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Meet the team

I have worked at UHNM for nearly 10 years.  Prior to working at the NHS trust I worked in various settings and roles in different parts of the Country leading local and  area youth, community centres, arts and education projects and developing European training and education programmes. 

My involvement in chaplaincy naturally developed through leading a Church which was active in the Community. I did some work experience, became a chaplaincy volunteer, grew from a part time –full time chaplain, and from March 2017 have led the Chaplaincy-Spiritual Pastoral Religious team, here at UHNM.

It is a tremendous privilege to work at UHNM and no day is the same. I am very thankful that I get to meet so many inspiring people from all walks of life in so many different circumstances, often at very significant times, hear their stories, celebrate and remember special moments and create lasting memories.

We are here for everyone, whatever their age, whether a child or young person, in maternity, elderly and every age in between and whatever their faith or belief.  We are here for people wherever they are, whether they have come in for an operation, to have a baby, are receiving unplanned treatment and care, have heard some sad news, would like to talk about what it means to be a patient, carer or member of staff, are in recovery or waiting to be discharged home or into the community.  Our Hope is to be in the Right Place at the Right Time to Bring Comfort, Healing and Support.

I love working in the Trust as I get to meet people on a day to day basis who are so grateful for the care that they are receiving on what is often one of the toughest moments of their life.

By showing compassion and caring, listening, boosting moral, and giving spiritual care I hope that I can help make the patients hospital visit easier and this positively impacts the patients’ health and well-being resulting in a quicker recovery.

 

I am Band 5 Assistant Hospital Chaplain working part-time and I've worked in this Trust for over three years, coming up to four this year. 

Before coming to work at UHNM, I worked in an institution with defence and security backgrounds that had its values and standards. I worked with different people from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures and that is what drew me to this line of work. I get invited to people's public and private spaces and for them to share their journey and life with me. I love to be trusted and no two days are the same.

I'm an introvert, so listening is my strongest skill and gift. Being a Chaplain I've learned to be extroverted at times, talking and being present with patients. Coming from a different culture is always a bonus as patients are intrigued to know where you come from and why did I leave, which for me is a conversation starter.

I have worked as a Chaplaincy Volunteer at the Trust for 4 years and I feel that I am providing a very important service to patients that want it and I feel that it gives them comfort for them to have a chat as well as their spiritual need.

I’m a part-time chaplain and I’ve worked at UHNM for five and a half years.

I like working at the Trust because I get to talk to patients on the wards, one of the things people regularly tell me is that they are very appreciative of the caring nature of the staff.  It’s great to work in a place where there is so much good feedback about the way they are treated and their needs are anticipated.

We are here to give people the chance to speak to someone whom they can say what’s on their mind, express their worries or concerns and practise their faith.  People can be naturally worried arriving in the hospital environment, and it can relieve their stress levels to meet someone who is considered from the outside, non-medical world, who speaks their language, perhaps helps them to understand the way the hospital works and who also might help them to take their mind off their worries for a while.  We can also reassure and remind people of the presence of God and that they are not alone in a bewildering and unfamiliar environment.  Occasionally we also liaise with family, and even have someone on our team who can repair hearing aids!

My name is Kathryn Follows, and I am a volunteer Chapliancy worker at Royal Stoke hospital.  I was introduced to volunteering for the trust back in 2019, when our then Pastor Edwin Cotter of Elim  church Silverdale invited me to assist on Saturday evenings at Royal Stoke A/E department, with the giving out of refreshments free of charge on a rota basis along with other members of our church.  

This proved to be a very successful venture, as we realised that many people in an emergency situation often did not have any money with them, and so we’re unable to obtain a hot drink and snack to sustain them during the sometimes long waiting hours at the A/E.

It was also here, where I was first introduced personally to head Chaplain Christine Wright, and heard first-hand about other volunteering services, and Chaplaincy work that is carried out in the hospital. It was then that my husband and myself, looked further into this service, and decided to apply and attend the full day introductory training provided in becoming a volunteer chaplaincy worker.  

Since this time we have tried to attend Chaplaincy work on a regularly weekly basis, and as time goes on I feel we have been supported very well by the Chaplaincy team, and very much appreciate their support and friendship. 

We often say we feel privileged,  and blessed to be part of what we consider a vital service in the hospital, particularly in these unprecedented pandemic  times we find ourselves in, and generally find the patients and staff that we see are so appreciative of our visits.  We would like to thank everyone for the support given, and hope to continue volunteering and providing our service in an effective way for the future.

