Chaplain Joe wins national award
Date of release: 17 March 2023
A “very special” Chaplain has won a national award to acknowledge his exceptional hard work in supporting a family that suffered pregnancy loss.
Joe Fielder, Team Lead for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), was presented with the Above and Beyond Award at the Mariposa Awards at the Landmark Hotel in London.
Joe Fielder (right), Team Lead for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, with Professor David Loughton CBE, Group Chief Executive
The annual ceremony recognises Midwives, Nurses, Bereavement Midwives, Doctors and community members who have gone above and beyond in the care and support for people who have experienced baby loss.
Joe was nominated jointly by Nikki Farrington, Neonatal Bereavement and Family Support Nurse, and Willenhall couple Simon and Amy Taylor following the loss of their baby daughter Erin in December 2022.
Paramedic Amy, 33, gave birth to Erin via an emergency forceps delivery in theatre at 8.52am on 3 December at Walsall Manor Hospital, but the baby became unusually tired and it was discovered she had developed a bleed on the brain. She was transferred to New Cross Hospital at 4.45am three days later.
Tragically, Erin died on 7 December at 6.58pm surrounded by her family. Joe was there for them.
“The strength and support Joe showed us, you could not buy it,” said father of two Simon, 49, a mobile mechanic for the RAC. “Whatever he gets paid, it isn’t enough.
“Joe was with us all the way through. Anything he could do to support us, he did, and he’s still in contact with us now. He also looked after all the consultants, nurses and other staff.
“He got us food vouchers so we could get discounted food, and on the night of Erin’s passing, he stayed with us until 1am when he was supposed to finish at 7pm.
“Then, because Erin had to have a post mortem over Christmas, he supported us with visits and telephone calls. In the lead-up to the funeral, he helped us with the order of service and told us what to do.
“He prepared everyone at the crematorium as it was the first time most people had attended a baby’s funeral or seen a casket that small. He also conducted the service and came to the wake.
“He then had to go back to work but he even came back to our house after that. He prayed for all of the family too.”
Joe with his wife Helen at the awards, and right, the Above and Beyond glass trophy Joe was awarded
Joe received his award – a glass trophy – from Zoe Clark-Coates MBE, Founder and Chief Executive of the Mariposa Awards. Former Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh hosted the awards.
“I’m humbled and encouraged as a team that we were able to contribute to this award,” said modest Joe, 55, a father of five who lives in Pelsall with piano teacher wife Helen, and their three dogs, a cat and five chickens.
“I’m glad about what it says about Chaplaincy and its value to healthcare. I spent a lot of time with the family but I was only able to do that because I’ve got such a good team behind me.”
Reverend Linford Davis, Head of Spiritual, Pastoral and Religious Care at RWT and Walsall Healthcare, said: “I’m proud of Joe and it’s a source of encouragement and a great example of hard work and dedication, so it’s right that those qualities are recognised.
“It’s testament to Joe’s consistent delivery of quality spiritual, pastoral and religious care. His actions enabled both Simon and Amy to function and cope, because that sort of situation can cause you to shut down.
“It speaks of the ethos of pastoral care we have and are continuing to develop within the Trust and offers continued motivation for the team to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Andrew Clark-Coates, Founder and CEO, The Mariposa Trust, said: “When we received the nominations for Joe, we knew they described a very special individual who offered compassionate care far beyond what is expected in caring for bereaved families. We were delighted to present him with this much deserved award.”
Notes to Editor
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