Welcome to new Spiritual and Pastoral Care Manager, Janet Henderson (YOUR saint michael’s magazine – extended content)
Or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say “welcome back” to the Revd Janet Henderson. The new Spirtual and Pastoral Care Manager is no stranger to the Hospice, having previously acted as a trustee for Saint Michael’s.
While most people are aware of the chaplaincy service offered to our patients and their families, many may not realise the service is also available to our staff and volunteers. It may also come as a surprise that chaplaincy support is available to people regardless of their faith or whether they have any faith at all.
Describing Saint Michael’s as “an extremely positive place”, Janet will work closely with the Pastoral Care Team, which comprises therapists, social workers and volunteers. The aim of these service is: “to provide holistic spiritual care which encompasses emotional and practical needs.”
As a trained nurse and priest, Janet has supported patients, parishioners and her own family affected by terminal illness in the past and this was one of her key motivations in accepting the chaplaincy role. This first-hand experience has also taught her the importance of giving everyone the possibility “to live life to the fullest extent possible right up to the end and to be helped to do the things that you feel you need to do”.
An important element to her role will be to simply to listen. Janet explains why this is such a fundamental part of her remit: “I aim to help people to tell their own stories in their own way, to reflect on their lives and to feel that they are valued and loved for themselves – patients, families and friends, staff and volunteers.”
Given the Hospice’s aim to extend its services to a wider range of people in the community, Janet sees another key area of her work as: “being a voice for those whose interests are sometimes overlooked or who feel especially vulnerable.
In her free time, Janet likes swimming and walking in the Dales. A self-confessed voracious reader, she also pens her own poetry and writes a regular blog.
For more information about Saint Michael’s chaplaincy service, call (01423) 879 687.