I am a volunteer chaplain.

The church which I attend (Cornerstone Elim Silverdale) was approached by the Rev Christine Wright to help out at A&E on Saturday evening by distributing of drinks and snacks, free of charge to all who require them.

This was my first contact with the RSUH.  Rev Christine also explained the broader role of the Chaplaincy department too. After various supervised ward training days, both my wife and I felt lead to do patient visitation across the hospital as Chaplaincy volunteers. Every time we go on to any ward, it is a different situation which is placed before you. Each and every person is an individual with their own unique stories to tell, their joys and sorrows, each with their life story to tell. You soon come to see them as real and vibrant personalities, and not just a patient in a hospital bed.

It is a real privilege and blessing to be able to visit these people to listen and chat with each one. I hope that during these visits I can in a very small way try and show the Love of God which is for each and every of one of us. 

I am a Chaplain at UHNM.

I enjoy being of service to a community, whether that is patients, their families or members of staff in a professional organisation.

Patients can benefit from our service for a variety of reasons, whether that is pastoral support when unable to communicate in English or when sent to UHNM from a different city with no family local to visit them, through to religious support when feeling anxious waiting for an operation or results from an operation/scan or other medical procedure, after child birth where a baby blessing is required, or when in an end of life situation where specific religious and bereavement support is required. There are many other examples of support but these are some examples.

I am a Full- time Chaplain in the Trust, and have been here for nearly 14 years now.

I enjoyed working here because the facilities are one of the top-rated in the country & the Trust is always engaging in the latest research and techniques and above all, people are friendly and supportive.

Chaplaincy work for me is a ‘Ministry of Dialogue’, dialogue to everyone whether they have religion or none. It seeks to contribute towards everyone’s personal awareness, understanding, growth and the integration in emotional, social, spiritual & interpersonal dimensions of life. When equilibrium is upset, continuity is challenged, normal routines are disturbed we tend to look for someone to talk to & listen to us.   And I always emphasise that Spirituality is Not Religion.  It is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding & love, so we can live deeply each moment of our life.

Whilst my job as a hospital chaplain is demanding and challenging at times, it is also a very rewarding role. To be able to contribute to providing a quality patient experience in both County and Royal Stoke hospitals, gives me a sense of a job well done. In my role as a chaplain I have the opportunity to meet and work alongside a lot of incredible and dedicated staff that make working in the Trust a very fulfilling experience.

I meet and visit patients in a wealth of varying situations throughout both our hospitals. I like to think that whatever the patient’s need is, whether that is just someone to talk to, someone who is prepared to listen, or whether it is to support those facing an end of life situation, I go the extra mile to try to ensure that need is met wherever possible.

Locum for the Chaplaincy-SPaRc team.

The role I have is to be 1st on-call for certain periods of time, to respond to requests for chaplaincy from patients, relatives or staff whenever needed.

I have the privilege of living out my vocation to come alongside people and provide spiritual and pastoral support at times of need, often critical times.

As a Locum, I respond to requests in an emergency immediately. I am able to provide focused attention for as long as is needed. I provide specialised support, including a listening ear, pastoral support to patients and their relatives, and, if needed, specific religious services (such as prayers at the end of life, blessing or emergency baptism for a baby, and Holy Communion).

 

What I enjoy about working in the Trust: I enjoy working with and serving people from diverse backgrounds and creating a place of sanctuary as I listen to people and be present with them.

I work with a wonderful group of people who care deeply and are gifted. The role of the chaplain means you meet so many people and it is a privilege to be able to be beside them in key moments in their life. It is a deeply fulfilling role

The patients benefit from knowing that there is someone there to support and above all to listen to their concerns. They know chaplains care and will try to help in any way they can. During covid this became even more crucial when they were unable to have visitors. Chaplains often provide links with their relatives and family or religious communities. Patients value the reality that chaplains will spend time with them when they know how busy the staff are on wards. Whether religious or not patients will often open up about aspects they might feel unable to tell anyone else feeling that they can trust a chaplain. Also religious patients appreciate prayer and worship but many non religious patients want spiritual support and often value prayer too as well as pastoral support. The development of the Home from home room is another aspect of support.  Patients also benefit from the rites of passage provided by chaplains. With the emphasis on SPARC it means that we hopefully touch the lives of a large number of patients across the trust.