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More people than ever will benefit from chaplaincy support thanks to facilities upgrade

More staff, visitors and patients will benefit from support given by chaplaincy colleagues at West Suffolk Hospital thanks to an upgrade to the chaplaincy’s facilities.

The chaplaincy, which is situated on the ground floor of the Bury St Edmunds hospital, offers pastoral, spiritual and religious care to our Trust's staff as well as patients and their visitors.

The upgrades are as a result of a very kind donor, one of the chaplaincy volunteers, who provided the funding. The new facilities include a new fully-equipped kitchen, a private room for counselling and a dedicated washing area (wudu) for Muslim colleagues and visitors.

Lead chaplain, Reverend Canon Rufin Emmanuel, said: “We’re delighted to have these new facilities at the chaplaincy. An upgrade of this kind will benefit so many people from all different backgrounds who need a quiet place, those who want to pray, and those who need some comfort. A big thank you to Sue Smith from our My WiSH charity, who played an amazing role in this project with the support of Darren Hailstone from our estates team.

“One major change is that we can offer hospitality to a lot more people due to our new kitchen. Being able to offer a drink to visitors and staff who come through our doors can go a long way in making that person feel welcome, comfortable and safe.”

Sue Smith, head of fundraising at My WiSH, said: “We were absolutely delighted being given such a donation, to be able to support the chapel upgrade has been wonderful. We worked closely with the donor and made sure that we provided all that they wished for. Donations like this really do mean we can enhance environments for staff and patients at the hospital, this is a perfect example of this, and it has been a privilege to be involved. A huge thank you also has to go to the donor.”

Another important aspect to the upgrade is that members of the Muslim community have more space to pray, as well as dedicated washing facilities. This has been welcomed by staff and visitors.

Executive director of workforce and communications, Jeremy Over, said: “It goes without saying that the last two years have been extremely difficult for everyone in health and care. Staff are still facing very challenging times and the upgrade to our chaplaincy facilities is an important addition to how we provide our staff and visitors with a place to receive support and recharge.

“The upgrade reflects the ‘First for Staff’ element of our recently-published Trust strategy. Looking after staff is a top priority, and I know these changes with help to make our Trust a workplace that enhances staff wellbeing.”

Rufin concluded: “I want to thank our supporters and colleagues who helped turn this project into a reality. While our chaplaincy is the hub of our support, we are available to all our Trust’s staff at both our hospitals as well as in the community. Pastoral and spiritual care is available to everyone, no matter what faith or beliefs are held.”

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Lead chaplain, Reverend Canon Rufin Emmanuel, presents the upgraded facilities

Lead chaplain, Reverend Canon Rufin Emmanuel, presents the upgraded facilities