Safeguarding

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Welcome

We are committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults to worship and grow in Christ safely. We value and respect everyone we work with and our safeguarding team endeavours to be as relational, transparent and proportionate as possible.

You'll find links to safer recruitment, DBS guidance and safeguarding training in the navigation links of this page. Scroll down to meet the team and find out when and how to call them.


Survivor leaflet

This leaflet aims to explain how the diocesan safeguarding team will respond to those who come forward to report abuse and explains the support that is available. Download a copy of Support for survivors here.

You can find more information, resources and support on our dedicated page for Support for Survivors.


What to do if you have a safeguarding concern

If someone is in immediate danger

If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger, or requires immediate medical attention, call emergency services on 999.

If there is no risk of immediate harm

If you do not think there is a risk of immediate harm, please speak to a safeguarding professional about your concern as soon as possible. If you have significant concerns please report to children's social service or adult's social services without delay. When first reporting a concern, please be sure to make contact using the information shown below.

Outside office hours

For urgent safeguarding enquiries outside of office hours (see below), please call our partners Thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111 for confidential advice, guidance and support.

During office hours

Call 01865 208 295 or email safeguardingreferrals@oxford.anglican.org for urgent safeguarding concerns Monday to Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm.

You can also contact your area safeguarding adviser directly if you prefer:

  • Buckingham – Tsungai Muchegwa: 07435 550 685
  • Oxford and Dorchester – Erica Hegg: 07341 866832
  • Berkshire – Charlotte Wilmshurst: 07443 700159
Meet our safeguarding team

Louise Whitehead

Head of Safeguarding

Email

07391 868 478

Louise joined the diocese in 2022 and brings experience and expertise from working in children and young people’s social work practice and management for Oxfordshire County Council. Louise qualified as a social worker in 2014. She has been involved in management, training and promoting best practice within the local authority. 

Prior to this, Louise worked in international development and completed doctoral research at Oxford Brookes while living in Cambodia.

Read more about Louise.

Erica Hegg

Area Advisor for Oxford and Dorchester

Email

07341 866 832

Erica has been employed by the diocese since April 2021. Erica served with Wiltshire Police as a detective constable, specialising in child sexual exploitation.

Erica has experience of investigating serious and complex crime, skilled in public protection (child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, vulnerable adults and management of people who have sexually harmed). She worked in a multi-agency environment with children services, probation, education, NHS and HM prison.

Tsungai Muchegwa

Area Advisor for Buckinghamshire

Email

07435 550 685

Tsungai joined the safeguarding team in August 2022. Tsungai has joined us from Buckinghamshire Council where she was working in Commissioning for Adults Services. Tsungai is a Qualified Social Worker with experience in Child Protection and as an Advanced Practitioner in Adult Services. Tsungai has experience of leading complex safeguarding investigations and supporting people in a number of multi-agency teams. 

Tsungai also has experience of working in partnership with Bedfordshire Police in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre supporting people who would have experienced sexual violence or sexual abuse.

Charlotte Wilmshurst

Area Advisor for Berkshire

Email

07443 700 159

Charlotte (also known as Charlie) joined the team in May 2022. Charlie worked as a Civilian Investigator with Thames Valley Police in the Violent and Sex Offender Register and Domestic Abuse teams.

Charlie has experience in the management and risk assessments of people who have sexually harmed. She also has experience of investigating domestic abuse cases, where she was awarded a commendation for her outstanding work with survivors. Charlie has gained a wealth of experience working with several teams within Thames Valley Police including the Multi Agency Safeguarding Team, 999 Operator - Control Room. Charlie has also managed two Extra Care Housing facilities supporting vulnerable residents and leading the care teams.

Melody Stack

Safeguarding Training & Policy Adviser

01865 587041

Email

Melody joined the team in January 2024. Melody has joined us from the civil service in Australia, where she managed programme design and delivery for the NSW Department for Education and Department for Communities and Justice. 

Melody brings experience in policy and sector development in both child protection and early education. This includes supporting non-government agencies to respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia. Melody is also a qualified teacher. 

Helen Walker

Safeguarding Training & Policy Adviser

01865 587041

Email

Helen originally joined the team on secondment from the HR team in April 2022 to cover maternity leave and returned again part-time in January 2024.

