Celebrating our humanness and diversity
This week is Interfaith Week, a week dedicated to raising the profile and awareness around the many different faiths people follow. At Solent we are very proud to offer employees, families and our patients spiritual care and support in the form of our Trust Chaplain, Emma D’aeth, who is a source of support for all faiths and non-faiths.
Reflecting on the importance of understanding each other, Emma says: ”It’s so interesting to learn what other people believe and how it makes them who they are. Everyone is a treasure chest of wisdom. That’s one of my favourite things about Interfaith Week, it’s our stories, which make us who we are, and I love being able to share that. It is also a time to equally learn from those that don’t have a faith, that’s a belief to.
“It’s also a time to appreciate our faith communities who do a lot of work within their communities, at the hospitals and with the city council, and we need to honour them.”
Having these conversations is important as it tackles prejudice and misunderstanding. Emma adds: “We shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about different faiths, this helps us make connections and build relationships. We have many differences, but we also have so many things in common and building on this makes for a flourishing workplace and to make our patients feel honoured and that their faith needs are met.”
Emma is also a member of our Multifaith Resource Group (MFRG), which is all about raising awareness around different faiths, helping to make Solent more inclusive and a safe space to talk about our differences. Our MFRG hosted a Coffee Break this week at the Adelaide Health Centre in Southampton to celebrate Interfaith week.
Bryony Kirkpatrick, a rehabilitation assistant at Solent, said she was so happy to see such an event as it shows her how inclusive we are as a Trust. Bryony adds: “I am a new starter and one of the things that really appealed to me when I saw the job was when I looked at Solent and their values, I could see they were people centred and very diverse and inclusive, and I thought that was so lovely. So, to come down and see this event celebrating all faiths and non-faiths has put a smile on my face.”
Starting her career as a nurse, Emma always valued chaplaincy and the role it plays in helping people. She values the appreciation and love she gets from staff and patients. Emma says: “I was visiting a patient who told me to never stop doing what I am doing because it is so valuable for all faiths and non-faiths to have someone to talk to and just sit with them and listen. You are there for anyone that needs you.”
Interfaith Week is more than a week of awareness, it’s a reminder that we are all valued and heard. It’s about love.