News News A Trust in Healing The Sam Buxton charity provides funding for NHS Hospitals, Cancer Centres and Hospices to enable energy healers to work alongside conventional medicine. Funds raised by the Healing Forum, of which the SNU is a member, were presented on their behalf by Minister David Bruton to the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust in August. The charity provides funding for NHS Hospitals, Cancer Centres and Hospices to enable energy healers to work alongside conventional medicine. We met one of its inspirational founders, Angie Buxton-King, who started the charity in 2006 at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, to learn more about their incredible work. The charity was created as a “living tribute” to Angie’s son, Sam, who passed to spirit in 1998 at the age of 10. Angie saw first-hand the great benefit of healing, which became a vital part of his journey through chemotherapy and enabled him to enjoy a good quality of life, being active and vibrant despite the gruelling treatment. His inspiration clearly lives on and has opened the door to many other young people receiving the same profound benefit that he received from healing. We are told that a friend reflected on his life, saying, “Sam lived until the moment he died: he was never a child dying with leukaemia.” Also meeting us was Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse, Jamie Cargill, who is championing the inclusion of complementary therapies alongside clinical care. "Through leading by example, it is exciting to think of the potential to expand provision for more and more patients to benefit from healing" It was exciting to hear a clinical healthcare professional say that the healing work was an integral part of what they offered, and felt that it was desperately needed in other fields, as well as his own. Jamie kindly gave us a tour around the young people’s cancer unit, known as Area 61, and we were able to see the funded, purpose-built room where some of the healing work takes place. There are also other parts of the unit, such as the “Chat Room,” a friendly space for young patients to relax and gain peer support from others. We were also able to see some of the clinical treatment areas, where healing work takes place while patients are having their treatment. It was refreshing to discover that healing and clinical treatments happen closely together, giving full weight to its complementary status. One of the healers funded by the Trust was there and told us that she was often called upon to alleviate the physical discomfort sometimes caused by a lumbar puncture procedure. The value of this in supporting a young person to navigate their way through treatment cannot be underestimated. Angie was emphatic that the work had a massive impact on each individual’s journey and quality of life, and not just their physical health. Both David and I resonated with this point, knowing the life-changing healing experiences that occur week in, week out throughout the Union’s churches and centres. The funds raised by the Healing Forum will make a positive difference to the Trust’s work. For the SNU’s part in this, funds came from the Harry Edwards-Style Healing Demonstration during Open Week. In addition to the provision of healing, the Trust’s work is opening the door into new territories. The value of any complementary therapy by the medical profession is not uniformly accepted. Neither is it always seen as a viable aspect of a patient’s care. However, the Trust has found a way to establish the healing work to the point where it is considered as integral to patient care. Through leading by example, it is exciting to think of the potential to expand provision for more and more patients to benefit from healing. One important aspect of the Trust’s approach is their training. Angie told us how all their healers are given training to help orientate them to working in the hospital environment, as well as training to help them understand the unique needs of younger people undergoing cancer treatment. This enhances the healer’s existing skills in building a meaningful rapport with their patient and, importantly, helps the patient to remain at the centre of their care. We’re sure that this model of working in clinical settings has the potential to open many more new doors in the future. David congratulated everyone involved on the invaluable work that is being done to ensure that healing is able to fulfil its life-changing potential. Having been able to see first-hand how and where the fundraising is making a difference, he was honoured to be able to present the cheque to a most appreciative Angie on behalf of the Healing Forum. You can find more about the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust at www.cancertherapies.org.uk and read more about Angie’s pioneering work in her book, “The NHS Healer”. -Alv Hirst Want to read more? this article plus many others are featured in our latest Magazine SNU Today Buy your copy here!