Chaplaincy Service seeks new volunteers

“Hello…how are you today?” Small words that can make a big difference to a patient’s day

The Chaplaincy Service at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, both part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is looking to increase its volunteer numbers to cater for people’s spiritual needs during their hospital stay.

Volunteers from all religions and none are being sought to help bring a listening ear and a kind word into the lives of hospital patients across the city.

The Chaplaincy team is multi-faith, consisting of seven chaplains representing all major religions in the city, who provide pastoral healthcare for those of religious belief and those of no faith; it is seen as an integral part of the patient experience, contributing to a patient’s holistic wellbeing.

Hospital chaplain, Maryam Riaz said: “For many this is a vital source of comfort during their stay. Chaplaincy volunteers help supplement this service by visiting patients and providing a listening ear and words of encouragement. They carry out visits to hospital patients for a few hours every week, to give support and encouragement.

“The Chaplaincy team currently has 67 volunteers but we want to expand its reach even further.”

To become a volunteer you need to be aged 17 and over, and be able to commit at least two-to-three hours every week to the hospital. All volunteers must undergo a training course, led by the hospital chaplains, before they are permitted to work on the Trust’s wards.

Training programme

Maryam added: “The chaplains deliver a thorough training programme to equip potential volunteers with the essential skills that are required for visiting patients.

“This includes vital listening skills, how to provide general support to people in a variety of different situations that might occur during their hospital stay, understanding religion and spirituality from different faiths, and an introduction to providing bereavement support.”

Previous chaplaincy volunteers have won awards in recognition for the kindness, commitment and dedication they have shown across the Trust’s hospitals and its patients.

One Chaplaincy volunteer comments:  “I could see how my 10-15 minutes visiting made a huge difference to this patient”, another said:  “I was incredibly touched and overwhelmed that my visit had made such a difference to the patient, something that I will remember for a long time”.

Make a difference to patients by becoming a hospital chaplaincy volunteer.

If you are interested in becoming a chaplaincy volunteer, please contact Dawn Arnison on 01274 365819 or email dawn.arnison@bthft.nhs.uk.

The Foundation Trust will be running a four-day induction course for chaplaincy volunteers on 1-4 October 2018, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, at St Luke’s Hospital. Anyone interested should apply now, so the various checks can take place ahead of training.

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