The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Nurse takes up Norwich health chaplain role 

HelenGarrard450A nurse and church minister with a wealth of experience providing specialist nursing to Norfolk patients who are reaching the end of their lives has been appointed as Chaplain with a community health trust.

Rev Helen Garrard began her new role with Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), on October 6, and will be licensed by Bishop Jonathan Meyrick during a ceremony on Wednesday, October 15. 

She takes up the role after spending 12 years working at NCH&C, nine of which were as a Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse both across the county and at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, a specialist centre which provides symptom management and end-of-life care in Norwich.

Helen will work alongside Canon Mair McFadyen providing spiritual and religious support to patients, families and staff, and will be based at the Colman Centre for Specialist Rehabilitation Services, in Unthank Road, and the Mulberry Unit at Norwich Community Hospital. She will also support Chaplains working at NCH&C’s other community hospitals.

“I am very pleased to have been appointed as Chaplain with NCH&C,” said Helen, who initially worked as a lay reader after beginning her ministry training in 1992, and was ordained as a Church of England priest in 2012.

“For many years I have had a dual career in both nursing and ministry. In my work as a minister I have had a special interest in ministering to the sick and those coping with loss or difficult transitions in life. 

“Having completed a three-year curacy in Broadland, it is a great privilege for me that my work in health care and spiritual care should now come together and allow me to begin this new chapter of my career.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity of meeting patients in their own homes during my time as a nurse, as well as working with the primary care team to enable them to receive care in their place of choice, meeting their care priorities and supporting family members.”

Helen will continue working as a nurse as part of the bank team.

Tracey Dryhurst, Manager of NCH&C’s Psychological Team, welcomed Helen’s appointment, saying: “Helen brings with her a wealth of nursing experience. The opportunity to combine this with her spiritual and religious work will no doubt enrich the service and having two part-time Chaplains will allow the service to be flexible and responsive.”

Pictured above is new chaplain Rev Helen Garrard.

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