A safe environment and activities
This is the heading of the 11th section of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook (PSH). All parishes were sent a copy of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook earlier in the year. This booklet should be on display in your church along with your safeguarding policy and ‘Promoting a Safe Church’ poster. Further copies can be purchased from Church House Publishing or can be downloaded from the Church of England https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/templates-resources or our website https://www.newcastle.anglican.org/documents/parish-safeguarding-handbook/
The House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy Statement states that, “The Church will strive to support all church officers* to adhere to safer working good practice…..”
(*Anyone who carries out a role in a church is termed a church officer.)
The guidelines in the PSH enables a consistency of standards to be established across the Church of England. It is important therefore that everyone working with children, young people and adults is familiar with them. The aim of these guidelines is to help you carry out a wide range of activities in church and the local community safely. Activities or events are happening in parishes regularly and particularly during the school holidays. It is the responsibility of the PCC to approve events and activities and to ensure that someone is leading the planning.
A vital document to complete is the Activity Risk Assessment, (see above mentioned websites).
As you go through the planning stages of your activity or event, note down all the possible risks and then consider what you will need to put in place to manage these and remember it is not possible to eliminate all risks.
It is useful to consider the risks under the following headings, not all apply to every activity: Staffing, paperwork, building, health, social media, consent and the needs of those who will attend the activity/event e.g. anyone who requires assistance of any sort.
You may have other areas you need to consider in your particular context.
Additional guidelines can be found on page 45 of the PSH for activities away from the church premises.
If you need any help finding the relevant information please get in touch with Linda on 01434 633742 or firstname.lastname@example.org