Patient and Family support


The family support service walks alongside the patient and their family and whanau as they journey through reflective time with those they love.

Stories, memories, humour, laughter and sadness fill each person's life and in the turmoil of living our team are there to walk the journey with you.

Living and dying.

Living with a life limiting illness can have an impact on many aspects of your life, whether you are the person with the illness, a family member or a close friend.

Hospice South Canterbury’s Family Support Team offers emotional, spiritual, cultural and social support to people with life limiting conditions, their family and whānau. We seek to walk alongside as they journey through reflective time with those theylove, for life is full of stories, memories, humour, laughter and sadness.


  • Provides an opportunity to reflect and make meaning of the various changes in your life and in making decisions.
  • Provides an opportunity to speak with someone empathetic, non-judgemental and neutral.
  • Support around having challenging conversations about death and dying with loved ones.
  • Provides ongoing emotional support to patients and families/whānau, adults and children towards the end of a person’s life or following a bereavement. 
  • Can be accessed through the hospice team, health service providers or self-referral.
  • We can meet in your home, at the hospice or The Cottage.


Many people turn toward spirituality for comfort at the end of life. The chaplain’s role is to help patients, caregivers, family or friends, find peace.

Chaplains do not seek to convert patients or bring them into the fold of a specific religion but meet the patient where they are on their spiritual journey and help them discover renewed meaning and spiritual peace. Regardless of religion, creed, or culture, a chaplain’s purpose is to provide patients with compassionate spiritual support including prayers or blessings.

The chaplain, with your consent, will liaise with your own faith community.

The Bereavement Team

This group of trained volunteers provides follow-up support for recently bereaved families. A supportive phone call is made with the offer of additional services as required.

Bereavement afternoon tea

Written invitations to a special morning tea are sent approximately three months after the death of your loved one. Next of kin are welcome to invite family members or support people to this informal gathering of others who are also recently bereaved.

Remembrance service

Twice a year a non-religious, evening remembrance service is held at The Cottage. Readings, music and candle lighting are used as we remember, acknowledge and honour your grief.

Children grieve too

Children have thoughts and feelings which they may express in different ways. They may want to draw pictures or tell stories. It is not possible to protect children from feeling sad, angry and hurt. By talking to children and including them in what is going on they can be helped to understand what has happened. Contact us if you would like support.

Our family support team is made up of people with experience and qualifications in counselling, social work, chaplaincy, alternative therapies and bereavement support. They can provide practical and emotional support to assist you to find ways to strengthen your spirit and your ability to cope.

Our team may include (as required):

  • Counsellor
  • Patient and Family Support Team Member
  • Complementary Therapy Practitioner
  • Social Worker
  • Chaplain
  • Biographer
  • Bereavement Support team




Family Support Team Leader
Phone: 03 687 7672
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.