At St Helena, we aim to improve people’s wellbeing by focusing on their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, bringing comfort and relief to all those who need it.

Please note, due to the coronavirus pandemic our Day Therapies groups and appointments are currently suspended until further notice.

Mindfulness and meditation at home

Our chaplain Vickie, and occupational therapist Denise have created a series of mindfulness videos that you can do at home. Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to be a helpful tool for stress reduction and increased mental focus; both of which are challenging for us all in these current circumstances.

You can watch these meditation videos on our YouTube playlist by clicking here.

Sunday services

Our chaplaincy team are also working in collaboration with St Elizabeth Hospice to produce a weekly Sunday service and a new video is available each week on a YouTube playlist here.

Chair based exercises

Our rehab team have put together some chair based exercises you can do at home.

Participation is at ones' own risk. If you have any pain or feel unwell stop exercising and immediately and seek medical advice.

Relaxation technique

Please refer to our anxiety management leaflet for advice regarding preparing to relax. Before doing a relaxation exercise it is important to prepare and you may want to consider the following:

  • Silencing the telephone
  • Finding or creating a quiet and restful place in your home
  • Dimming any bright lights
  • Loosening any tight clothing
  • Playing some relaxing, soothing music or a CD with relaxing sounds like waves on the beach or whale song
  • Finding a comfortable position that provides support for your shoulders, neck and back - use a pillow or cushion if this helps
  • Placing your hands comfortably by your sides or relaxed in your lap
  • Closing your eyes - but don’t be concerned if you would rather not

Self massage

At a time when you may be unable to go to a massage therapist, or your days are too busy to fit it in, self-massage could offer some relief and a time convenient to you. 

You could try these techniques at home, or in the office, either on your own or with the aid of someone you live with (if you're not isolating from them).

Most of these techniques can be performed with your hands. Others may require items such as a tennis ball, foam roller or a trigger point massager. 

St Helena's complementary therapist, Jenni Homewood, recommends the below techniques, as advised by Dr Oliver at Back Intelligence. 

Head Self Massage

    Nothing can ruin a perfect day like a throbbing headache. Try this simple self-massage technique to relieve your head pan.

    What you’ll need: Your Hands

    How to do it:

    • · Place your thumbs high on your cheekbones, by your ears.
    • · Gently apply pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples.
    • · Continue making circles as your move along your hairline, until your fingertips meet in the middle of your forehead.

    Neck Self Massage

    Sitting at a computer all day can make your neck stiff and sore, doing this simple self-massage technique will help to relieve tension and ease your pain.

    What you’ll need: Your Hands

    How to do it:

    • Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck meets your shoulders.
    • Apply firm pressure and hold the area.
    • Release when the muscle feels more relaxed.
    • Roll your shoulders forwards and back slowly.
    • Repeat three times.

    Shoulder Self Massage

    Poor posture and hunching at a desk all day can lead to rounded shoulders and shoulder pain. Doing this simple self-massage technique can help to alleviate your pain.

    What you’ll need: Your Hands

    How to do it:

    • Position the fingers of your right hand over your right shoulder (your upper trapezius (upper shoulder area) will be underneath your palm).
    • Squeeze your upper trapezius three times and then roll your fingers over the muscle starting from the outside and moving towards the base of your neck.
    • Repeat on your left side.

    Lower Back Self Massage

    Massage Lower back pain is a very common complaint and can be disabling in some cases. Unfortunately, everyday activities such as cleaning and gardening can make your lower back pain even worse. You can alleviate your lower back pain by doing this quick technique.

    What you’ll need: A massage ball/tennis ball

    How to do it:

    • Position a massage ball/tennis ball between your lower back and a wall. 
    • Move your body up and down, or side to side to find areas of tension. 
    • Apply a stronger pressure in the tender spots to help release the tension.

    Chest/Pecs Self Massage

    If you have rounded shoulders from sitting at a computer all day or from poor posture, you likely have trigger points in your pectoralis muscles. The below will teach you how use a trigger massager to relieve pin and correct shoulder positioning. 

    What you’ll need: A trigger point manual massager like a Theracane

    How to do it:

    • Grab the hook of the Theracane and position the knob in the grove just below your collarbone. 
    • Apply downward pressure on hook to help release the trigger point. 
    • Move the hook to apply the pressure at different angles to work the whole muscle. 
    • Perform on both sides.

