Cathy – Managing Community Chaplain
“I moved from working in the finance industry to the charity sector in 2000, which is when I truly discovered a passion for working with people who are marginalised, particularly those who find themselves in prison. In 2005 I joined YMCA England as development advisor. I worked with many local YMCAs across England, supporting them in project development, with a focus on young people in trouble.
It was at this point that I became involved in a group with a vision to form a community chaplaincy project for Cornwall, Devon and South West Somerset. Originally known as Peninsula Initiative, that group became the charity that we know today as South West Community Chaplaincy. I took up my present role with SWCC in 2012.
I’m also a founding trustee of the Community Chaplaincy Association, which is working to build an effective network of projects across the UK to support people in the transition from custody to community.”
Rowland – Community Chaplain
“I was born and raised in Exeter but lived in the East of England for more than 20 years where I was in full time church ministry. My experiences of pastoral care in ministry were very wide ranging, including working as a volunteer chaplain in a children’s hospice.
Prior to being a minister, I was a civil engineering technician in local government. It was a great grounding in learning to share life with a variety of people from different walks of life.
In 2012, I returned home to Devon, and I joined the SWCC as a community chaplain in 2015. Alongside my role as a community chaplain, I also provide mentoring. I’m passionate about supporting and empowering people to achieve their potential and I understand how important the idea of teamwork is in this process. As a result, I truly appreciate the invaluable multi-agency partnerships the SWCC has forged with other organisations to support our clients.”
Liz – Community Chaplain
"Most of my working life has been spent with vulnerable people. Caring for them and being part of enhancing their life skills and quality of life. In later years I trained and worked in local parishes as Lay Minister with the Church of England. I also volunteered for two years with the local Food Bank, meeting many families struggling to make ends meet and listening to their stories of survival. This re-enforced my desire to work with those who are disadvantaged and tending to live life on the edge of society.
I then became aware of the charity, South West Community Chaplaincy and the support it gives to those in prison, and those who have left prison as they seek to build a new life in the community. This deepened my belief that my true vocation lay in walking alongside those struggling to reintegrate back into society and helping them overcome the many obstacles on that journey to acceptance by the community at large. For two and a half years I volunteered with SWCC, both in HMP Dartmoor, and also mentoring out and about in the community and I have found that non-judgemental collaboration works in changing lives.
I feel it a real privilege to have now taken up the role of Community Chaplain."
Pam - Community Chaplain
The ethos and values of SWCC are what attracted me to train initially as a volunteer mentor. Then in mid-November 2022 I joined the staff team as a Community Chaplain. My background is in nursing and in my retirement years I have worked in the voluntary sector in addiction counselling. I belong to a church ministry team and am the pastoral care co-ordinator.
Avril - Community Chaplain
For the past twenty-five years I have had the pleasure of working alongside families and local communities. I have had many roles over this period of time, from volunteer to family pastor to community worker and all of these roles have enriched my life personally. I am passionate about people, and nothing gives me greater joy than seeing others achieve.
Presently, I am studying an MA in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, which will enrich my studies and inform my work, enabling me to gain a deeper understanding of the role of a community chaplain.
Yes, I am excited about being part of South West Community Chaplaincy team as I see it as a real privilege. I know without a doubt, that I will be challenged but equally, I am looking forward to helping others as they overcome the challenges they are facing and begin to find hope and build a new future for themselves.
Alli - Supporter & Volunteer Co-ordinator
"I joined the team in August 2020 and I am here to support all the wonderful supporters and volunteers that are the backbone of all we do at SWCC. Helping people to see what a difference they are making to others, and how valued they are, sits right at the heart of my new role. My aim is to encourage connection between volunteers and SWCC, and develop relationships with partner supporting agencies and communities.
As an experienced mentor myself, I understand the positive influence of having someone journeying with you. Having worked in the NHS for many years and across a wide range of voluntary situations, I hope my experience will benefit and serve the SWCC community."