Sheila Goodliffe is a volunteer member of the chaplaincy team at the Cumberland Infirmary.
“It is a privilege to be available to patients, and indeed relatives and staff, each week.
“I also provide the chaplaincy service at Brampton Community Hospital.
“For patients, perhaps in pain and wondering about the future and the impact on their families as well as themselves, it is good to be there with them for concerns to be shared in confidence with someone not directly involved with their clinical care, as well as perhaps reflecting on past happier times and bringing in aspects of the ‘outside world’.
“For those with a religious belief, and as I am a Local Lay Minister in the Church of England, I appreciate being able for them to share their particular concerns and I offer to pray with them, whatever their denomination.
“I am also authorised to take Holy Communion to patients when requested, which links to the work I do in the community.
“Sometimes it can be quite stressful especially if the patient or relative knows or feels that successful treatment is not an option, but on leaving them, I am often thanked for just being there, giving them time and for listening and it is rewarding to feel that in a small way I may have made a difference.”