“In Parish Nursing, we are not just looking at someone’s physical health but their emotional and spiritual health and their overall wellbeing - what is important to them, what makes a person, that’s what we try and nurture. Of course, that’s at the heart of all good nursing practice but we have the freedom to let people come on their own terms and we are able to create a safe space where all are welcome, and people can show up as themselves.”
The team at the Steeple Church run a drop-in clinic where the Parish Nurses are assessing health needs and listening to those who attend, while a group of volunteers serve warm, healthy food.
“At the moment, I know that is not the case and I am every hopeful that will change. But we will keep being there for the people who walk through our doors."
“I want anyone who comes to the Steeple Church to leave feeling that they are cared for and that they are loved. Love comes in many different forms but if we aim to show someone that here is a whole group of people who they don’t know, who they have never met, but who care for them."
“I can’t actually solve all of their problems, but if someone leaves our drop-in and feels like they are a valued a member of society then I feel like I have done my job.”
But Kirsty says achieving that goal is not an easy task.
“We have to bring a great number of skills and expertise to work to make sure that happens."Communication is our most valuable tool, in all forms."
Kirsty credits the Queen’s Nurse programme as helping her with active listening that she is bringing back to her role every day.
“The programme has already made a huge difference. It has helped me realise that listening is not just listening to respond to what I think a person wants answered but listening to what they are not telling me. What is in these gaps in the conversation?
“I can quite often work with people who have experienced many crisis points in their lives, their problems are often historic and deeply rooted. I have realised that most of the issues I hear about, are not things that I can fix, but they are issues that seem easier for the person to deal with when they have someone who they trust who comes alongside them to walk with them on their journey.”