    Leg and IT band Self Massage

    If you tend to move around a lot, you probably have a lot of tightness in your ilio-tibial (IT) band (along the outer thigh area), which is the band of tissue that runs from your hip to just past your knee. Try this simple exercise for leg pain relief.

    What you’ll need: Foam roller

    How to do it:

    • Begin by lying on your side with a foam roller positioned under your hip. 
    • Use your hands to brace yourself as you slowly roll down from your hip to your knee while rotating your body towards the ground as you move down. 
    • Slowly roll back to the starting position. 
    • Perform on both sides.

    Foot Self Massage

    Running, jogging and prolonged walking can be torturous for your feet. By the end of the day, your feet may be aching so badly that you want to scream. The good news is that your foot pain can be relieved with this simple exercise.

    What you’ll need: A massage ball/tennis ball

    How to do it:

    • Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet bare or with a sock on. 
    • Position the tennis ball under your foot. 
    • Roll back and forth from heel to toe using firm pressure. 
    • If you come across a painful or tender area, work the knot out by rolling in small circles. 
    • Do this exercise on both of your feet. 
    • To add more pressure, try performing this technique while standing.

    Buttocks/Hip Self Massage

    Trigger points in your gluteal muscles can be uncomfortable, try this simple technique for pain relief.

    What you’ll need: A massage ball/tennis ball

    How to do it:

    • Begin in a seated position on the ground with your knees bent. 
    • Position a tennis ball under your right buttock and rest your hands on the ground behind your back. 
    • Lift your right leg off the ground and roll in small circles on the ball, placing more attention on areas that are tender. 
    • Perform this exercise on the left.

    Hand Self Massage

    Whether you sit at a computer typing all day or do a job that involves using your hands repetitively, your hands may be aching at the end of the day. Learning how to self-massage your hands can help to relieve tension.

    What you’ll need: Your hands

    How to do it:

    • Begin by placing your fingers over your wrist, as if you’re taking your pulse, and apply a side to side pressure across your wrist. 
    • Move to the heel of your palms and start applying pressure in a small circular motion, working your way from the 'pinky' finger side and moving towards your thumb side. 
    • Next, grasp the web of tissue that connects your thumb to the rest of your fingers and gently move it up and down. 
    • Then apply pressure by using a small circular motion to the muscles at the base of your fingers. Next move up each finger using small circular strokes. 
    • Once you reach your finger tip, gently pull the finger to stretch the joint. Perform on both sides.

    Contact Information

    To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.


    To contact the St Helena Retail team, for enquiries about our shops, donation centre and house clearance service please telephone 01206 890 165.


    24 hour advice: SinglePoint 01206 890 360

    SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate an individual’s care with the hospice. SinglePoint also works alongside other healthcare services such as GPs, Community Nurses or Specialists.

    The Hospice

    To contact a patient at The Hospice please find the address and telephone number below. Phone calls can be made to patients at any time of the day or week. You can contact Inpatient Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    The Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, C04 9JU

    Telephone: 01206 845 566

    Hospice in the Home

    You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

    Colchester/Halstead team
    Telephone: 01206 845 566

    Tendring community team
    Telephone: 01255 221 222

    Day Therapies

    You can contact the Joan Tomkins Centre (Colchester) Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

    Telephone: 01206 848 163

    Fax: 01206 752 245

    You can contact the St Helena Tendring Centre (Clacton) Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01255 221 222

    Tendring Centre Postcode for Sat Navs: CO15 1EU

    Human Resources

    The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

    Finance Team

    To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

    Volunteer Services Team

    The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

    Media Enquiries

    For all media enquiries between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, please phone the Marketing and Communications team directly on 01206 931 464

    Patient Referrals

    If you, or a member of your family has a life-limiting illness and would like to discuss whether St Helena care services can help, you can contact the SinglePoint telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01206 890 360

    Bereavement Support

    To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

    Learning and Development Centre

    The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560

    Service User Group

    For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397

    Facilities Hire Enquiries

    01206 851560


    To contact the Lottery team please call 0800 285 1390 or visit the website here, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

    If you would like to write to or visit the Lottery team, the address is: Your Hospice Lottery Office Unit 6 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester CO4 9AS.

    Comment, compliment or complaint

    Feedback, comments and complaints about St Helena care and support services may be made verbally or in writing to: Director of Care, St Helena, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. To speak to a member of our team, call 01206 845 566