Thames Valley Police Chaplaincy National Inclusion Week 2020 Thoughts

Lead Chaplain Helen Arnold Writes

During Covid restrictions, how to keep everyone feeling included has been at the forefront of our thinking. However much we like our pyjamas, working from home can be very isolating, as well as difficult for many practical reasons. At a time when people have needed more support and reassurance, when they are cut off at home for whatever reason, the rising anxiety about the state of the world, illness and unemployment, chaplains are still available to provide that listening ear even if not face to face. While unable to visit at stations in our usual way, we stay in touch through phone calls, and video-link with individuals.

Chaplaincy offers support for your whole wellbeing including the spiritual. We hope to build trust through relationships, so that in times of stress or personal difficulty, people will feel able to talk to someone who understands. It is often at these times that people feel ‘ex-cluded’, or up a creek without a paddle, when they feel they can’t cope in the usual turmoil of life.

The chaplaincy we provide to you as police officers and staff, as well as families on occasion, works hard to be inclusive. We respect people from all walks of life with different experiences and backgrounds, we aim to be non-judgemental and good listeners. We are so very fortunate that we have 6 faiths represented among our team of 30 volunteer chaplains; Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Pagan. We share experiences and knowledge, which I think is what inclusion is all about. Understanding grows.

You may be aware we introduced ‘Fish on Fridays’; a weekly thought-for-the-day dial-in to help people to feel that they are still connected, whether at home or working in offices but distanced.

Fish on Friday will resume this week, 2 October. It’s not about faith but a reflection on what is topical and how we can get through. Time to pause. Have a screen break.

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