The Bath & Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers

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Safeguarding

Welcome to the B&WDACR Safeguarding page. Here you will find help to locate:

Introduction

Safeguarding those involved in bell ringing activities from abuse or allegations of abuse is crucial, whether that is young people or adults. It is the responsibility of all members to ensure that our towers and ringing activities are safe for children, young people and vulnerable adults. Child means any person aged under 18 years. Vulnerable Adult means any person aged over 18 years who is, or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is, or may be unable to take care of or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Our Association is committed to ensuring that our procedures comply with the safeguarding guidelines issued by the CCCBR, the Dioceses, and legal requirements. The guidance provided on this page includes direct references from these sources.

Individual towers and members must ensure they are aware of and compliant with their local Church Safeguarding policies and follow Diocesan guidelines and requirements.

B&WDACR has an elected Safeguarding Officer who can provide further advice and information. The current officer is Mrs Steffi Penny safeguarding.bathandwells@gmail.com

In the case of both known offenders and potential offenders it must always be remembered that the incumbent and churchwardens have ultimate sanction in allowing access to the tower. All ringers should appreciate that there is no automatic right to ring bells in any tower controlled by the church.

Concerns - how to report them

Do not make contact with the alleged abuser.

Non-emergency - within 24 hours

If you believe a safeguarding concern may exist, even if you are not sure, it is essential that you record what the concern is in writing. Make contact as soon as possible with the Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO), Diocesan Safeguarding Manager and the B&WDACR safeguarding officer. If you make contact by telephone then please follow this up with sending them within 24 hours your written concern to them. Contact details for the PSO will be displayed in the church porch, the notice board in the church and/or on the parish website.

The Diocesan Safeguarding Manager is Mr Ben Goodhind Tel: 01749 588917/07834 514842 ben.goodhind@bathwells.anglican.org

Emergencies and out of hours

If you have a concern that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of serious harm please call the police immediately on 999. Then please email Ben or leave a message and contact details on the mobile‘s answer phone (07834 514842) and he will respond as soon as possible. Please note, this out of hours service is only for emergencies and not to discuss matters such as training or DBS applications.

Process flow for Tower notice boards

Below are some other useful numbers

Responding to a disclosure

Do:

Do not:

Record

Report

Parents and Guardians

It is important that parents and guardians are aware of what happens at a practice night. As such we encourage them to attend to see for themselves. Whilst their child attends sessions the Tower Captain and/or ART teacher will ensure they are supervised. However, parents and guardians should make sure they have made arrangements for their travel to and from the tower, and similarly, if they attend a ringing outing it is their responsibility to ensure their travel arrangements are to their own satisfaction. When they are present at the tower they remain responsible for their child‘s welfare.

Activities involving young ringers

When young people attend society activities, then the organisers are on the day in effect carrying the same responsibility as a tower captain, including activities online. The CCCBR have produced a Good Practice Guide for Maintaining a Safe Environment in the Belfry for Young People. It is important that this guidance is followed.

For all activities involving young ringer there must be at least one adult who has a current DBS. The argument for having “vetted” persons present is that they will be aware of the requirements for overseeing young people, will be able to deal with any problems which may arise, and their very presence is a reassurance for parents and guardians. Any pre-agreed formal provision of transport as a tower or society service, even with parental approval, must adhere to the requirement of the driver being DBS checked. It is recommended that a second adult be present, preferably one of each gender.

Hosts should expect to run a session where all participants behave, speak and are treated respectfully and appropriately and where CCCBR Safeguarding Guidelines are observed throughout the session.

Ringing activities online

A ringer holding an up-to-date DBS certification or similar background check should be present at on-line sessions where under-18s could attend.

Enable the waiting room so that an adult is not alone in a meeting or breakout room with a person under 18. Begin the session with a welcome and reminder to attendees of on-line safeguarding guidelines. Repeat for latecomers as appropriate. Alert attendees that if anyone has a safeguarding concern, they should raise it with an appropriate trusted person, such as family member, friend, Tower Captain or report directly to a Safeguarding Officer.

