Reverend Canon Remi Omole has been appointed the new Senior Chaplain of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
Remi, who has served as the Trust’s chaplain since 2014, was appointed following the departure of Rev. Peter Webb, who retired after 34 years of service earlier this year.
As Senior Chaplain, Remi will lead and develop the Trust’s offer of spiritual and religious support to staff, patients and their loved ones. In addition to overseeing chaplaincy services throughout the Trust.
My overall vision is to foster a stimulating environment for our staff and patients, where emotional and physical energy is supported by a strong value system.
Remi added that at times the role can be physically and emotionally draining and is totally different from his previous roles. He said: “It’s a lot more intense and you never really know what to expect. It’s full of the unknown.
“However, I really enjoy working with our staff, our patients and their families and supporting them through good and bad times. I enjoy meeting daily 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 work environment better for everyone.
Remi was born in London but raised in Nigeria where he taught English and religious education in a secondary school before moving to the UK in 1992.
After completing a PGCE at Durham University in 1995, he held several teaching positions and held various positions including; Project Manager and Prejudicial Officer for the Wear Valley Youth Inclusion Program, part of the County Durham Juvenile Offender Service, as well as a psychotherapeutic counselor.
Ordained a priest in 2007 in the Diocese of Durham, the role of chaplain was a vocation that really appealed to Rémi. But it was his passion for working with people and their well-being that brought him to health.
He said: “I have always had a passion for caring for the emotional and physical well-being of others. After training as a psychotherapeutic counselor, I felt a strong desire to work in an environment that would allow me to use my skills as a teacher, priest and counselor. 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 Facilitator for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Remi continues to serve the Diocese of Durham. He was also recently appointed a non-resident canon of Durham Cathedral, an incredible honor bestowed in recognition of his service to the diocese and chaplaincy.
Melanie Johnson, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Care Professionals at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that Remi has accepted the role of Senior Chaplain and look forward to see how he will further develop the service.
“Our chaplains play an important role and are a lifeline for many people facing illness, sadness and loss. They provide support, guidance and spiritual guidance to our patients, their loved ones and our staff.
“Their support, especially throughout COVID-19, has been essential. When the NHS faced its biggest health crisis to date, our staff were also facing the most difficult period of their careers. Our chaplains have been on the front lines, providing practical, emotional and confidential comfort and support. “
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide care and care to those of all cultural and religious beliefs. You don’t have to go to church or have any religious beliefs to access their support.
Written by: Lauren Robinson