This is Laurel, “Our ray of sunshine at the Hub”, as Anne describes her. “She has an infectious laugh and she always puts a smile on your face!”
Laurel and Anne are both pastoral carers at the Hub. Every week, Laurel also brings us lovely flowers, which brighten up the place and make it feel like home for our visitors.
I had a chat with Laurel about her experience at the Hub. (And you can check out Anne’s story here.)
How did you get involved in the work of the Hub?
Jo-Ann came to our church and spoke about the Harrogate Hub. I had a heart for this kind of thing. I used to run another ministry, giving out food, furniture, clothes and books. And I wanted to get involved in something similar. I also had previous experience of pastoral care from church.
What did you learn from the pastoral care training course?
So many things stood out, especially the prayer, and learning how we relate to people. I learnt that we show how much we care for people mostly by listening. The course taught me to listen more. When you’re a mum, you sometimes butt in when your children are talking! But it taught me to take note and listen, to assess the situation and to make the person feel at ease.
Why do you think Harrogate needs a Hub?
I think there are a lot of lonely people about in Harrogate. There’s a veneer. People think it’s a rich place, but there’s a lot of poverty here. I see it at the foodbank.
What kinds of needs have you seen since volunteering at the Hub?
There’s a common denominator. There’s a need to be listened to and loved.
What would you say to someone who was considering visiting the Hub?
I would say ‘Come in! It’s warm. It’s cosy. And most of all, we’re here for you.’
Interview by Ella Green