The Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers is committed to working in accordance with the national legal[i] and procedural[ii] framework for safeguarding children and adults who may be vulnerable, and Church of England policy and practice[iii].
The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Ringing activities across the Surrey Association is the responsibility of all participants.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is about promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable, and keeping them safe from harm, such as illness, abuse or injury.
This includes taking all reasonable measures to create a framework where people are confident to undertake activities in which the risks of harm to the welfare of children and adults who are vulnerable are minimised; and, when there are concerns about their welfare, taking appropriate actions to address those concerns.
Individual Tower Duties
Tower Captains and Secretaries should familiarise themselves with their own church Safeguarding practices and policies. This will be based on the relevant diocesan policy which explains that the Incumbent, Churchwardens and PCC of any parish have a legal and primary duty to have due regard to Safeguarding principles laid down across all areas of Church activities.
As part of this duty they will need to ensure that all relevant individuals have been vetted through the DBS checking process and participate in safeguarding training. Churches also have a duty to maintain a safe environment for all people in the Tower and elsewhere on Church premises alongside the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
It is important therefore that there is a good working relationship between the Tower Captain and church officials as in practice, where ringing is concerned, this responsibility is discharged through the Tower Captain, together with any formal deputies.
Accessing Safeguarding Training
We do advise all officers within towers and the Association as a whole to make use of safeguarding training on offer from their Diocese. As a minimum this should include access to the online C1 training available from the Church of England website for any in a leadership role.
Arranging Surrey Association events
Any event arranged and promoted as a Surrey Association event (e.g.: District and Association ringing meetings, striking competitions, tours, social activity) should be supported by a risk assessment which considers any safeguarding risks to children, young people and vulnerable adults. An example / template of a risk assessment tool is provided for your use and should be used to ensure that we create and maintain an environment which is safe for all and promotes well-being, prevents abuse and creates nurturing, caring conditions. In completing the risk assessment please consider:
Securing parental consent
Parents of under 18's attending a Surrey Association ringing or social event must complete a PARENTAL CONSENT & EMERGENCY PERMISSION FORM. A copy of the form had been made available for you to download below.
Unless otherwise advised by the Parent / Guardian, the permission given by this form will remain valid for subsequent Events for 2 years from the date of initial consent. If any details change the Parent / Guardian must advise the appropriate Ringing Coordinator by filling in a replacement form.
NO CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON WILL BE PERMITTED TO TAKE PART IN AN EVENT UNLESS THIS CONSENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED OR UNLESS A PARENT IS IN ATTENDANCE.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN
Please remember if you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or who presents a risk to others please seek advice from a safeguarding officer (see below) or if necessary, report the matter to the Local Authority Social care services or the Police without delay.
Safeguarding Officers include:
1. Your local Parish Safeguarding Officer or incumbent.
2. Susan Gibbin the Surrey Association Safeguarding lead at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Southwark Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 020 7939 9423 (office hours) 07982 279713 (out of hours).
Other advice available from the CCCB: https://cccbr.org.uk/services/tower-stewardship/#safeguarding
[i] The Children Act 1989 and 2004. Human Rights Act 1998 and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by UK government 1991). Protection of Children Act 1999 (PoCA) Sexual Offences Act 1997, 2003, 2000 (Amendments). Data Protection Act 1998. The Care Standards Act 2000
[ii] Safe from Harm: Code of Practice for safeguarding the welfare of children in voluntary organisations, published by the Home Office in 1993. Every Child Matters Change for Children programme Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (HM Government, 2006). No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.
[iii] Protecting all God’s children: the child protection policy for the Church of England, 3rd edition, published by the Archbishop’s Council in 2004. Promoting a safe church: policy for safeguarding adults in the Church of England, published by the Archbishop’s Council in 2006. Responding to domestic abuse: guidelines for those with pastoral responsibility, published by the Archbishop’s Council in 2006