Every day school chaplains walk into environments full of young people dealing with serious and wide-ranging issues. From anxiety to domestic violence, mental health and even suicide, Chappy Deb has been instrumental in supporting her school’s young people and their families.
Through your big-hearted support, you too are meeting the needs of our children and young people in crisis.
“We have had 5-6 suicides in our community over the last few months – which has had flow-on effects to our community here at school. There’s a lot of training that we rely on as chaplains to help support in these situations, but equally as important is showing our young people that you actually care,” says Chappy Deb.
You make it possible for our chaplains to show up every day dedicated and determined to bring hope and a brighter future to our young people. Thank you.
“We use health and social care resources, we check in on students and encourage them to keep learning. Most important of all we take notice. That’s been important in COVID-19 – I’ve learnt so much about the power of taking notice,” says Chappy Deb.
“Our training helps us understand how to mentally take note of our conversations, and then we can refer to external services when needed. Chaplains also offer something unique to school communities through spiritual support, which is incredibly important for well being.”
“There was this one time at school, where I was talking with a group of students about what I do, and this quite angry girl spoke up and she said, “Miss, you pick up our hearts.” I thought that was pretty beautiful.”
Throughout this COVID-19 season, Chappy Deb has also been doing the usual rounds, checking in with students, staff and parents.
“Because of the changes with COVID-19, we can’t run our usual food programs. We usually run 7 food programs a week – breakfast 4 days, and lunch 3 days,” says Chappy Deb.
“We recently got donations back from Foodbank and have been able to provide milk, bananas, weetbix and juice. I’ve been making up sandwiches and wrapping them for hungry kids – it’s not a lot, but it’s about working with what’s already in the school.”
“Even though it’s hard, it’s exciting as well. I jump out of bed in the morning – always eager to see what God is going to do next.”
Chaplains may not outwardly wear capes, but they are certainly heroes in our communities. They never give up and they never stop sharing hope and love to those who need it the most.
Teacher Brendan is grateful for friends like you who are making a difference in schools through your support for school chaplaincy – particularly in times of stress and change.
“I believe it is vitally important that we have chaplains in our school. Both staff and students benefit greatly from having a person who is in a pastoral and well being role,” says Brendan.
“Chappy Deb is a caring and supportive person in the school, often doing unnoticed acts of kindness to support our staff and students. She provides non-judgmental support and from a teacher’s perspective, I feel like I can chat to Chappy Deb about matters of faith and other personal issues.”
It’s because of you that Chappies like Deb can bring encouragement and support to their communities. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others – visit suqld.org.au/donate for more ways to show your support.