Posted: Sat 2nd Apr 2016

Chaplain Takes Up New Challenge /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 2nd, 2016

Pastoral support is to be offered by a volunteer to North Wales Police officers and staff. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Although rewarding, policing can be a difficult, frustrating and arduous career, which can take its toll on even the strongest individual, but it is hoped the appointment of Mr Gerald Williams, as the multi-faith Volunteer Police Chaplain will provide a valuable service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In taking up this voluntary post Gerald, who has been a chaplain in the Baha’i Faith for the past five years, is part of a 6/12 months pilot scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During this time he will visit stations, go out on patrol offering a friendly confidential “listening ear” to members of staff who want someone to talk to about whatever situation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

His main role will be to provide support to those who seek assistance, irrespective of their religious background or none. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gerald, 59, initially trained as a chaplain for the NHS, and since 2009 he has worked as a voluntary chaplaincy assistant in Ysbyty Gwynedd and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, and is on call to Wrexham Maelor, addressing all sorts of issues with patients and staff at the hospitals. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I agreed to be a chaplain because it fits with my temperament. I am able to maintain patience and calmness and am interested in spiritual aspects of health and positive attitude, but we are all individuals and I never impose my beliefs on anyone.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I will be there for officers and staff to talk confidentially and in a sensitive manner about their work and any moral challenges or difficult conditions they may encounter.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am happy to address issues and provide spiritual advice in the hope of making people feel better equipped to do their job.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Prior to becoming a chaplain Gerald, who is a qualified accounting technician, worked in the IT department of the Welsh Assembly Government, where he found himself not only solving problems with computers, but listening sympathetically to his colleagues’ personal and work problems as well. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Diane Pierce, HR Lead for Health and Wellbeing said: “‘The recruitment of a Volunteer Police Chaplain underpins the force’s People Strategy, by ensuring that our people are fit, healthy and happy at work and evidences the force’s continued commitment and drive to invest in the Health and Wellbeing Programme, ensuring staff have access to a range of support mechanisms appropriate to their role.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

PC Diane Jones, citizens in policing volunteer coordinator added: “As the financial constraints get tougher this is another mechanism to mitigate people suffering stress. Gerald can provide impartial objective advice and guidance from outside the force.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In taking up his post Gerald, who also entertains occasionally with guitar and 5-string banjo in residential homes in Gwynedd and Anglesey, said: “This is new territory for me.It is very much on casual basis with me being there just for chat. But I am hoping I can put people in a position where they can support each other. In my view a Police Chaplain’s key role is to listen and to care.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

‘Of all pilgrimages the greatest is to relieve the sorrow-laden heart – or at least to help someone get through their day.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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