News from recent Board meetings – April 2022

Covid Impacts

COVID continues to provide challenges on how chaplaincy services can be provided to patients, their whanau and families, as well as to the staff.

CCDHB managerial position changes in early 2022 have left the place of the chaplaincy service unclear.  While the status of Chaplains as essential workers has yet to be determined, most are making their own decisions as to whether they should continue to work

One of the Ecumenical Chaplains has reduced their working hours.  That space has been taken up by one of the Catholic chaplains, creating a dual role of Catholic and Ecumenical Chaplain.

Volunteer Chaplain Assistant (VCA)

The VCA position is not part of the medical staff and not full chaplains.  That freedom enables the VCAs to engage with patients on different levels. Unlike the chaplains they can strike up a conversation without bringing religion into it.

The recent VCA training programme was advertised though the main stream churches and Pentecostal churches.

The training is now spread over a whole year. There is an initial eight-week programme and then the trainees shadow the chaplains before venturing into visiting patients by themselves. They then continue their training on the job with supervision by the chaplains.

The round of recruitment had 20 people interested in the role, reduced to six beginning the training.

Although one dropped out, the remaining five will complete their training over the next few months and they will be commissioned at Easter 2022.

Thorndon Farmers’ Market Stall

COVID has impacted on the stall over the last two years.

The Market, in Hill Street, Thorndon has now re-opened on Saturday mornings.

Seeking to maintain the promotional aspects of the Market, the board is making contact with the organisers.  The desire is to have a stall at the market four times a year.

As the Trust moves forward with communications it will look wider for corporate funding to support its work.