“We help people to live life to the fullest” – meet Sue Ryder hospice’s new Spiritual Care Lead

Categories: Care and People & Places.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has welcomed Reverend Mark Burleigh as its new Spiritual Care Lead and Chaplain.

Revd Mark Burleigh, who has recently moved to Cambridge, will support patients, families and staff at the Peterborough hospice, which cares for people living with life-limiting conditions.

With the help of a team of spiritual care volunteers, he will be support those being cared for by the hospice, that they may be helped to to find comfort and peace of mind.

Revd Burleigh, 60, has joined Sue Ryder from University Hospitals of Leicester, where he worked as a chaplain for 27 years – most recently as Head of Chaplaincy. Before that, he was a church minister in Horsham, Sussex, and in Leicester, where he also supported students at DeMontfort University.

His other experience includes being President of the College of Health Care Chaplains and sitting on the board of the UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy. He is currently Chair of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health, and a member of the NHS Assembly.

Revd Burleigh says a career highlight has been working towards healthcare chaplaincy becoming more inclusive of different faiths and beliefs. He says he has felt “hugely welcomed” by the team at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and is looking forward to being part of the local community.

He said: “When someone is experiencing fear and anxiety, spiritual support can be a huge comfort. Regardless of faith or belief, we are here for patients, families and carers to help bring peace of mind and encourage wellbeing.

“Spirituality is about making sense of what is happening to you. Although I have religious training and skills, my vision of chaplaincy is person-centred. It’s a matter of helping someone work through all that they are facing. I can help by listening and talking things through. For example, if I observe something the person has said that seems particularly significant, I might draw their attention to it so we can explore it more. It could be help dealing with issues or valuing the time they have, and thinking about how they want to use that time.

“What I love most about working at the hospice is that we help people to live life to the fullest, even if their time is short. We want someone’s life to be as rich as it can be, and help them do the things they want to do in those moments.”

Revd Burleigh works as part of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s multi-disciplinary teams of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, complementary therapists and family support team to be there when it matters for local families. The hospice is currently recruiting for nurses, nursing assistants and a doctor to join their welcoming team, including:


For more information about Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice visit sueryder.org/thorpe


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