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Listening ear for region’s veterans

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By Fiona Reid
Listening ear for region’s veterans

A UNIQUE service providing pastoral care for military veterans and their families in Scotland has been extended into this region.

Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland (VCS) has appointed 12 new chaplains, including one in Dumfries and Galloway.

With over 40 years’ experience of listening to folk and walking alongside them at very different stages, Pam Bellis from Kirkcudbright is the most recently appointed VCS chaplain.

She has been a hospital chaplain, a bereavement counsellor and stress advisor in Dumfries and Galloway. She has also been a chaplain in schools linked with the charges where she has been interim moderator and locum, as well as being padre of veterans groups around Stranraer

Pam appreciates only too well the necessity for support of our veterans and said: “Every 11th November, we remember those who have died in conflicts around the world. At VCS we believe that it is as vital not to forget those who have lived and experienced service, and to continue to support veterans and their families throughout their lives.

“Some veterans struggle to make the transition to civilian life, others want to remember with fondness their days of service, a few are profoundly affected emotionally, mentally and physically by things they have experienced, but all are valuable members of Scottish society. At Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland we seek to care for those who have served whatever their circumstances.”

All VCS chaplains are trained in pastoral care, bereavement support, spiritual leadership, post trauma healing, trauma risk management, suicide intervention, mental health awareness and moral injury support.

Pam added: “Our service is informal, confidential, and professional. We offer that space to consider the moral and spiritual aspects of life, its meaning and purpose. We provide that support to those of all faiths and none. We are there in good times and bad walking the road with our veterans.”

She can be reached by phone call or text on 07521 638848.

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