See how we celebrate our safe space and learn how we can all keep it safe
What do we mean by “Safeguarding”?
Safeguarding is the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse. Abuse can take various forms, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect.
Who is responsible for Safeguarding?
We all are, as a society. If we suspect that someone is the victim of abuse, then we must not rely on someone else to do something about it.
We must not brush off a genuine concern, however small, with “It’s none of my business”, “If I’ve spotted it, someone else is bound to have” or “Maybe I’m just imagining it”.
Each of us has a responsibility to (discretely) voice our concerns to someone who is in a position to act on them, e.g. a teacher or local child protection team.
How do we handle Safeguarding?
The Benefice takes our responsibility very seriously. We recognise that we must take all steps necessary to ensure that:
no abuse ever happens during any form of church activity, and
should we ever receive a report of abuse – whether inside or outside of church activities – then the relevant people must know how to deal with it kindly, discretely, swiftly and effectively
We have a clear set of policies and procedures which can be viewed here:
which our Priest In Charge, Safeguarding Team and everyone working with children, young people and vulnerable adults are familiar with. Please look at the video.
Chris Goodwin, our safeguarding lead for many years stepped down in September 2023. Until a new lead is appointed, our Churchwarden, Gill Bilton, will be Interim Safeguarding Officer.
Reflections on the year
The safeguarding group continue to meet and endeavour to keep abreast of the advice and information received from the House of Bishops.
The policies concerning Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, Vulnerable Adults, Children, Lone workers and Domestic Violence have been reviewed and approved by PCC. The need for all volunteers and paid staff to be recruited in accordance with the policy guidelines and to undertake the prescribed training has had to be emphasised.
Towards the end of November we participated in Safeguarding Sunday with prayers, activities for the children and a reminder to the congregation of being vigilant, caring for each other and how to proceed should a Safeguarding issue arise.
We are pleased to say that the new Benefice Safeguarding Administrator has been of tremendous help and has taken over the arduous tasks of DBS checking and overseeing appropriate training for volunteers.
We have begun to use the Safeguarding Dashboard as requested by the Diocese. Once information is entered we receive an action plan outlining our weaknesses and pointing the way forward. There are 3 levels and we have almost completed level 2 impeded only by a few people who have yet to complete their training.
During the year we have liaised with the various church groups and have been able to give advice when asked.
As a group we will continue with our safeguarding work in the parish but look forward to adapting our practice to fit in with a Safeguarding strategy for the whole Benefice.
What to do if you have a Safeguarding concern
Speak to one of the Safeguarding Team immediately. Your concern will be dealt with in strictest confidence and in accordance with our Safeguarding Policies and Procedures.
If you have any concerns you would like to talk through, please contact:
Gill Bilton - email@example.com
Alternatively, you can contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer:
Jackie Rowlands - 01962 737317 - firstname.lastname@example.org
If neither Safeguarding Officer is available and you need immediate advice or help Monday to Friday 6pm - 8am, or on a weekend or bank holidays, please call the Hampshire Children's Services Department out of hours service on: 0300 555 1373.
Full details of the Diocese of Winchester's Safeguarding principles and guidelines, including handbooks etc. can be found here.
For all emergency situations, contact the police on 999.
For a list of helplines and useful websites click here - Winchester Diocese Safeguarding Helplines List
CEOP helps any child or young person under the age of 18 who is being pressured, forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity of any kind. This can be something that has taken place either online or in ‘the real world’, or both. The CEOP Safety Centre has clear information and advice on what can be reported to CEOP, the reporting process and what will happen if you do decide to make a report. You can visit the CEOP Safety Centre and make a report directly to CEOP by clicking the Click CEOP button.
If you are experiencing online bullying or something else online has worried you please speak to an adult you trust, or you can talk to Childline at any time on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.
Online bullying or other online concerns should not be reported to CEOP and children and young people should be directed to speak to an adult they trust, and/or referred to Childline, if they would like to speak to someone about how they are feeling.