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Gloucestershire Business News

New appointment will bring increased spiritual support for the older generation to Cheltenham

Covid-19 has shown that there is a great need and demand for older people in hospital and care homes to receive much-needed spiritual support.

Many of these people have been isolated, with their family and chaplains unable to visit them. This has prevented the older generation receiving the positivity, companionship, interaction, and comfort that they require, especially during this difficult period.

To help meet this need, a new Anna Coordinator has been appointed, who will bring specialised Anna Chaplaincy for older people in Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve. This has been made possible by CaBiC, an interdenominational charity, which has been set up to support and coordinate ministry to older people in the local area.

Anna Chaplaincy is a national, inclusive, community-based and person-centred approach to supporting older people, together with their families and carers, both spiritually and pastorally.

Gill Ford has been appointed to lead the Anna Chaplaincy in the Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve area and will now work to build a strong network of chaplains and supporters, to provide this vital, positive, support to the older generation.

Ms Ford is a part-time law lecturer at UWE and has many years' experience of supporting older people at both The Silver Line Helpline (now Age UK) and the Gloucestershire based befriending charity People for You project.

She has also helped to organise services and support sessions for older people at Holy Apostles Church in Cheltenham, where she worships. Gill will be working with the Trustees, for CaBiC, on a part-time basis, to bring Anna Chaplaincy to our local area.

"We are thrilled and excited by Gill's appointment" said Reverend Brian Dunlop, chair of CaBiC. "Gill brings experience and energy, which will enable us to significantly step up what we offer in Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve."

Andrew Bass, grants officer for Allchurches Trust, added: "We're delighted that our Hope Beyond grant is helping to fund Gill's role, helping to address the growing issue of isolation and loneliness in older people, exacerbated by the pandemic.

"This appointment will make a huge difference to people's lives at a time when their need is greatest, bringing comfort and companionship."

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