Moorin Babawale is the Spiritual Care Lead at Havens Hospices, part of our Wellbeing Team, providing professional spiritual care to our patients, families, carers, staff and volunteers.
She says, “I haven’t always been a chaplain, it wasn’t until later on in my life. There was a time in my personal life when I went through a lot and was in hospital. My family were broken, and the chaplains at the hospital were the only ones that could help me. They came into my room and talked to me. They gave me the time the nurses couldn’t and were there with me in that moment. I wanted to give back to the profession that helped me, so that’s why I decided to become a chaplain.
“I became a minister in 2009 after studying for a degree in pastoral care and eschatology. Then a few years ago, I completed a postgraduate degree in Health Care Chaplaincy at London South Bank University with Guys and St Thomas’s Foundation Trust.
“Since then, I’ve worked in a hospice and a number of hospitals, each helping me expand my experience with patients, staff and teams and my knowledge of the healthcare industry.
“My role at Havens Hospices is to be there for the spiritual needs of patients, families, carers, colleagues and volunteers. To be a presence in the organisation that people can reach out and speak to. I give them the gift of time to talk about whatever they want. Being a Minister, I can also offer blessing, absolution, and prayers at the end of life and after death if they wish.
“Sometimes, people keep things back from nurses or loved ones, but they open up to me. It’s really important that I’m there to listen to them and bring the presence of whatever their spirituality is.
“I have many lovely memories, but the moments I cherish the most are meeting and talking with patients and families. Especially when they start the conversation feeling lost and scared, but by the end, their spirits are lifted, and they feel better.
“One patient loved to play the flute and wanted someone to sing them a song, so I sang for them, and they were so happy. Another patient wished for me to learn an original piece of theirs so I could sing it back to them, which I was more than happy to do. I also found a restaurant to make a Nigerian dish for someone that hadn’t had it for decades, and I delivered it to them on the In-patient Unit at Fair Havens.
“Every so often, people feel hesitant to talk to me, but spiritual care is not just about religion. It’s about doing whatever you can to give them peace, making the most unbearable time as bearable as possible.”
“The main role of a chaplain is to spend time with people and provide them with what they need at that moment. Whether that’s joining in with craft activities, making tea or just chatting and laughing about day-to-day life.
“I aim to bring spiritual care to the forefront and ensure everyone knows they are welcome at the hospice. I want us to reflect the diversity in our local community, all cultures, religions and those with no particular religion or faith.”
Our Wellbeing Team supports patients and families across all our hospice services, ensuring their emotional, social, spiritual and psychological needs are at the centre of their care. Discover more about the support we can offer.
Published 25th October 2022