Couple’s pastoral care for suffering

Sheffield couple Ben and Amanda Woollard
Sheffield couple Ben and Amanda Woollard
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A Sheffield couple has launched a new initiative, giving pastoral care to A&E patients at Northern General Hospital.

Ben and Amanda Woollard started the project - ED Pastors - to work as an extension of the hospital’s chaplaincy department, providing a team of trained volunteers who are available to patients of all backgrounds and faiths.

Sheffield business owner Ben, and NHS nurse Amanda, have already recruited six volunteers from their church, St Philips in Sheffield, and have been volunteering at the hospital for a few months, providing emotional support and giving spiritual care to A&E patients.

“We had nurtured this dream for a while,” said Amanda.

“It’s a privilege to extend healing not just to hurting bodies, but also to those with spiritual and emotional needs.”

And Ben, who spends his days running Authentic Recruitment, has even made the decision to cut down his working hours to allow him to dedicate time every week to the new service.

He said: “This service is about giving genuine and holistic care to broken people and the leadership team at the Northern General have been incredibly supportive and helped make this a success. Now we have proven the concept we hope to increase the availability of ED Pastors and see the project spread across the UK.”  

ED consultant Dr Caroline said: “It’s no secret that Emergency departments across the UK are under unprecedented pressure, to have ED pastors available to comfort and support patients is making a huge difference to both staff and patent morale.”