Download this Policy as a PDF: Safeguarding policy (7 July 2019)


The policy and procedures have been divided into five sections covering all 10 Thirtyone:eight safeguarding standards. Along with details of the organisation and a statement of intent and commitment to safeguarding, the policy covers the following sections:

Section 1. Organisation details

Safe and Secure – Standard 1

Section 2. Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse

Safe and Secure – Standards 2 and 7

Section 3. Prevention

Safe and Secure – Standards 3 and

Section 4. Pastoral care

Safe and Secure – Standards 8 and 9

Section 5. Practice guidelines

Safe and Secure – Standards 5, 6 and 10

Appendix 1. Leadership safeguarding statement

Appendix 2. Safeguarding Poster



The Safeguarding Policy

Section 1

Details of the organisation

Organisation: Durham Community Church

Registered address: 8 St Oswald’s Drive, Durham, DH1 3TE

Tel No: 07837440778 

Email address:


Membership of Denomination: Salt and Light Ministries (Taking Ground part of Salt and Light in the NE)

Charity Number:  1150271       Company Number: 832266

Regulators details (if any) : Not applicable

Insurance Company: Ansvar Insurance Company Ltd

Policy type: Church Fellowship Connect

Policy no. CHF 6073384

Covering: Employee, public & products liability

The following is a brief description of our organisation and the type of work/activities we undertake with children.

Durham Community Church has its registered address at 8 St Oswald’s Drive, Durham. This is a private address, from which the Church is run. This home along with other family homes are opened up for meetings with people who are joined with the church or are exploring faith or simply wish to be friends of the church. Other venues are used to help support outreach activities in the communities within Durham, for example, We meet in a local community coffee shop, and other community buildings including the Baptist Church in Ushaw Moor and the Children’s centre.

The over arching aims and objectives of Durham Community Church are set out in the charity registration document (page 5) and statement of faith (page 24). In summary, the church is seeking to advance the Christian faith.

Children and young people are welcomed and included in all church activities which are based around meals, discussion, worship, prayer and fun. Activities solely directed towards children are currently emerging as the church develops and grows. If we run an adults course i.e. Alpha or Parenting course there will be a separate children and young person activity session being facilitated in the venue being used.

Durham Community Church is a registered company with charitable status. In order to ensure that the church is being run with good governance one of the directors is external to the church membership. In addition, the running of the church is held accountable, through the regional oversight of Taking Ground, part of Salt and Light in the North East. This policy has been submitted to leaders in the region for review and comment and reflects their guidance.

A copy of this policy has been lodged with the local safeguarding board for the Durham area.

Our commitment

As a Leadership, we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults.  We acknowledge that children, young people and vulnerable adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.  We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.  We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse.   They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.”  As a Leadership, we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance.  We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding. 

The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by the Churches’ Thirtyone:eight and prepared in consultation with Taking Ground part of Salt and Light in the North East.

The Leadership undertakes to:

endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.

provide on-going safeguarding training for all its workers and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.

ensure that the premises meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and all other relevant legislation, and that it is welcoming and inclusive.

support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and vulnerable adults.

file a copy of the policy and practice guidelines with thirtyone:eight and Durham Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, 3rd Floor County Hall Durham DH1 5U and any amendments subsequently published.  The Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations. 

Section 2

Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse

Understanding abuse and neglect

Defining child abuse or abuse against a vulnerable adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or vulnerable adult.

In order to safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19 which states:

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5 which states:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Detailed definitions, and signs and symptoms of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included here in our policy.

Definitions of abuse

Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Children)

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.

Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

Child protection legislation throughout the UK is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Each nation within the UK has incorporated the convention within its legislation and guidance.

The four definitions of abuse below operate in England based on the government guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)’.

What is abuse and neglect?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.

It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.


Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);

protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;

ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or

ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Vulnerable Adults)

The following definition of abuse is laid down in ‘No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse (Department of Health 2000):

‘Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. In giving substance to that statement, however, consideration needs to be given to a number of factors:

Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it’.

