My main responsibilities include:
- Providing advice, information and support to anyone from the churches in the Worcester Diocese who is concerned about the safety and welfare of vulnerable people- children, young people and adults.
- Supporting parishes and individuals when serious safeguarding issues arise. This could involve clergy and other church officers or parishioners. It may involve helping to liaise with statutory authorities and other agencies.
- Contributing to the development of the Diocesan safeguarding policies and procedures ensuring they are in line with the National Safeguarding team’s guidance and the House of Bishops policies.
- Being part of the safeguarding training team delivering the nationally-devised training courses throughout the Diocese.
- Working with survivors of abuse, ensuring they are listened to carefully and well supported.
- Facilitating the inclusive and safe integration of past offenders who wish to be involved in the life of the church.
So this is a varied job and one I am enjoying immensely.
Since 2005 and until I started this new role in June 2015, I have been involved in setting up and managing Sure Start Children’s Centres which provide early intervention family support, working closely with multi-agency safeguarding teams. I set up the first rural Children’s Centre in Worcestershire which covered 130sq miles of the Teme Valley. I have also worked in Birmingham, managing Centres on large, disadvantaged, multi-ethnic estates. These experiences have given me a good understanding of the social issues communities face in both rural and urban settings and the impact they have when considering good safeguarding practice. A number of these years was whilst working for the children’s charity, Barnardo’s. Prior to this I worked for many years as a Midwife and Nurse. I have thoroughly enjoyed each role I have been privileged to undertake.
I am married to Neil and we have three grown up daughters – one in London, one in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and one at home but soon to ‘fly the nest’ too. They are great joy to us and it has been wonderful to watch them grow into adulthood- with all its ups and downs!
Interests outside work and family-life include singing, writing poems and songs and regularly socialising with a great group of friends. Neil and I are also involved in the work of a small church plant in Worcestershire. At one time I would have listed my participation in a local tennis club and netball team as regular hobbies but if I am honest I have become a little more sedentary these days and fitness is more confined to a daily workout on an exercise bike! However I am always up for a competitive game of table tennis if anyone wants to challenge me!