We spoke to Lorraine, a Family and Community Solutions Coordinator/Mediator at Plymouth Children, Young People and Families, about the pastoral care she received from Barbara Carpenter, Senior Chaplain, at the Devon Wellbeing Hub. She told us why she found her sessions beneficial and offers advice to others who may be struggling.
Why did you contact the Devon Wellbeing Hub? What made you reach out for help?
I was feeling overwhelmed due to demands of my personal life – mainly the impact of ageing parents with increasingly poor health.
How easy was it to book an appointment?
What did your Colleague Wellbeing Assessment appointment involve?
I had a very relaxed, non-judgemental and open telephone chat. I was very satisfied.
I was then referred to the chaplaincy service and was offered support either face-to-face or via telephone. In the end, we had four telephone chats and I could also text if I needed to talk in-between sessions.
What did your appointments with the chaplaincy service involve?
Chaplaincy support isn’t something I would have initially considered, however the support I received from Barbara was extremely useful for me.
To have someone I could speak to with no fear of judgement enabled me to work through scenarios and test ways to manage these.
Did you feel that the Hub staff listened to you and treated your concerns seriously?
Yes. They made me feel ok about asking and needing support.
Have you been able to make changes to improve your wellbeing since visiting the Hub?
Yes, definitely. I feel able to set boundaries with my time and not feel guilty. I have set aside time for myself to do things I enjoy and have also explored taster sessions for new activities
What do you think the impact would have been without the support from the Hub?
I think I would have been off sick again and more stressed than I am now.
Would you recommend the Hub to colleagues?
Absolutely, without a doubt.
What advice would you give to people who may be struggling?
It does not make you weak or incapable to ask for support. I would never have believed how much better I feel. Pick up the phone and just make contact.
Barbara said: “As Chaplains offering pastoral care it is always a privilege to work with people like Lorraine and to hear their stories. The listening and support that we offer is for everyone - for people from all faith backgrounds and none. We listen without judgement or agenda, aiming to help the people we are walking alongside to find the balance and resources that they need in order to deal with the issues that they are facing. We also have the freedom to journey with people for as long or short a time as they need - there's no fixed numbers of sessions. So please do feel free to get in touch with us.”
Get in touch:
If you work in healthcare, social care or the police in Devon and are interested in our chaplaincy support, the Hub’s Colleague Wellbeing Practitioners can discuss your needs and make a referral on your behalf. Please get in touch by calling 0300 303 5455, email email@example.com or fill out the simple referral form on the Devon Wellbeing Hub website.