Workplace chaplains start support service in Borders

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Firefighters and Royal Mail staff are among the first in the Borders to benefit from the services of a charity supplying workplace chaplains.

Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland (WPCS) is a Christian charity providing confidential support, from the boardroom to the shop floor, in 1,200 business outlets, local authorities and emergency services right across the country.

The organisation says demand for its services is rocketing and the charity urgently needs to boost its team of volunteer chaplains.

WPCS central area organiser Paul Wilson says there are exciting opportunities to expand the service.“I would be very interested to hear from people who would like to learn more about serving as a volunteer workplace chaplain.

“Some of our volunteers are clergy from various churches, but many are Christian lay people, with a background in retail, local government, or other business organisations,” he explained.

“Volunteers have the satisfaction of knowing they are offering Christian care and individual support for all employees in an organisation’s workforce; receiving quality training in various aspects of chaplaincy, including trauma management, building resilience and active listening skills. We work in partnership with churches of all denominations and maintain links of mutual respect with other faith groups.”

Mr Wilson pointed out that as workplace chaplains are independent of the management structure, they can therefore work in confidence to support everyone.

“In the Borders we have chaplains working with fire station personnel in Hawick, Galashiels and Selkirk, as well as having three chaplains involved at local Royal Mail offices. It’s only in the last 12 months that these developments have happened.

“We are simply one of the options available to staff in workplaces, helping to smooth out the ‘creases’ that everyone finds in their lives at some point or another.

“We offer to support those of any religious faith, as well as those of none. Some might want to talk about religious faith, but 99 percent of people simply want someone to talk to about things happening in their lives.”