The Rev’d Annie Gray has been in post as Lead Chaplain at the Cumberland Infirmary for just over a year, overseeing the spiritual and religious care of patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.
Now Annie is looking to boost the number of volunteers who can help her as part of the chaplaincy team run through the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.
“This is really wonderful work to be involved with,” Annie said. “The people who already volunteer and help with the chaplaincy work clearly love what they do. They get tremendous personal satisfaction from simply being able to draw alongside people and provide a listening ear.
“People who come into hospital for treatment can be facing huge changes and it’s important that the chaplaincy team is there to offer support to complement the brilliant medical work.”
In particular Annie is looking to boost the number of ward visiting volunteers who would be asked to commit to a two hour session every week and who would have all the necessary in-house training. The ward visiting team is currently 15-strong and is ecumenical.
Annie came to the role following ordination in 2012. Before training she had work for mental health charity MIND, providing stress-relief services following the Foot and Mouth crisis and had previously set up the New Life Natural Health Care Centre, an ecumenical Christian charity in North Shields, offering therapy to people on low and fixed incomes.
If anyone is interested in volunteering as a ward visitor, to help with the Sunday services or to provide bank coverage for Annie, please contact her at [email protected] or on 01228 814090.
Click people to listen to Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton in conversation with Annie about her role as a hospital chaplain.