Jan Bruntisfield is a volunteer chaplain at the Hospice
Jan has been a volunteer chaplain at the Hospice for five years, having spent most of her life volunteering for lots of different causes. Jan spent 25 years running her own catering business as well as raising three children, and as a volunteer she has worked as a relationship counsellor, sat on the Board of Visitors for Polmont Young Offenders Institute, supported long term prisoners in Edinburgh, been involved with veterans’ charities and served as a Justice of the Peace for 16 years.
Jan said: “I am a practicing Roman Catholic and my faith underpins my life. During my husband’s illness I was in and out of hospitals for a number of years and after he died in the Hospice I asked my parish priest if there was any hospital visiting I could do in the parish. He suggested I become a Eucharistic Minister, so I would be able to take communion to any Catholic patients at the Hospice. I have had the great privilege of joining the chaplaincy team and fulfilling this role for the past five years, visiting and supporting Catholics, those of all faiths and no faith. On a typical day when I am visiting patients on the wards, God may not be mentioned at all, there are life stories to be told and achievements to be acknowledged, and family relationships understood. It is good to get to know people through their lives rather than their illness.”
Being with patients and their families when they are in the Hospice, Jan is able to see and hear first-hand about the experience of our community. “The Hospice is a special place. I have often heard patients and families singing the praises of the staff, who are outstanding for the care, compassion and comfort they offer every day. We have our beautiful new building with its wonderful views over the Forth and away to Fife and beyond. I remember one lady who was lying in her bed, in her pretty room and declaring that she felt she was on a cruise!
Of course there is sadness and loss experienced within the Hospice, but there is also a great deal of hope and love.”