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Pastoral Care

Dorset Humanists aims to be a caring community. We are aware that many people struggle with loneliness, depression, and other difficulties.

Whilst we do not have the resources to solve all of these problems, there are some things we can do.

We can help to address loneliness through social contact and opportunities for friendship facilitated by our stimulating events programme which includes pub socials, walks, occasional lunches, evening courses, and our regular speaker events. There’s a café at Moordown Community Centre and a bar at the Green House Hotel. We encourage our members to socialise and to welcome newcomers.

Sometimes, people need someone to talk to about a particular problem. Whilst we do not currently offer a fully-fledged counselling service, some of our members are qualified counsellors and can be contacted for a confidential chat.

We may be able to offer help with practical things like getting a lift to a meeting or sending a card to someone in hospital.

Please let us know how we can help.

Our pastoral care team members are:

Cathy Silman ‒ Secretary of Dorset Humanists and a Citizens’ Advice Bureaux advisor. Mobile: 07817 695615

Susan Bryson ‒ A member of Dorset Humanists committee and an experienced therapeutic counsellor. Mobile: 07980 276234

David Warden – Chairman of Dorset Humanists and a qualified therapeutic counsellor. Email: chairman@dorsethumanists.co.uk Mobile: 07910 886629

Richard Jones Dip BSc Msc – A practising Gestalt and integrative counsellor/psychotherapist who is studying for his Level 7 clinical supervision qualification. Richard specialises in counselling for the LGBT plus community and working with clients with Autism and on the ‘spectrum’. Email: jones.rich693@gmail.com Mobile: 07434 770963

Why not join our pastoral team? If you have relevant skills, experience, or resources and would like to join or help our pastoral team please contact any one of us.

Hardship Fund

If a member of Dorset Humanists feels that they have a need which could be met or partially met by a grant from our Hardship Fund scheme they should contact a member of the pastoral team for an informal and confidential discussion. Typically, the recipient will be unwaged or on a very low wage with no savings for a ‘rainy day’. The pastoral team will not undertake a detailed financial assessment. The merits of the case will be based on discussion with, and a presumption of trust in, the member concerned. All communications will be treated in the strictest confidence with the exception that details will be shared with the pastoral team plus a member of the committee (the whole committee may also be involved in the decision-making process but the committee itself is also bound by confidentiality). A decision will be made based on circumstances and need and payment made as soon as possible. Any disagreements or complaints will be addressed by the whole committee.

• The scheme will only make grants, not loans.
• Grants may only be made to established members of Dorset Humanists.
• The pastoral team may also offer signposting to other agencies and charities which may help.
• The pastoral team will not offer any advice which could be interpreted as ‘giving financial advice’.
• Grants may be made for a variety of purposes such as a specific item of furniture, repair to an essential piece of equipment, or a stopgap grant to alleviate Universal Credit delay. These examples are illustrative, not exhaustive.
• If a member needs help with utility bills Cathy Silman will investigate to see whether they can get help elsewhere.
• Normally a direct payment will be made for the item or service required rather than payment into a bank account which could be in overdraft.
• Care will be taken to avoid making a payment which would place the beneficiary in a situation where they become disqualified from claiming a means tested benefit.

A full scheme draft is available on request. Email: chairman@dorsethumanists.co.uk

Links:

Non-religious pastoral care network http://nrpsn.org.uk/

Faith to Faithless – a support network for people leaving or considering leaving their religion https://humanism.org.uk/community/faith-to-faithless/