Reaching out to the loneliest people on a housing estate in Hull
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Anna Chaplain Sue Hopcroft, based on Longhill Estate, Hull, has given a great interview on BBC Radio Humberside.
Interviewed on the Sunday morning show (20 February 2022) by presenter Lizzie Rose, Sue spoke of how she became interested in Anna Chaplaincy. Sue had already been volunteering one day a week at her local Methodist Homes (MHA) care home. She was licensed as an Anna Chaplain six months ago by clergy at St Margaret’s Church, Longhill.
Sue spoke about how she went to Derbyshire for a Cliff College course on ‘Ministry among older people – the Anna Chaplaincy approach’ just the week before the pandemic began: ‘None of us had any idea what was in store for the next two years. It just opened so many doors’.
She has mainly been using the telephone to reach people during lockdowns, asking people ‘How are you? Do you need anything?’. But now that visiting is possible again, she also emphasised the importance of touch, of ‘being able to hold someone’s hand, while they talk about anything and everything’. Anna Chaplaincy is not just for churchgoers, she added.
Sue’s daughter, Kathe, is also a volunteer Anna Friend working alongside her mother. ‘She is my safety’ said Sue who uses a wheelchair. ‘We have a system. She always knows where I am going and if she hasn’t heard from me she will ring and check I’m all right.’ Both are classed as vulnerable adults themselves and she says they have both always enjoyed chatting with older people and helping those who are most lonely. For the next few weeks you can listen again to the six-minute interview here (the interview begins at 1:40:30).