Have you ever been to hospital? Were you bored – day too long? Were you lonely, worried and anxious? Too much time to think, no one to tell? Concerned about things at home, family problems, but didn’t want to bother your visitors? Needing to pray but couldn’t concentrate?
These are spiritual needs, some even religious needs! I am a volunteer lay Chaplain and I really enjoy meeting patients; hearing their stories, passing some time with them. Sometimes, it’s just a chat, about the rugby, gardening or anything of interest. Other times there are worries or concerns that need a sympathetic ear. Often patients will tell you about their church/religious experience, even if they haven’t thought about it since they were children, (it’s the “badge” that triggers the memories). Many are please to be prayed with or the offer to pray for them when you return to chapel. Usually it’s just a pleasant time meeting new people who are glad of some company for any reason. Sometimes you know that you’ve made a big difference to their stay, and that’s a huge privilege and feels good.
So how about you? Could you give some time to learn how to come alongside people in hospital (full training given). If you like people and their stories, are a good listener and have a caring attitude you could make a difference and really enjoy going to hospital.
Ann Allen (Chaplaincy Volunteer)
Visiting the Elderly; working in partnership with other Healthcare staff.
The Spiritual Care Department is also keen to recruit volunteers to visit the elderly and help with a project called, ‘This is Me.’ This project aims to record information that is important in the lives of the elderly whose memory is not what it was. The information is then used to promote better person centred care by the healthcare staff. The Spiritual Care Department is closely involved with this work and would like to help make it a reality in all our hospitals.
The Lead Nurse developing this work says, “We are looking for individuals who would be interested in supporting this initiative. It would include offering help to complete the leaflet along with carers and families and spending time engaging with the patient in particular those suffering with memory loss.”
If anyone is interested in becoming a spiritual care Volunteer and /or a This is Me Volunteer please contact Revd Lance Sharpe on 01443 443443 x4070 or Revd Eleanor Powell on 01685 728427