National Day of Reflection is an opportunity to remember our loved ones who’ve died, support people who are grieving, and connect with each other.

National Day of Reflection is run by the charity Marie Curie. Marie Curie provide care and support through terminal illness.

Resources to help with grief

Crossroads Together and Marie Curie STARS programme

Since October 2012, Crossroads Together Liverpool, part of TuVida, has worked in partnership with Marie Curie on the delivery of the STARS programme, an end of life service. STARS is a course of care provided to those at the end of life who wish to remain at home with their loved ones.

Crossroads Together were the first provider with Marie Curie on the programme and it was our staff that attended the very first visit to a client utilising the service.

Andy Williams, Crossroads Together Area Manager:

“The first day we received a referral and there was a team of trained staff all ready and waiting to start this valuable service. Going into a client’s home to deliver a bespoke service for the first time is something I will never forget. 

"The packages of care are banded in three different ways, Urgent – hours to days; Changing – days to weeks; and Stable – weeks to 12 weeks. On the occasions that the patient does reach the 12 weeks+ this is a blessing as they have remained stable within their condition.

“However, this does mean they are then referred onto continuing healthcare and another provider will take over the care for the patient. Crossroads Together staff provide visits to STARS clients throughout the day to assist with all aspects of personal care. Depending on the patient requirements this may start with one call per day with one staff member building up to four calls per day with two staff and overnights.

“For those we give care to, this means that they get to maintain autonomy, dignity and privacy in their final days. When faced with an illness and diagnosis outside of their control, it becomes more important than ever to act on the choices a person can make. The STARS programme lets its service users spend their final days where they want to be and allows them to help face the end of their lives on their own terms.

“The end stages of anyone’s life are also a difficult time for their loved ones, without factoring in the additional burden of having to attend to all the individual’s physical needs. The care provided by our staff allows families and carers to focus on having more quality time with those they care for. We can never guarantee that the end-of-life process won’t difficult and sad, but we can help make the time left a more enriching experience for everyone involved.

“Crossroads Together staff have become adept at providing a high-quality care service while being supportive to the emotional needs of families going through what is often a distressing period. Above all else, the wellbeing of those receiving the care remains central to what we do, so our staff will liaise with each other, line managers, as well as other involved professionals such as the Marie Curie nurses and the District Teams, to ensure all our STARS clients receive the best care possible and are kept comfortable throughout all care provision.”

Dorothy Dempsey Care Support Worker, Merseyside:

"I work alongside a team of professional and compassionate carers. We aim to deliver a high standard of care to all our STARS patients with kindness, respect and dignity at all times. It is important that we build and maintain a positive and trusting relationship with all our patients and their families so they feel at ease in our care."

Carol McNeilis, Care Support Worker, Merseyside:

"I enjoy seeing STARS clients because they are so grateful and happy for us to be there. Chatting to clients is usually just as important as taking care of their needs."