One hundred and forty safeguarding officers and parish representatives attended the latest diocesan safeguarding conference to ensure they were up to date with best practice.
The conference, held at Jubilee High School in Addlestone, offered talks from experts along with a range of practical workshops, giving attendees a broad insight into responding well to safeguarding concerns.
Two lectures were given during the day. In the morning session, Dr Lisa Oakley of Manchester Metropolitan University talked about spiritual abuse, how to identify it, and how to respond to it. Later, a representative of local charity, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) discussed how safeguarding officers should work with survivors.
Between talks, guests were invited to attend workshops covering topics such as the theological and biblical basis of pastoral care, self-harm, child sexual exploitation and bullying in the Church context.
Wendy Jane Grey, safeguarding administrator at Cobham, attended the conference. “What stood out for me was just how wide the area of safeguarding is and how there are common themes that go across different areas of safeguarding,” she said
“It’s really good that so many people can get an education on this, which they can then take further.”
Jane Huttly, diocesan safeguarding training and development coordinator, organised the conference. “I am delighted with how many people came to the conference, one of the key challenges of Church is to create a safe time and space for people to be who they are,” she said. “Through workshops and presentations we’ve all learnt more about responding well in safeguarding, and it’s wonderful to see a positive reaction to the day.”
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