What we do
Harlequin Care runs regular Carers' days throughout Dorset to support Carers who are looking after a relative, friend or neighbour with a life limiting or restrictive illness. It is an opportunity to meet with Harlequin Care volunteers and other Carers and have a relaxed chat over refreshments. Qualified Practitioners will also be available to provide a range of complementary therapies and counselling free of charge to Carers.
Carers' days are currently held at Holton Lee, a beautiful venue with a calming atmosphere and also Morton Village Hall.
By 2007, Maggie Quinn, our founder, had been working as a private Holistic Healthcare practioner for some 12 years when she started working as a Volunteer Practioner with the Palliative Care team of the Weldmar Hospice. Having seen first hand the many benefits of giving patients a little "time out" from attention to thier medical condition by offering them a little relaxation time, she then started to investigate the possibilities of creating a similar service to Carers of patients with life threatening illnesses.
As part of part of her research into the poosibilities of starting a Charity to offer relaxation sessions to carers she decided to plan a fundraising HEAD SHAVE to test public reaction. Within two months over £2,000 had been raised and the journey of Dorset's first charity dedicated to the well being of unpaid carers had begun. The name HARLEQUIN came quickly after the need for a bank account became apparent, and the name Harlequin seemed appropriate as, not only not only is a colourful clown that distracts attention away from problems and offers therapeutic laughter, but it is also the nickname of Maggie herself!
With guidance from the Dorset Community Action group, the inaugural General Meeting was arranged in October 2008 and Officers and Trustees were appointed.
Through Maggie's own experiences in not only her life, but also the life of others, Harlequin has become a great lifeline to many carers and their families, and even though it is forever evolving and changing, will always aspire to do the great work for all lives it touches.
Who is eligible?
Any resident of Dorset who is caring for a relative, friend or neighbour is eligible to benefit from the services of Harlequin Care. Caring can range from shopping, cooking, cleaning, personal care, running errands, and general support to a person's day to day living.