Physical Abuse

This is the infliction of pain or physical injury, which is either caused deliberately or through lack of care.

Sexual Abuse

This is the involvement in sexual activities to which the person has not consented or does not truly comprehend and so cannot give informed consent, or where the other party is in a position of trust, power or authority and uses this to override or overcome lack of consent.

Psychological or Emotional Abuse

These are acts or behaviour, which cause mental distress or anguish or negates the wishes of the vulnerable adult. It is also behaviour that has a harmful effect on the vulnerable adult’s emotional health and development or any other form of mental cruelty.

Financial or Material Abuse

This is the inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions

Neglect or Act of Omission

This is the repeated deprivation of assistance that the vulnerable adult needs for important activities of daily living, including the failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to the vulnerable adult or to others. A vulnerable person may be suffering from neglect when their general well being or development is impaired

Discriminatory Abuse

This is the inappropriate treatment of a vulnerable adult because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality, disability etc. Discriminatory abuse exists when values, beliefs or culture result in a misuse of power that denies an opportunity to some groups or individuals. Discriminatory abuse links to all other forms of abuse.

Institutional Abuse

This is the mistreatment or abuse of a vulnerable adult by a regime or individuals within an institution (e.g. hospital or care home) or in the community. It can be through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect or poor professional practice.

Safeguarding awareness

The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone.  All our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis we will work together with Salt and Light churches in the region to ensure regular update training is delivered and lessons/best practice from other settings can be shared. We will use the training supplied through Thirtyone:eight for induction training using their ‘Facing the Unthinkable’ and other resources. In addition workers will attend update training run in the North East, provided in conjunction with Thirtyone:eight  Specialist training will be assessed as the church grows and develops and will be subject of the church safeguarding review process. The leadership team have also accessed other training provided by local and national organisations.

The Leadership will also ensure that children and vulnerable adults are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.


Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse.  Following procedures as below:

The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to Michelle Luke / Sue Goulding (hereafter the “Safeguarding Co-ordinators”) tel no: Michelle  Luke 07988717672, Sue Goulding 07798888576  who are nominated by the Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.

  • In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to Michelle Luke (hereafter the “Deputy “) tel no: 07988 717672.  If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (Thirtyone:eight) PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0845 120 4550.  Alternatively contact Social Services or the police. 

Where the concern is about a child the Safeguarding Co-ordinator should  contact Children’s Social Services.  Where the concern is regarding an adult in need of protection contact Adult Social Services or take advice from Thirtyone:eight as above.

The local Children’s Social Services office telephone number (office hours) is 0191 383 5569 (initial response team). The out of hours emergency number is 0845 8505010 

The local Adult Social Services office telephone number (office hours) is 0191 3835165

The out of hours emergency number is 0845 8505010

The Police Child Protection Team telephone number is 0191 378 2809

Where required the Safeguarding Co-ordinator should then immediately inform the insurance company and other strategic personnel within the denomination e.g. Apostolic lead for Taking Ground, part of Salt and Light in the North East.  Martin Dunkley  tel no: 01642 20781919

Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.

Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from Thirtyone:eight.

The Leadership will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.

It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from thirtyone:eight, although the Leadership hope that members of Durham Community Church will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct.  We hope by making this statement that the Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.

The role of the safeguarding co-ordinator/ deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.

Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:


If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:

Contact Children’s Social Services (or thirtyone:eight) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child’s safety or if a child is afraid to return home. 

Not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so, having contacted Children’s Social Services. 

Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions. 

For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of significant harm.

Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them.  In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services direct for advice.

Seek and follow advice given by thirtyone:eight (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Children’s Social Services.


In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:

Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.

Seek and follow the advice given by thirtyone:eight if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. thirtyone:eight will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

The following procedure will be followed where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:


If a vulnerable adult has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:

Discuss any concerns with the individual themselves giving due regard to their autonomy, privacy and rights to lead an independent life.

