The Reverend Canon Remi Omole, has been appointed as the new Lead Chaplain at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
Remi, who has been a Chaplain at the Trust since 2014, was appointed following the departure of Rev Peter Webb, who retired after 34 years’ service earlier this year.
As Lead Chaplain Remi will lead and develop the Trust’s provision of spiritual and religious support for staff, patients, and their relatives. As well as overseeing chaplaincy services across the Trust.
My overall vision is to foster a nurturing environment for our staff and our patients, where emotional and physical energy is underpinned by a strong value system.
Remi added that at times the role can be physically and emotionally draining and is totally different to his previous roles. He said: “It’s much more intense and you never really know what to expect. It’s full of the unknown.
“However, I really enjoy working with our staff, patients, and their families and accompanying them through both good and sad times. I enjoy the daily encounters and being able to offer something in the areas of teaching and staff support. I am also part of various networks like the BAME network and other groups that seek to make the working environment a better place for everyone.”
Remi was born in London but was brought up in Nigeria where he taught English and Religious Education in a secondary school before relocating the UK in 1992.
After completing a PGCE at Durham University in 1995 he held a number of teaching roles and has held various positions including; Project Manager and Pre-Court Officer for the Wear Valley Youth Inclusion Programme, part of the County Durham Youth Offending Service, as well as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor.
Ordained as a Priest in 2007 in Durham Diocese, the role of chaplain was a calling that truly appealed Remi. But it was his passion for working with people and their well-being that led him to healthcare.
He said: “I’ve always had a passion for looking after the emotional and physical well-being of others. After training as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor I felt a strong desire to work in an environment that would enable me to use my skills as a teacher, priest, and counsellor. My mother was also a nurse and my great grandmother was a midwife. They both taught me what the word ‘vocation’ means in terms of nursing.”
As the Bishop’s Enabler for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Remi continues to serve Durham Diocese. He was also recently made a Non-Residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral, an incredible honour given in recognition of his services to the Diocese and Chaplaincy.
Melanie Johnson, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that Remi has accepted the role of Lead Chaplain and look forward to see how he further develops the service.
“Our Chaplains play an important role and are a lifeline for many who find themselves facing illness, sadness, and loss. They offer support, advice, and spiritual guidance to our patients their loved ones, and our staff.
“Their support, particularly throughout COVID-19 has been critical. When the NHS was facing its biggest health crisis to date, our staff were also facing arguably the most challenging time of their careers. Our Chaplains have been on the frontline, providing hands-on, emotional, and confidential comfort and support.”
Chaplains at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide care and concern to those of all cultural and religious beliefs. You do not have to attend church or have religious beliefs to access their support.
Written By: Lauren Robinson