On friday 8th august Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team were presented with The Queens Award for Voluntary Services that they were awarded in the Queens Birthday Honours list. The Award was presented to Mrs Amanda Nippard, one of the team’s long serving volunteers, by The Lord Leiutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field and his Deputy.
The Lord Leiutenant went at lengths to Point out that the award is the highest award that can be presented to any organisation in the UK, and that we should all feel very proud to receive it.
The Award was made in the Court Room of Eastbourne Town Hall and the town hall arranged Tea Coffee and a celebration cake to mark the occasion.
Others Present were, The High Sherriff, Mr Chris Gebbie, The Mayor, Mr Steven Lloyd MP, Steve Biglands, Chief of Police, Members of Beachy Head Coastguards, Members of the Coroners Office, The Deputy Leader of East Sussex County Council, Leaders from Eastbourne Borough Council, along with past and current members of Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, including some of our prayer partner’s, and our trustees plus a couple of representatives from trusts that have supported us over the years.
The Award at the town Hall felt very special and Mr Mark Pybus, Director would like to thank all involved in arranging and allowing it to go on.
Mr Mark Pybus, in his acceptance speech, said that he was very proud to be Director at a time when their wonderful volunteers, past and present were honoured by this award, especially as the had never courted awards of this nature. (See below)
Acceptance Of Queens Award for Voluntary Services
It gives me huge pleasure to be Director of BHCT at a time when our wonderful volunteers, past and present are honoured by this Award, especially when you consider that we have never courted or set out to receive awards.
The only reward that the Team have ever looked for is that of being able to help those in need and to Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in so doing.
The team, I am sure would wish me to reflect the Glory to where it truly belongs, and that is to the Lord Jesus Christ for choosing to work through us.
I think that it is true to say that every session over the last 10 years has started in prayer, that the Lord would put us:
In the right place
At the right time
With the right words
And every time when we have interceded, it has been His mercy and grace as answer to our prayers.
I would also like to thank Ross Hardy for following his vision from the Lord Jesus to set up and establish this team and to every member who has been part of this team over the years for their selfless dedication.
Because without all of you, no matter how small you may think your contribution was we would not be here to receive this award and recognition today.
Director Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team
The Team went on to have celebration of thanksgiving, up on the downs at 6pm to which Local Dignitaries, local Churches, past and present members of the team, including prayer team members were invited. The Thanksgiving Service was run by Captain Ben Russell, Chair of Trustees, and Salvation Army Captain for Old Town Salvation Army. The Service was in celebration of 10 years of service as Friday was the Anniversary of 10 years of service.
Founder, Pastor Ross Hardy spoke of our past, going from his vision, through to his stepping down in August 2013. We Had Prayers Thanking the Lord for his grace in working through the team over the years, we had a number of Hymns, and our current Director, Mr Mark Pybus, talked about where we are and of our future, (see below), this was followed by refreshments in the form of a buffet in the Beachy Head Pub, and as there was significant amounts of food left over, this was taken to on of the Local homeless charities. It was collected and delivered by WRAS, the local wild animal rescue service.
Forward but which Way
Before talking about going forward we have to touch on where we are.
We are celebrating 10 Magnificent years of reaching out with the love of God to those in pain and suffering with the current aim of “Ending Suicide At Beachy Head”
We have over the last 10 years been called to in excess of 6,500 incidents and rescued in excess of 2,500 despondent/ suicidal persons
We have just been through a difficult time in our Ministry, where we were in danger of closing, for the want of core funding, by this I mean not having money to pay salaries, rent, or even fuel for our vehicles, without which we could not operate.
I recently had to face the decision with my trustees as to how to secure our future, and the decision that we made together was to restructure, this involves relying less on paid positions and re-building our volunteer base which has always been our strength.
Our recent appeal brought in significant funding and these measures have, by the Grace of God secured our short-term position, and now we have the task of consolidating that position and making the necessary adjustments to secure our long term future.
Trusts will always be important to us, but we need to increase our regular donor’s to be a higher proportion of our income.
I have recently had the vision that we should aim to meet with every distressed person who comes to Beachy head, and also that ALL frontline hours should within 18 months to 2 years be volunteer hours, this was the original model and we are going back to it.
How do we get there??
We need to recruit an extra 15 to 20 volunteers over that period, whist maintaining our current volunteer base of 14, this will involve us running 3 separate batches of training during the next 18 months, whilst struggling with the number of hours we need to cover on the head.
We have proven over the last month that we can maintain the hours of cover on the head even in difficult times with staff holidays booked. We are committed to maintaining our current levels of cover on the head.
So as usual we are in challenging times, needing to recruit and train new volunteers in all areas, prayer, frontline, and marketing and at the same time recruit a significant number of regular monthly Donor’s.
We are not over awed by the magnitude of the task because we know that we are not alone just as we can be assured of God’s Almighty presence and His sovereignty in all areas of our ministry
Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team