If the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.

For advice contact the Adult Social Care Vulnerable Adults Team who have responsibility under Section 47 of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 and government guidance, ‘No Secrets’, to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively thirtyone:eight can be contacted for advice.


If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker, also making a referral to a Safeguarding Adviser (SA) / Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Section 3


Safe recruitment

The Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment.  This includes ensuring that:

There is a written job description / person specification for the post

Those applying have completed an application form and a self declaration form

Those short listed have been interviewed

Safeguarding has been discussed at interview

Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate

A criminal records disclosure has been completed (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)

Qualifications where relevant have been verified

A suitable training programme is provided for the successful applicant

The applicant has completed a probationary period

The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.

Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct

As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers have been issued with a code of conduct towards children, young people and vulnerable adults. The Leadership undertakes to follow the principles found within the ‘Abuse Of Trust ‘guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.

Section 4

Pastoral Care

Supporting those affected by abuse

The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship / organisation.

Durham Community Church acknowledges that it will require support in dealing in supporting those affected by abuse we will therefore seek guidance and support from thirtyone:eight and other churches within Salt and Light Ministries.

Working with offenders

When someone attending Durham Community Church is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to vulnerable adults the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep.

We will seek the support and guidance from thirtyone:eight  who are pioneers in the use of contracts detailing boundaries with sexual offenders, this will ensure that bespoke agreement and risk assessments that are informed by local statutory agencies.

Section 5

Practice Guidelines

As an organisation working with children, young people and vulnerable adults we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false accusation.

Durham Community Church is a new and emerging Church in the Durham area we are seeking to develop the highest standards of working practices so that Children and young people as well as vulnerable adults can feel safe and secure.

As well as a general code of conduct for workers we will develop good practice guidelines for every activity we are involved in. As we grow as a church will ensure that a risk assessment is completed for new activities and settings. (See appendix 3 for the guiding principles of the risk assessment).

Working in Partnership

The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.

We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding.

Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and vulnerable adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.

Durham Community church’s Safeguarding policy will be published on the church website

Signed by: Jeremy Goulding

Date: ________________________________

Appendix 1

Leadership Safeguarding Statement

The Leadership, Durham Community Church trustee’s and directors, recognises the importance of its ministry /work with children and young people and adults in need of protection and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.

The following statement was agreed by the leadership/organisation on: 22 April 2013/ reviewed 7 July 2019

Durham Community Church is committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and ensuring their well-being.


We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.

We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy.  We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.

All children and young people have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.

   We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.

We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable adults and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.

We believe all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of the place of worship/organisation unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.

We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and vulnerable adults.

We are committed to:

Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and good practice recommendations.

Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.

Ensuring that workers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.

Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.

Following any denominational or organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults in need of protection.

Supporting the safeguarding co-ordinator/s in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/vulnerable adults.

Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this place of worship/organisation.

Supporting parents and families

Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and young people

Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.

Supporting all in the place of worship/organisation affected by abuse.

Adopting and following the ‘Safe and Secure’ safeguarding standards developed by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service.

We recognise:

Children’s Social Services (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child.  Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a vulnerable adult.

Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.

Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our agency’s headquarters.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.

If you have any concerns for a child or vulnerable adult then speak to one of the following who have been approved as safeguarding co-ordinators for this place of worship/organisation.

_____________________________________________________________ Safeguarding Coordinator

_____________________________________________________ Deputy  Safeguarding Coordinator

A copy of the full policy and procedures is available from Jeremy Goulding, 8 St Oswald’s Drive, Durham, DH1 3TE

A copy of our safeguarding policy has been lodged with thirtyone:eight / Taking Ground part of Salt and Light NE  / Durham safeguarding board.

Signed by leadership/organisation

Signed __________________________ ________________________

Date __________________________

Appendix 2

Safeguarding Poster