As Christmas approaches and another year comes to an end, I always like to reflect on the previous 12 months, both personally and professionally. I am pleased to say that I think 2019 has been a good year in every sense.
The work of the Safeguarding team in particular has been extremely rewarding. We all feel that there is a genuine effort in the Diocese, to improve our safeguarding practice.
I have just looked at some of our training figures and Im delighted to see that around 400 people booked onto safeguarding training with us this year. There has also been a great deal of excellent work in parishes to ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures are being followed appropriately. All this will greatly increase the appreciation and understanding of safeguarding within our church settings and as a result make the church a safer place for us all.
With that thought in mind, the month of December is a particularly good time to think about how we care for each other. Whilst Christmas is a time for celebration, we should also remember that for some it is a difficult time for many different reasons - financial problems, the loss of loved ones, loneliness or isolation - this is a time of year when some people will feel particularly vulnerable.
If you need any advice on safeguarding matters, please dont hesitate to contact the Safeguarding team at Church House on 0191 270 4700 and we will do our best to assist, or in an emergency always call 999.
Over the festive season, in addition to the safeguarding team, there will be 24-hour support available from a number of charities and agencies some of which are listed below.
On behalf of all the safeguarding team may I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2020.
Useful telephone numbers
Police Advice 101
NHS Advice 111
Mental Health Support
Newcastle Crisis Resolution Service: 0191 814 8899
North Tyneside or Northumberland Initial Response Team: 0303 123 1146
The Samaritans: 116 123 (Free from any phone)
The Silver Line: 0800 470 8090 (Free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year)
Shelter: 0344 515 1601
Newcastle Emergency Homeless Officer: 0191 278 7878
There are numerous foodbanks across the diocese details of which are available at:
Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000247
Cruse Bereavement Helpline: 0808 8081677