Funding from the Charity (including a grant from NHS Charities Together) has meant that two new roles have now been created – a Meaningful Activities Co-ordinator and a Pastoral Support Worker.
Helen Snaith joins as Meaningful Activities Co-ordinator. Her aim is to enrich inpatients’ hospital experience by ensuring that those who would like to do activities are able to get involved. Helen worked at the hospital as a health care assistant for six years before returning to education to complete a degree in Creative Expressive Therapies at university. She will be working with patients of all kinds, especially those with a dementia diagnosis or with a lengthy stay.
Helen will be working on the wards, offering a range of activities from painting and clay work to group activities. Already she has had positive reports of the difference the activities have been making and has been working with ward managers to help get patients involved.
‘Often, being a patient can be quite boring, and having something interesting to take your mind off things can really make a difference, especially when you’re unwell,’ says Helen. ‘Getting the chance to meet new faces can also give people a bit of a lift so it’s a really lovely role. You really feel that you are making a difference to the patient’s day.’
Anne-Marie Newman is the hospital’s Pastoral Support Worker. This is a varied, but very different, role supporting the two chaplains administratively as well as visiting patients on wards and offering a listening ear.
‘No two days are the same, which makes it a really rewarding experience,’ says Anne-Marie. ‘Often, on the wards, patients really appreciate having someone to have a chat with, or play a game of cards. You are involved at some key moments for patients too, such as arranging a hospital wedding or sadly, supporting parents as they arrange a baby funeral. It is a privilege to be able to offer support at these moments.’