Jean Hooper talks about her role as Spiritual Care Volunteer and how carols spread joy through the Hospice at Christmas
“Rowans is a wonderfully spiritual place. Being spiritual doesn’t have to be about a certain faith, there are plenty of different ways one can find their spirituality. The role of spiritual care volunteer is difficult to describe, we don’t go around preaching or trying to convert people. What we try to do is help patients feel comfortable in themselves and value themselves knowing that they still have something to offer. That is why the hospice is amazing, as part of the philosophy of the hospice is that everybody can live each day to their full capacity and ability; respected, valued and loved.”
A Listening Ear
“Our role is also to provide a listening ear. We go to visit patients who request our company on the ward, during the festive period we always help to serve the refreshment at the annual Service of Lights held at the hospice in December, for those who have been bereaved in the last year. Through attending this if we notice someone is upset we can just go and be with them, talk to them, hold their hand, bring them through it.
We always take part in singing carols around the ward, organised by the Chaplain Carol Gully, which brings so much joy. The atmosphere is magical. The lights are dimmed throughout the hospice and the patients rooms just have small lights on. The flower teams and housekeeping staff always decorate the place superbly for Christmas, we have the tree and decorations are up along the corridors making it very lovely. And of course patient’s relatives have decorated their rooms for them.
There is such a wonderful feeling walking along the corridors, stopping outside each of the patient’s rooms, singing familiar carols. Relatives come out and join in. I can clearly remember faces of the patients who were here last year, who were so moved by it. It is truly magical.”