Integrity, compassion, dedication and the ability to see the bigger picture, non-judgemental, selfless, always giving, strong and brave. These were just some of the words used by Nurse Director Professor Angela Wallace, speaking at the ‘retirement’ of the Rev Margery Collin, Head of Spiritual Care.
Margery, who helped develop and shape the spiritual care service in 2006, was a primary school teacher in Edinburgh for 20 years. She then developed ME and was confined for a time to a wheelchair. During her illness she noticed that although people would ask how she was, with the best will in the world they didn’t really want to hear her story. She vowed if she got better she would listen to those who were sick. She subsequently trained as a counsellor, undertook a Divinity degree in Edinburgh and began working six hours a week at Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary – two three hour days with a rest on the day between – as she still had little energy.
Margery also works at Strathcarron Hospice, where she is increasing her hours in a part-time post. She is on the national executive of the Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains, published research at Strathcarron in 2012 and is a contributor to a book on palliative care due to be published next year.
Margery, who was presented with flowers, chocolates and money, said it had been a privilege to spend time helping people cope with whatever difficulties they were facing.