Posted in SU QLD
School chaplains have more than 143,000 pastoral conversations with students in their school community every year.
Tragically, one of the leading reasons why children and young people reach out to their chaplains is because of bullying and harassment.
It’s a damning statistic that reveals much about the burden our young people face.
Thanks to your support young people like Steven are discovering they are not what others say about them – rather, they are loved, they are valued, and there is HOPE for their future.
When Chappy Jamie first met Steven in 2017, he was a timid and quiet young man.
“Steven had come from another school where he’d experienced bullying – and things like bullying can leave a child quite reserved,” says Chappy Jamie.
“I remember him being reluctant to participate in things until I ran a social-skills program with a group of boys.
“We worked on things like sharing in front of others, listening to each other’s stories and talking about the highlights of our weeks. Steven completely transformed. He pushed through some big barriers, and this year he’s become the school captain.”
“Watching Steven’s confidence grow to the point of standing in front of an assembly, speaking with boldness and confidence, has been incredible,” says Chappy Jamie.
Steven’s mum, Catherine, is a strong advocate for the difference school chaplaincy makes.
“Steven has had his own journey, and I’ve watched him work through some pretty big things. My mum passed away at the end of 2017, and Chappy Jamie was there for Steven throughout that whole process,” says Catherine.
“As a mum, having a chappy who is reliable, and who I trust, is huge. There are no rule-books for parents, but chaplains are around young people all the time. They have a passion to improve the lives of young people, and so I know I can trust them.”
“I’m a teacher at the school and I’ll often send students to talk with Jamie. You can see a change in them when they return – they come back relaxed and centered. I’ve seen how a simple conversation with a chaplain has changed the path for a child. Jamie gives them a sense of belonging in the school.”
When Steven’s Grandma passed away at the end of 2017, Chappy Jamie was there. It didn’t matter if some days Steven had nothing to say. What mattered is he had a friend who was looking out for his well being.
“Chappy Jamie has helped me. He’s really nice and easy to talk to,” says Steven. “When Grandma was sick, I was feeling sad and didn’t want to do much. Chappy Jamie and I talked together a lot.”
School chaplains have a heart for our young people, and for creating a future that is kinder, more empathetic and built on strong foundations. Chappies like Jamie are in schools because of big-hearted friends like you who are passionate about making a difference.
“School chaplaincy programs give our schools a stronger heartbeat. Thank you Jamie, for helping our hearts feel stronger and giving our whole school a sense of peace within ourselves and our environment,” says Catherine.
Your support ensures that students like Steven have a trusted, trained and caring mentor to help them rise above their struggles and discover the confidence that lies inside them. Visit suqld.org.au/donate today.