‘Safe Spaces’ is more newly established and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England or the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is run independently by the charity, Victim Support. It comprises a team of trained support advocates who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church. A telephone helpline (0300 303 1056) and live chat facility is available from Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm, apart from Thursdays when the service is open 12 – 8pm. For more information please visit: https://northamptondiocese.org/sgresources/ or read the attached leaflet.
Bishop David Oakley is available to meet with anyone affected by abuse, as a victim, survivor, their families or supporters, where private discussions can take place in a safe and non judgemental environment. These sessions can be accessed through the safeguarding office on 01604 723514 or email@example.com.
We will be commencing DBS checks in a short while. In order to do this safely we will endeavour to do the majority of checks on line, with minimal contact involved. In order to this we need those who will be applying for or renewing their DBS clearance to have an individual email account. If this is going to cause an issue please contact Andrew or Marie.
The Catholic Safeguarding Project
As you may know there has been an independent review of safeguarding arrangements in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The review established 8 national safeguarding standards which explain what the Church must do in order to safeguard members of the Catholic church, those we minister to and those we come into contact with. One of the standards relates to embedding safeguarding into Church Governance, Ministry, and Culture. Amongst other things, this will require Church Leaders to provide the right resources to support parishes in their safeguarding responsibilities. For more information visit https://www.catholicsafeguardingproject.org
Volunteering and Safeguarding
As you are aware we are starting to move towards an environment where we can mix more with others indoors as well as outdoors. The Parish Safeguarding Reps, Marie and Andrew will shortly be contacting volunteers and recommencing DBS renewals, which will be done in a safe way and comply with the government rules. If you do not feel that you wish to continue with the volunteering that you have previously done, particularly if it involved face to face contact, please don’t worry about it, you will not be asked to do anything that you are not comfortable with. We have found during the pandemic that receipt of phone calls have been a lifeline to those in our parish, so face to face contact is not always necessary if you wish to support your parish.
If you have any queries regarding volunteering and its roles and responsibilities, please contact Marie or Andrew, (details above).
Northampton Healing and Reconciliation Reference Group
Northampton Diocese is keen to improve the way that we respond to and engage with those hurt by abuse. Following the December (2018) Safeguarding Commission meeting, a victims and survivors working group was formed and during 2019. This working group recently renamed the ‘Healing and Reconciliation Reference Group’, is supported by two survivors and is now working on a ‘Healing Strategy’.
The Diocese is keen to recruit new members, including survivors of abuse to join this working group. If you would like to join, or if you have any suggestions, ideas, comments or feedback please complete the form which can be found using the following link: https://northamptondiocese.org/sgresources/