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We are a charity that supports businesses and individuals through listening.

Our mission

Core to our work is the Christian ethos that every individual is unique and valuable and to embody these values by caring holistically for people. We partner with organisations and empower local volunteers to engage with those facing life’s challenges.

Our organisation was founded on the basis that provision of pastoral services can meet the needs of a working community and provide benefits not just to the individual, but in strengthening the well-being culture of that organisation. Simultaneously this can alleviate pressures on primary care as our services pick people up at early stages, as well as responding after a specific crisis, challenge or bereavement.

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Our Services give people the opportunity to talk about the things that are troubling them. In our society we can feel a pressure to be ok, to ‘get over’ things and fix things quickly. Some challenges in life aren’t like that: if someone has lost someone close to them they are going to grieve and the added personal pressure of “I shouldn’t be feeling like this” or “I should be able to cope” makes it more difficult for them. Some of what we do is to help people recognise that what they are experiencing is perfectly normal, given the situation they are in, essentially saying “it’s ok not to be ok, but let’s support you with that.”

Our Listening Services provide space, security and respect for people’s stories. This focused listening can help a person move forward by helping them identify and process their feelings and thinking around a particular issue. This may be all it takes to resolve issues whilst others gain a clarification which can be helpful to establish what services may be helpful for going forward with care and treatment. The Service is an early intervention service, supporting people who do not need to access counselling or more formal psychotherapy services, or providing a holding space whilst waiting, empowering them to identify changes they may wish to make and enabling them to deal with the difficult life circumstances they find themselves in.

Our Chaplains are pro-actively pastoral and responsively spiritual. Where spiritual and/or religious input is requested, Chaplains may lead funerals, weddings and child blessings, pray with individuals, lead on-site memorials, provide regular words of comfort in a ‘thought for the day’ type activity, or write programme articles. They are often a sounding board for managers, staff and beneficiaries alike with a remit to provide a Listening Ear, an Encouraging Word and a Supportive Act. In addition, the Chaplain can provide useful resource materials and helpful contacts to support individuals’ welfare, as appropriate.

Some organisations request our Chaplaincy service, wanting the inclusion of a spiritual or faith element; other organisations choose our Listening services which don’t include a faith element; and some request both.

Volunteer with us

We are always looking for Listeners, Chaplains and Well-being Ambassadors to join our wonderful team of volunteers.

Full training is given for all our volunteering roles. We are interested in people with good people skills, an empathic response to those in crisis, an aptitude to empowering listening and able to give a couple of hours regularly. Our chaplains also need a faith that inspires you to want to serve and support others, and an additional reference from your church leadership.

For information on how to apply please contact

It’s such a relief to have someone listen to me. I’ve never spoken to anyone about this grief before.

Who we are


Tony Pedder OBE – Founder, Chair Read Bio
Dr Kelly Hobbs, Jan Hedge, Andy Walker, Dr Delroy Hall, Rachel Medina, Chris Booth

A message from our chair on our finances

Demand for our services has grown rapidly since we launched SYCLS and we remain determined to be available to respond. We strongly believe that a volunteer organisation like ours, which is there to support organisations and individuals in our local communities at times of need, has a valuable role to play and we continue to respond by recruiting pastoral staff to maintain our ability to support the increasing need.

As a charity we strive to keep our running costs to the minimum needed to ensure we can operate efficiently and professionally in delivering our services. Costs include our office and admin support staff, insurance, travel etc. We also need to make sure we can resource our on-site Listening Room and keep a steady flow of training and support services for our growing number of volunteers and partner organisations.

To cover our costs, we have a diverse range of income streams. We have an outline of recommended voluntary donations for organisations that partner with us for our Chaplaincy and Listening Services and Service Level Agreements and fees for those organisations that want a more formalised service. We also bid for relevant tender contracts and submit funding applications as part of our income strategy and we receive grants and donations from a number of organisations and individuals. We are hugely grateful for their support. We are determined not to turn anybody away due to lack of funds and will always work with them to try to find a way to provide the support they need.

To meet the growth we are experiencing we need to continue to look for additional potential sponsors from interested companies and individuals who would like to support us. Any financial support, large or small is always welcome. If you would like to partner with us financially to support our work, please get in touch.

Tony Pedder, OBE
Founder, Chair of Trustees
Read Bio

How to help South Yorkshire Chaplaincy & Listening

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How to apply

Train as a listener

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