As with all ringing, best practice is to keep a dated record of attendees. All participants at the session should use an easily identifiable name as their Meeting ID in both Ringing and Communication Platform. Under 18‘s should use first name only. Video should be enabled for all attendees during at least some of the event, so the host can see all people attending. Disable private chat. Comment in chats should be visible to all ringers (or to the host only). A parent or carer or known “responsible adult” should ideally be visible at the beginning of the session and for younger children and should be encouraged to be present throughout the session. Remind people to check that the background image that they are sharing is appropriate. Recording or screen shots permission is required from all attendees and parent/carer for U13‘s. Contact details should not be shared.

Safeguarding advice for young ringers online

When ringing online make sure there is someone you know and trust there. If someone says something inappropriate use the "Report Behaviour" link on Ringing Room and tell an adult you trust In general bellringers are lovely people but very rarely things can go wrong. To help you stay safe (mum or dad, tower captain or another family member). Remember to check that the background image that you are sharing is appropriate and does not show sensitive information about you. If you need more help or don't know who to talk to, email Steffi Penny safeguarding.bathandwells@gmail.com or go to https://www.bathandwells.org.uk/contact-us/diocesan-contacts-list/safeguarding-team/

or https://cccbr.org.uk/safeguarding/

Safeguarding training

It is up to each Diocese to decide which bellringers should complete safeguarding training, and to what level. The Bath & Wells Diocesan Safeguarding Manager requires that all ringers will need to complete the Basic Awareness Course and in addition all Tower Captains the Foundation Course. Both of these can be completed online (see below). For those unable to do courses online, you will need to inform your Parish‘s Safeguarding Officer that this is the case, along with notifying the Association Safeguarding Officer.

It will be up to each Parish‘s Safeguarding Officer to ensure that the correct level of training is completed, so please contact them in the first instance about your training needs. Please note Tower Captains only need to complete leadership training if their role involves training children or they work in one of our larger churches, such as Wells Cathedral or Bath Abbey.

The initial view of the Diocese was that all Tower Captains would be required to complete the new Leadership Course. Ben has worked very closely with us to reach a compromise. For 2022, Tower Captains will only need to undertake the Leadership Course if they work in high profile venues, such as cathedrals, or are involved in training children.

Basic Awareness Safeguarding Training (known previously as C0).

To do this course go to 'Church of England Safeguarding Training Portal', http://safeguardingtraining.cofeportal.org then once you have registered for an account, ‘Online Training courses', and follow the links for Basic Awareness. This course needs refreshing every three years if it is your highest level of safeguarding training.

Foundation Safeguarding Training (known previously as C1)

To do this course go to 'Church of England Safeguarding Training Portal', http://safeguardingtraining.cofeportal.org ‘Online Training Courses‘, and follow the links for Foundation training. This course needs refreshing every three years if it is your highest level of safeguarding training. (You will not be mandated to refresh levels below this.)

Leadership Training (previously C2/C3)

The diocese are now using Eventbrite for all training bookings - this allows you to browse live availability, book your place online and amend your bookings. The system will also send you confirmations, reminders and post-course information. To access thisIf there is an issue with you booking the course direct course please contact the Safeguarding Administration Assistant at Bath & Wells, email training.safeguarding@bathwells.anglican.org

As with other training, this course needs refreshing every three years if it is your highest level of safeguarding training. (You will not be mandated to refresh levels below this.) It will be up to each Parish‘s Safeguarding Officer to ensure that the correct level of training is completed, so please contact them in the first instance about your training needs.

Any ringer who is required to have a DBS or Leadership training needs to inform the B&WDACR safeguarding officer. This is in order to comply with the latest published guidance from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

DBS Checks

If you require a DBS check and are having difficulty obtaining one through your local PSO, you can obtain one through any other PSO as long as they are in the same Deanery. Any ringer who is required to have a DBS or Leadership training needs to inform the B&WDACR safeguarding officer. This is in order to comply with the latest published guidance from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

As noted by the CCCBR ‘The Church of England has agreed that ringers carrying out similar youth training functions outside their home parish may rely on their certificate but only within the same Diocese. It is understood that ringers do teach across Diocesan boundaries and in these cases only those who have subscribed to the DBS Update Service may present their details to the host parish‘.

Further information

Definitions and signs of abuse of vulnerable adults can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/help-from-social-services-and-charities/abuse-and-neglect-vulnerable-adults/

Definitions and signs of abuse of children can be found at:

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1188/definitions-signs-child-abuse.pdf

The principal documents may be referred to through the Church of England website under Safeguarding, these include: