NORTH-WEST ENGLAND AND NORTH WALES
(North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, and west of the Pennines up to Cumbria)
Rep: Chris Cheeseman.
Tel: 07803 759865
Next Meeting: Tuesday 15th December, 2.00pm
The North West Regional Group is now meeting via Zoom. Following two meetings, this is now going to be monthly. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, 15th December. Please contact Chris for the codes, etc, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will let you have the access codes.
SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND AND SOUTH WALES
(SW England and South Wales, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset)
Rep: Karen Murphy
Tel: 01934 423900
We have a really good group covering the South-west and South Wales. As well as recent retreats, (overnight at Ammerdown and a recent trip to Somerset) we meet early in the year just for a day, at a location more or less central to us – Weston Super Mare (and previously, Taunton). Then most of us get together at the Conference for another catch up.
The AHPCC South West group met via Zoom on July 16th. Whilst there will always be limitations to a virtual meeting it is interesting to note that attendance was higher than it has been for some time.
- Each member was given the opportunity to share their experiences from the last few months and inevitably issues surrounding Covid-19 were prominent. It has clearly been a uniquely challenging time that has brought considerable demands but also given rise to innovations and creative thinking.
- Colleagues have had a diversity of experience; ranging from those who have been present on In-Patient Units throughout to those who have worked mainly remotely to those who have been furloughed. Some themes that emerged included the challenges of fatigue and how we might give support to staff as well as modelling self-care; the opportunities and limitations of remote working and what the future might look like pot lockdown but in a world where C-19 is still prominent.
- Examples of creative work were shared, in particular the development of on line spiritual care resources that have been widely accessed and much appreciated in some areas. In some situations there has been a reaffirmation of the value of chaplaincy within hospice and palliative care. At the same time there are organisations that still do not seem to ‘get it’ and are making the age old mistake of conflating spiritual care with religious provision.
- A further theme to emerge was the financial challenges many hospices are facing, along with the wider charitable sector, and how this might impact on job security. We attempted to offer solidarity with one another, especially to those for whom the situation is serious and uncertain.
- We ended by wishing one of our colleagues well as she moves to a new chaplaincy role in another sector.
Andrew Webster. St David’s Hospice Care, South Wales.
Our next meeting will take place on October 1st, starting at 10.00am. Contact Andrew, or Karen Murphy for further details on 01934 423900
including the Northern
and Western Isles)
Rep: Mike Rattenbury
Next Meeting – We arranged our next online meeting for Wednesday 20th January at 3.30pm. Contact Mike if you need an invite.
We have about fifteen active members, with a typical attendance of eight to ten when we meet, three times a year. We normally take it turns to act as host, and to travel to each other’s hospice or unit, often travelling considerable distances to do so!
Our meetings usually run from 10:30 to 3.30, and include a presentation and discussion, time for reflection, resource sharing and peer support. At present, however, we’re holding shorter, more frequent online meetings, every four to six weeks, usually an hour or so in the afternoon, with more emphasis on peer support.
Online meeting, held on Tuesday 24th November 2020, via Zoom
Twelve members were present, and also by invitation – Karen Murphy, President AHPCC
Following a notice at our last meeting regarding chaplaincy redundancies in England, Karen Murphy joined our meeting with an update of the situation and to discuss future plans. The AHPCC Executive remains determined to do all it can to reverse this unacceptable trend, notwithstanding acceptance of current financial constraints. Karen has been in touch with Hospice UK to see where they might offer support in this, with a reminder that ERICH and Austyn Snowden’s research on chaplaincy input during COVID19 showed not only a definite need for spiritual care but very positive results where such care had been delivered. We thanked Karen for her input.
We welcomed Carol Telfer from Marie Curie Glasgow to the group. Following Karen’s update, Carol noted the reaction of her staff at Marie Curie to the spiritual needs raised by COVID19 and their realisation that chaplaincy has a unique service to offer.
Finally, we had a brief personal sharing time, and a discussion of online remembrance services. A general increase in weariness and anxiety had been noted among staff who need increasing levels of spiritual support.
Rep: Doreen Draffin, Northern Ireland Hospice, Belfast
Tel: 44 2890 781836
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 25th November at 4.00 pm. Please contact Doreen for the access details.
We meet three or four times a year, taking it in turn to act as host. Each meeting begins with a short reflection, followed by a teaching focus, time for discussion and fellowship over a meal. Currently meeting online, members are very welcome to join us if able, even for a short time.
We last met on 18th June, when we further discussed the topic of spiritual pain, or soul pain. Each of us benefited from an enlightening talk and group discussion.