South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service

South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service (SYCLS) is a charity that aims to preserve and protect good physical and mental health through the provision of listening, chaplaincy services and confidential pastoral care to individuals both in and out of the workplace.

They work inclusively and provide an independent, confidential service supporting people through the challenges of life. SYCLS visits workplaces and provides bespoke listening services. Their chaplains can also attend organisations and their regular visits are open to all staff regardless of faith or belief. Listeners also provide one to one appointments at organisations or at the SYCLS offices.

The Listening Service was awarded a grant of £2,263 from the Liz and Terry Bramall Distribution Fund and has been used predominantly for training. Thanks to the funding they have so far trained five people at Level 1, eight at Level 2 and seven people at Level 3 in listening. This includes two chaplains who recently began giving support at Rotherham Hospice.

The South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service also provides training and help for organisations working to build a supportive environment and to improve the health and wellbeing of staff and those they work with.

SYCLS was founded as a result of two voluntary services merging together to form as a charity. Since they registered in 2017 they have been working hard to get their services out into South Yorkshire. Their volunteer numbers have since doubled and they now have a volunteer administrator and two self employed part-time staff.

A newly trained hospice volunteer who recently completed Level 2 Listening said:

“I had a significant conversation with a lady who was struggling to come to terms with her terminal diagnosis, and she said that me listening to ‘her ramble’ and reflect back her main concerns were really valuable.

“As a volunteer it is an honour to share in people’s journeys at a challenging time, even to think ina small way I have helped them is really rewarding.”

A recently trained listening volunteer said:

“I chat to people and talk through some of the challenge they are facing: bereavement, illness, disappointment etc. In many cases they do not have anyone who will just listen. Since the training I have found that I can now just ask a simple question and then shut up and listen to people. Having a listenIng framework to use is very helpful.”

The Listening Service will continue to train more volunteers and expand their work with local organisations and communities. They also hope to soon begin working in Doncaster once they are more established in Sheffield and Rotherham.