• Name: Jo Snelling
  • Job title: Chaplain
  • Joined the team: July 2023

How did you get into your role and come to work at Katharine House?

Up until June I was a Vicar in five rural parishes in Lincolnshire, but I felt ready for something different and wanted to work in chaplaincy. I spend part of my week here at Katharine House and the other part in Oxford at the John Radcliffe, mostly in the children's hospital. I am loving being part of both these places and offering my care to patients, loved ones and staff.

What's a typical day like?

There really isn't one! My role is all about spending time with people and because people are all different, the day really is defined by them. I will spend some of my time in Living Well with patients from the community, some of my time in the inpatient unit with patients and their loved ones and some time talking with staff I'm here for anyone who wants to talk – of any faith or none! My day consists of offering space for people to process their emotions and thoughts, maybe to offer a prayer if that is wanted, but really it is to simply be alongside people for a moment and give an opportunity to think through the spiritual questions and wonderings that we all have.

What do you wish people knew about hospice care?

That it doesn't have to be scary to talk about death – I've had some really funny, joyful conversations with people about death and while it is often moving, it is also something that is much easier to talk about when it's brought out in the open. The hospice is a place where there is a deep sense of peace that allows us to face the difficult conversations in a comfortable and calm environment.

How does it feel to work for the hospice?

It is such a privilege to be able to come alongside people in their most difficult moments. So much of what happens in a hospice is a collection of intense moments of emotion, affection and love as people journey with their loved ones through some really tough circumstances. To be able to come and support that journey in some small way through a chat or a prayer or just being there is incredibly rewarding and a real honour to be able to be a part of these special and challenging times.

What makes Katharine House so special?

It is such a peaceful, tranquil place. The gardens are beautiful, and the atmosphere is so relaxed and comforting. The most special thing though is the team a group of people who show enormous amounts of compassion and care in all that they do.

Now for some quick-fire questions ...

If I could go anywhere in the world, I'd go to: Pembrokeshire it's where I went on holiday as a child and it's beautiful and nostalgic.

My favourite dessert is: Banoffee Pie.

My all-time greatest song is: Zombie by The Cranberries.

My favourite season is: winter. I love a crisp, cold day even better if there is snow.

My idea of a perfect day is: swimming in the sea and reading on the beach.

My favourite thing to eat is: a curry with all the extras: a peshwari naan, poppadoms and mango chutney.

Without doubt, the best animals are: penguins.

My favourite way to unwind is: with a good book, ideally with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit or two.

My go-to biscuit is: Custard Creams.

My all-time favourite film is: Intestellar (or any Christopher Nolan film).

If I was stranded on a desert island, I would want: a comfy sun lounger, a supply of books and a way to make tea.