‘I am there to listen, and to be there with them’ – Lawrence’s story
For Inter Faith, Lawrence shares what it’s like to volunteer in Weldmar’s Spiritual Care team.
Weldmar Hospicecare is fortunate to have Spiritual Care team operated by volunteers. The group represent religions such as Christianity, Catholicism and Buddism for example – but also represent some non-religious groups, such as Humanism.
Lawrence is a Humanist and has been volunteering for Weldmar since April 2021. After a long career in the Military in IT and software engineering roles, Lawrence’s thoughts had turned to what to do in the lead up to, and after retirement.
Lawrence says ‘ I wanted to do something constructive with my spare time. And help people out there that have those bigger questions.’
Lawrence joined Humanist UK three years ago, because they hold the beliefs and morals he aspires to. Lawrence also belongs to the Humanist Network at his workplace, offering non-religious pastoral care to colleagues. Based nearer to Bournemouth, he started volunteering at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital – just before lockdown. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to return to that role.
A while later, Lawrence thought about offering pastoral care over the phone, and so contacted hospitals and hospices locally.
Lawrence says ‘I sing in a Choir, and I’d previously performed at Weldmar’s fete, so I knew about their services and the support they give to the local community’. Lawrence adds ‘They were looking for volunteers for the Spiritual Care team so I applied and went through the process. Weldmar’s approach is so welcoming – staff are so caring. Everyone is treated with respect.’
And on volunteering at Weldmar, Lawrence says ‘It’s such a privilege to be with people at a time in their life when they might be unsure, uncertain and worried. Some people want to reminisce about their life, and some just want company. Most of the time, religion doesn’t come into conversation. It’s all person led, and I am there to listen, and to be there with them.’