Safeguarding is the broader activity through which we are vigilant and responsive to promoting the welfare of our children, young people and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding is the responsibility of the whole church community at St Matthew’s and is taken very seriously by the clergy and PCC.

The Church recognises that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, capacities and restrictions yet, at some times, may become vulnerable due to pressures, dangers or overwhelming circumstances. Some people by reason of their physical or social circumstances have higher levels of vulnerability than others.

What should you do if you have been a victim of abuse /harm or have specific concerns about potential significant harm?

• Don’t suffer in silence. You should contact Maria Gayle-Rogers, our Safeguarding Officer, immediately if you are concerned about any safeguarding issue.

• If you are a child, you may approach the Children’s Champions, Edward and Kate Barlow, if you prefer, who will then contact Maria Gayle-Rogers. You can also contact ‘Childline’ 0800 1111 and ‘Parentline Plus’ 0808 800 222 and NSPCC Helpline 0808 731

The Safeguarding Officer will:

- ensure that all allegations or suspicions of abuse/harm are

taken seriously and responded to without delay,within 24 hours, responding in line with the Diocesan Safeguarding policy. - keep Fr Philip Chester informed of any concerns, responses and

activities relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. - Request support from the Diocesan Safeguarding Team - Prepare a written report of the allegation and responses

(Appendix 1)

The clergy will: - provide pastoral care to anyone who has been a victim of abuse. - ensure that the allegation is referred to the proper authority.

The Safeguarding Officer will also:

- provide support, advice and information on matters of

safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in the parish.

- work with the churchwardens to ensure that everyone working

with children or vulnerable adults has undergone the relevant vetting through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Further information:

The Diocesan policy statement and these local parish guidelines will always be on display on the church notice board and on the church website www.stmw.org

Information is also available on the Diocesan website http://www.london.anglican.org/support/safeguarding