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Coastguard chaplain appointed to support staff and volunteers across the UK

The Coastguard called upon the helicopter to assist.
The Coastguard called upon the helicopter to assist.

A commitment to caring for those on the frontline has led to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency appointing its first ever full-time chaplain.

Rev Tom Ebbens has been appointed to the post after a career in Her Majesty’s Coastguard both as a volunteer and a member of staff.

He says he sees the role for all faiths and none, a companion to those who serve on the frontline and who might need some extra support from time to time.

Mr Ebbens was appointed to the post after a pilot project which allowed him to fulfil a multi-faith chaplaincy role while still in his full-time coastal role overseeing volunteers.

As well as the full-time chaplain, he is also a curate with the Church of England in Cornwall.

The Coastguard celebrated 200 years last weekend.

Rev Tom Ebbens has been appointed as a chaplain to the Coastguard service. Pic: MCA.

Mr Ebbens said: “I see a major part of this job as being a companion on whatever road someone is currently on, wherever it takes them.

“People have fears and concerns, worries and challenges and sometimes they need someone to walk with them in those dark moments, to listen, to share the hurt and support them through that difficult time.

“People will often say things to a chaplain that they wouldn’t say to anyone else and that has got to be held somewhere, respected and acknowledged.”

He added: “Chaplaincy is a great thing for that to provide that service.”

‘A landmark appointment’

Claire Hughes, HM Coastguard director, said: “This is a landmark appointment in terms of our service.

“Tom is going to bring another level of care alongside the welfare led support systems we already have in place such as Trauma Risk Management (TRiM).

“He’s already proved that the care of chaplaincy can reach all people across all parts of the MCA as well as those serving in HM Coastguard.

“People know they can talk to him in confidence about their concerns and problems and that he will provide the support they need.”

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