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Tell us about how the project started, what has developed, how it is resourced and your insight into the keys to success.

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Blantyre Baptist Church

Around 25 years ago, the Baptist minister approached the Church of Scotland chaplain about taking an assembly, which was subsequently agreed with the Head Teacher. The assembly was a success and he was invited to come back and take other assemblies. He also became involved as a parent helper, and in an after school computer club. Through being a consistent presence in the school, the minister was able to build up trust and relationships, and was invited to take on the formal role of chaplain after the previous chaplain moved on.

What developed?

  • Team chaplaincy. Each year group now has a dedicated chaplain who goes through the school years with them.
  • Chaplaincy to the secondary, two rrimaries and a special needs school. (Heads talk to each other!)
  • Rights Respecting workshops run for all S1 pupils, covering citizenship, restorative justice, and health. This has lead to ‘Rights respecting school award’ from Unicef. There is an RO event at the end of the week
  • “Cosy cafe” club in school on Thursdays, and in Church every second Sunday. It has become integrated, with young people attending both.
  • S2 classes participate in a "lifepath" event.
  • Easter Code and Bubblegum 'n' Fluff (Easter and Christmas presentations) held for P6 /P7 classes.
  • Chaplain is present on school residential events
  • One to one counselling is available through the chaplaincy to the young people
  • “It’s your move” gifted to P7’s

How is it resourced?

The church has agreed to let the minister dedicate two days a week solely to schools work. The local churches (from different denominations) work together to provide other staff and volunteers. The whole church feels this work is a priority, which is also reflected in their budget.          

What is the key to success?

  • Show your face, chat, get to know people
  • Build trust and relationships
  • Be available; if asked ‘can you come in?’ do whatever you can to be there
  • Follow the school's agenda; come with an attitude of wanting to serve
  • Become part of the community