5 October 2022
The Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) is the most comprehensive safeguarding review our diocese has ... read more
21 September 2022
Our cathedral hosted our diocese’s first safeguarding conference. The day-long event brought together clergy, parish ... read more
5 April 2022
Our new diocesan safeguarding manager Emily Hassan introduces herself read more
Cathedral hosts safeguarding conference
OUR cathedral hosted our diocese’s first safeguarding conference.
More than 100 clergy, parish safeguarding officers and congregation members heard from a variety of specialist speakers, as they learn more about how to keep children young people and vulnerable adults safe in our churches.
Bishop Jonathan was among those who gathered in our cathedral to listen to experts from charities, councils and the NHS, who talked about healthy safeguarding cultures, modern slavery, dementia, online abuse, grooming and spiritual abuse. Among those who spoke was survivor Caroline Kindell, who gave an account of her personal experiences of abuse.
It was also a chance for parish safeguarding officers to compare notes with each other, as they implement the policies and procedures that attempt to keep people safe in during church activities.
Neil Connolly, who is Operational Lead for Child Exploitation at Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services, shared on the work of the Willow Team, who monitor and intervene on issues relating to child exploitation and trafficking in and around our diocese.
Becca Faal and Helen Styles, Safeguarding consultants for the Church of England’s Clewer Initiative, talked about Clewer’s upcoming initiatives and projects, particularly ‘Make It Slavery Free’, the theme for 2022’s Anti-Slavery Day, encouraging churches to find ways of raising awareness and breaking the “it couldn't happen here” mindset.
Jaki Metcalfe, Safeguarding Education and Improvement Lead for NHS Hampshire, gave an enlightening seminar on understanding and developing organisational culture, and how important it is to deal with toxicity in the workplace, at all levels.
Eleanor Spencer, an advocate for Safe Spaces, shared about her organisation’s work with church members that have experienced spiritual abuse, and the care and support they can provide or signpost.
Sue Clarke, Head of the School of Primary Care NHS Health Education England, helped delegates understand the experience of people who have dementia, and the impact on their friends and loved ones. She used the story (and film) ‘Still Alice’ as a guide to how dementia can affect the lives of normally healthy people, often very gradually over time.
Liz Hastings, our diocesan safeguarding adviser who is also a former police officer, talked about the effects of online abuse. She outlined the methods by which abusers contact children and young people online, and made suggestions for how our churches could manage such risks.
Justin Humphreys, who co-wrote Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse with Dr Lisa Oakley and is now chief executive of the safeguarding charity thirty-one:eight told delegates about how church leaders and others can use coercion, a power imbalance and their spiritual authority to manipulate people. He suggested ways that churches could create safer and healthier cultures to prevent this happening.
And Kelly Huggett, from Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership, talked about grooming, and how those who groom try to gain the trust of children and young people. She suggested signs that delegates might look out for and ways in which to report inappropriate behaviour.
Our safeguarding team are hoping to make this conference an annual event. Watch out for more news about the 2023 conference.
If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger, or requires immediate attention, call emergency services on 999. Any safeguarding concerns must be reported to your Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) and/or incumbent as soon as possible.
If you need to speak to the the Diocesan Safeguarding Team please click here. Parish safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at firstname.lastname@example.org using the form on www.portsmouth.anglican.org/safeguarding.
For more resources to help you keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe in your church activities, click here.