Methodist Homes (MHA) has appointed of Eleanor Puttock as its first ever Digital Chaplain in a role unique to a care provider.
The new role fits into MHA’s positive approach to ageing, supporting Spiritual well-being and living later life well while embracing developments in the way interactions, relationships and communities are formed.
Chaplaincy services have always been a central pillar of the MHA’s care homes and retirement living services. With many of the support services for members of MHA Communities going online, the charity sought to create a digital chaplain role to help facilitate and develop content. The role of digital chaplain will enhance and support existing chaplaincy services, offering new ways for communities to interact, complementing existing skills and reaching audiences further afield.
The role is funded through charitable giving, most especially in 2021 through the charity’s annual MHA Sunday. This year’s event, held on 13 June, goes towards supporting the work of MHA Communities including the new offering of Digital Communities along with national telephone and digital befriending service and community groups across Britain.
Eleanor describes herself as a ‘facilitator of information and people’ and sees this role as combining her understanding of religion and digital communication with her personal vocation to chaplaincy. She brings experience from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (University of Cambridge) and the Diocese of Ely, where she supported the central team, clergy and parish churches to develop and sustain their digital presence and outreach. She will shortly complete her training to become a hospital chaplain through London South Bank University.
Eleanor said: “I see this role as creating content which can be accessed by a diverse range of people, from residents and members to relatives and colleagues. It will help upskill MHA’s chaplains so they can use the benefits of digital media to complement their roles and therefore be able to help support more people. It is an exciting role and one in which I am looking forward to helping make a difference to the lives of the people MHA supports by listening to what their needs are and then creating content to meet this.”
MHA Communities Development Manager Beth Finch said: “There was huge interest in the role of digital chaplain and we are delighted to welcome Eleanor to the team. She will help enable us to bring the chaplaincy service to the people we support in the community, something we have wanted to do for a long time.”