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Parish Nurses offering an integrated approach to health care and healing

Friday 20th October 2017

Parish Nurses offering an integrated approach to health care and healing
Parish Nurses offering an integrated approach to health care and healing

An innovative nursing scheme helping people cope with a wide range of health care problems in a Suffolk village has been hailed as a trail-blazing example for other communities in the county to follow.

The impact of Parish Nurses, backed by three churches in Walton, Felixstowe, is enhancing the health care services for people of all ages.

The aim of the Parish Nursing scheme, a movement started in the UK in 2004, is to provide an integrated approach to health care and healing.

An annual celebration was held on Sunday 15 October at Maidstone Road Baptist Church, Walton. The church, along with St Mary’s Anglican Church and Seaton Road Methodist Church, is involved in Walton Parish Nursing (WPN).  Bishop Martin was among those who attended.

Bishop Martin said: ‘‘Being able to address spiritual and emotional needs as well as the physical, and to see each person in the context of their family and closest relationships, provides a much-needed multi-faceted approach to health and healing.  I am delighted to have been involved in this commissioning service for Parish Nurses, and to support their very welcome whole person approach to health care.”

John Gillett, a Mental Health Nurse, was presented with his badge from Parish Nursing UK. He is now officially recognised as a Parish Nurse and he will develop plans to help people in Walton with mental health issues reach an optimum quality of life.  Mr Gillett serves with Lorna Bellamy, a Community Nurse, as the two part-time staff in WPN which is financed by grants, personal gifts and fundraising events.

Revd Dr Mark Reid, Pastor of Maidstone Road Baptist Church, is a trustee of WPN, and he said: ‘‘Through the work of our staff and volunteers we are able to minister to the physical, mental and spiritual needs of local people in Walton. We do this through drop-in clinics at a local community caf;, a housing complex for the elderly; a pop-up shop; chair-based-exercise classes; leg care; a group for working age disabled and more recently a group for those with mental health issues.’’

 

Picture one: Bishop Martin with Parish Nurses, John Gillett Mental Health Nurse, right, Lorna Bellamy Parish Nurse, left, Ministers and volunteers at Maidstone Road Baptist Church, Walton.

Picture two: From left, Diane Smith Methodist Minister, John Gillett Mental Health Nurse, Revd Mark Reid, Lorna Bellamy Parish Nurse and Revd Caroline Allen .