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Extra listeners needed for workplace chaplaincy and listening service in South Yorkshire

More chaplains and listeners needed by Linda and Baz Gascoyne.
More chaplains and listeners needed by Linda and Baz Gascoyne.

A South Yorkshire chaplaincy and listening service for people in workplaces is looking for more volunteers as the service grows from strength to strength.

South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service was launched in 2017 to fill the gap created by the demise of the South Yorkshire Workplace Chaplaincy and is available to everyone in the workplace, irrespective of their faith.

The original 12-strong trained team of chaplain and listeners has already grown rapidly to 26 across the region responding to requests and offering visits to workplaces, bespoke listening sessions and tailor made support for employees.

Charity directors Reverends Linda Gascoyne and husband Baz have now become full time with the service, which built on the existing Sheffield Sports Chaplaincy and Sheffield Listening Services, giving up their church leadership role to concentrate on SYCLS.

Charity director Linda said: “Our premise that there was a need for confidential pastoral care, encouragement and support in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, has been confirmed.

“SYCLS has gone from strength to strength and we now need more volunteers to be trained as chaplains or listeners to cope with the demand for requests for support.

“We have been overwhelmed from organisations to sports clubs, universities and businesses for our listeners and chaplains.

“At present we now have 26 trained chaplains and listeners in service but we have a growing list of companies wanting our help for their employees. There is a real need for this type of service.”

Research into effective listening has shown it provides an opportunity for an individual to clarify their thoughts or feelings, helping them to process events and issues in a way that empowers them and assists them in their decision making.

SYCLS builds on work already being done by Baz at Sheffield Sports Chaplaincy with SUFC, SWFC and Sheffield Eagles, and Linda at Sheffield Listening Services, which operated since 2013 and 2006 respectively.

It has also incorporated the chaplaincy services for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and the listening service started at Greystones Medical Centre.

The service is overseen by a board of trustees including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chairman Tony Pedder and former Sheffield Forgemasters’ director Peter Birtles.

SYCLS has received endorsements by national church leaders and city of Sheffield industrialists including the Master Cutler, all regional chambers of commerce and the EEF.

For further details on the South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service visit www.sycls.co.uk or call Baz Gascoyne on 07971 399514.