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Churches' chaplaincy project thanked for 'giving me back my life'

On New Year’s Eve the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team received an email from someone they had rescued earlier in the year. She said, “I didn’t think I would be around to see 2013 and am now looking forward to the challenges and fun of the yeaBHCT 1r. So thank you for giving me back my life.”

The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team is made up largely of volunteers, who are all Christians and active members of  local churches in East Sussex. They are one of Britain’s busiest search and rescue units averaging over 270 rescues each year since 2009, working closely with the emergency services. The charity’s role is to rescue people in deep crisis, saving the lives of suicidal people at Beachy Head.

In 2012 the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team responded to 771 searches and incidents resulting in the rescue of 305 despondent people. This made 2012 the busiest year for rescues the team has ever had, a 14% increase in rescues from the previous year.

Patrols operate every day of the year, covering a search area which includes up to six miles of cliff edge. The team works in pairs, searching the cliff edge, Downland and car parks looking out for people who are despondent. At night the team uses vehicle-mounted and hand-held search lamps. Each team member is highly trained in suicide intervention.

The chaplaincy patrols are supported by an emergency prayer team, which intercedes for the Frontline team and any casualty during a search or intervention. Available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, the prayer team coordinator is contacted by the Frontline team during an incident. The coordinator then contacts the emergency prayer team.The team is part of the larger prayer partner group of about 45 members from local churches who pray regularly for the work of the ministry.
 


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