It’s a huge privilege to be part of a new venture! Since February 2021, I have been volunteering at Binscombe Medical Centre as their Chaplain. It’s the most wonderful role that brings so many opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life and to simply be there to LISTEN. The setting is unique in that it is very much a joint partnership between the GTCC and the Surgery. The practice’s holistic approach seeks to provide care for patients in the widest sense, recognising that emotional and spiritual wellbeing play a vital role in physical and psychological (ill)-health.
The GPs refer patients who they feel might benefit from some time to talk, in confidence, about any worry or concern they may have. For some patients a one-off visit might be just what they need; others may come for several visits. COVID and lockdown have caused or increased peoples’ anxiety and affected everyone in one way or other so stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of not being able to cope, are almost always prevalent. Bereavement of some sort often emerges during conversation; not necessarily recent or close. So often, those who have had a difficult relationship with a loved one, find it especially hard to cope with. Sometimes people want to talk about faith or ‘religious’ issues, especially where bereavement is a factor.
I try to be very sensitive to peoples’ beliefs and always feel that it’s the good in every person that matters, whether you see that as God or not, it’s the overarching and uniting thing that we can and must recognise in each other.
There is a huge need out there; every person is unique and so many are really struggling with life and feel overwhelmed by their circumstances. Sometimes just ‘listening’ can be that Light in a very dark place.