macmillan Development Manager, said; “Friends and family caring for someone with cancer perform vital tasks which that person couldn’t manage without – but it’s important to remember that caring for someone with cancer can be physically, emotionally and financially exhausting. “No one should have to cope on their own when caring for someone with cancer. By working hand in hand with St. Margaret’s Hospice, together we are able to provide vital emotional, financial or practical support for carers in Somerset which could make all the difference.” If you are a carer in Somerset, supporting a loved one with cancer or a life-limiting illness and feel you could benefit from a break, please contact St. Margaret’s on 0845 070 8910 or email [email protected].