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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Anna Chaplaincy - encouraging care staff

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

A resource highlighted: Gifts from church for hard-pressed care staff in Birmingham

Shared good practice

Eileen Simmons is an Anna Chaplain in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. She took part in this week's (7 July 2020) Zoom conference call, when more than 90 people signed up to hear about resources for ministry among older people and their carers during the pandemic. Eileen wrote afterwards:


I am an Anna Chaplain with a background in education. I was a secondary headteacher and then assessed and trained headteachers.

Yesterday's Anna Chaplaincy Zoom session demonstrated the major strength of our work; that of sharing good practice, which is incredibly powerful as a tool for learning. There will have been a multiplier effect from yesterday.

A second principle was so evident; that of encouraging staff. Staff in care homes are having such difficult working lives, but the way that we are recognising that and giving encouragement in a practical way is helping enormously. There were so many examples shared.

My Memory House care home in Leigh-on-Sea, where I am a volunteer in normal times, has residents with advanced dementia and is in total lockdown. I have temporarily changed to telephone befriending with Age Concern, which is really helpful to those shielding at home and personally rewarding.

Yesterday I was able to go to Memory House with a card and chocolates and have a socially distanced conversation with the Deputy Manager, who told me with joy that they were STILL Covid free. They may be able to start family visits under controlled conditions. I was told they really missed me and so much want me back. The encouragement yesterday’s visit gave reminded the staff again just how much their work is valued.

Well done Debbie, Julia and Alex. More please.


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