Doncaster Chamber supports new workplace chaplaincy and listening service

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce has backed a new chaplaincy and listening service for South Yorkshire - saying it will offer vital wellbeing support to employees.

Dan Fell, chief executive officer at Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said the new South Yorkshire Chaplaincy & Listening Service brings a crucial support network for employees across the region at a time when demands on employees are at an all-time high.

He said: “The modern business environment is challenging and demanding for employees and business leaders alike.

“Additionally, the social, political and financial realities of contemporary life can conspire to create difficulties for communities, people and, crucially, workers.

“Doncaster Chamber takes mental health very seriously and believes that talk therapy can play a huge role in contributing towards healthier and happier workforces and ultimately economic growth. 

“I understand that for people of all faiths, or no faith, the ability to access a friendly and supportive chaplaincy service within the place of work could have a substantial benefit.  This service could add a significant value to businesses and their employees.”

The new service, available to everyone in the workplace, irrespective of their faith, fills a gap created by the demise of the South Yorkshire Workplace Chaplaincy last year.

Reverend Baz Gascoyne and his wife Rev. Linda Gascoyne are running the service, building on existing active initiatives – the Sheffield Sports Chaplaincy and Sheffield Listening Services.

Leaders from Barnsley and Rotherham and Sheffield Chambers of Commerce joined Dan in supporting the new scheme which also gained backing from the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and the EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation.

Andy Tuscher, EEF region director Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Effective listening is a much-needed requirement for any healthy, well-functioning community especially a workplace. 

“The EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, welcomes any move to encourage workplace support and wellbeing through a listening service. The need for this type of service is as pertinent as ever especially as employees face increasing pressure from all directions.”

Baz Gascoyne said: “This level of support from business organisations is tremendous. We need organisations from across the region to get behind this initiative and spread the word about our service.” 

The current 12-strong trained team of chaplain and listeners is expected to rapidly grow into a network across the region offering visits to workplaces, bespoke listening sessions and tailor made support for employees.

The new service will be overseen by an advisory board of trustees including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chairman Tony Pedder and Sheffield Forgemasters' former director Peter Birtles.

The board of trustees is looking for potential sponsors from interested companies and individuals and also volunteer chaplains and listeners to help its work.

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

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