Helen has worked for the Diocese for over 10 years and brings experience of administration, training and HR to the role, having been an Archdeacon’s PA and most recently HR Adviser (Resourcing and Development). Helen also brings experience of training and working with volunteers to the role along with an understanding of parish ministry as a Licensed Lay Minister.

Rebecca Norris-Bulpitt

Safeguarding Training & Policy Adviser

Rebecca is currently on maternity leave

Linda Carpenter

Safeguarding Training & DBS Administrator

Email

01865 208 267

Linda joined the team in January 2018, previously working as a classroom assistant supporting pupils with additional needs and later as the Business Manager of a primary school.

Linda has a good understanding of the need for robust safeguarding procedures and training, central to protecting children and supporting those working in this environment. Linda has also been appointed as parish representative to the Deanery Synod. 

Charlotte Dover

Team Administrator (HR & Safeguarding)

Email

01865 208278

Charlotte joined the team in July 2023, and has a background in archives and data administration. She works across both the HR and the Safeguarding teams, giving administrative support to colleagues as well as leading on data collection and systems maintenance.

Charlotte is involved in the User Groups for the National Safeguarding Casework Management System and the Parish Safeguarding Dashboards, and provides PSOs with access to and support for the Dashboard.

Charnelle Stylianides

Director of People and Safeguarding

Email

01865 208 770

Charnelle leads the development and implementation of the diocesan People and Safeguarding strategy for both clergy and employees. Charnelle previously held the role of Interim Chief People Officer at the global children’s charity World Vision. She also has experience as Chief People Officer for Picker Institute, a healthcare charity, and delivering consultancy work for Oriel College.

What if I'm not happy
If you are not satisfied with the service you have received as a result of the diocese handling a safeguarding concern or allegation, you should follow the Safeguarding Complaints Policy and Procedure and/or refer to the When Things Go Wrong leaflet summarising the process.

 

Don't forget

All phone or email referrals to the safeguarding team must be followed up by completing the Safeguarding referral form.

Complete the referral form online

If you have any problems with the online form, you can download a copy (for Microsoft Word or as a PDF) and return it to safeguardingreferrals@oxford.anglican.org.

Your Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO)

Your Parish Safeguarding Officer is also a local first point of contact for reporting safeguarding concerns. If you are concerned that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm, you should approach your local Children's Social Care or Adult's Social Care department.

 

If you have a non-urgent enquiry

We can give you advise on non-urgent matters too - send us an email at safeguarding@oxford.anglican.org.

When should I contact the diocesan safeguarding team? (click here)

A referral to the diocesan safeguarding team must be made about any case where a child or vulnerable adult appears to be at risk or where an adult appears to present a risk.

The diocesan safeguarding team must also be informed straight away of any safeguarding concerns involving a church officer. A church officer is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.

What does the diocesan safeguarding team do?

We offer advice, support and guidance to anyone in the diocese about all aspects of safeguarding.

This may include:

  • Advice, support, and signposting: telephone, email and face-to-face consultation about a range of issues, and advice on where to get help.
  • Policy and practice: signposting to national and local policies and practice guidance.
  • Training: safeguarding training to clergy and other leaders, including on-site training and online.
  • Casework: management of complex cases, joint-working with statutory agencies, consultation and advice.
  • Support for survivors: direct support and advice, provision of Authorised Listeners.
  • Supporting parishes in preventative safeguarding and culture change.
Key facts about safeguarding in the Diocese of Oxford

We have:

  • Grown our safeguarding team to 5.8 full-time equivalent staff.
  • A structure in place for independent scrutiny and accountability through the Diocesan Advisory Safeguarding Panel.
  • Systematically trained clergy and church officers in safeguarding, including training for the senior team.
  • In 2022, the team trained 7,673 participants, through the delivery of 101 training modules and the completion of online training, supported 20 volunteer trainers and provided guidance to 461 parish safeguarding officers.
  • Delivered a culture change in the handling of safeguarding disclosures.
  • Increased our corporate understanding of the nature of abuse and increased awareness of those who are isolated or lonely being at risk of abuse.

There is always more to be done. We see learning as central to the culture of a safe church and build upon recommendations from our learning reviews and PCR2.

Read our safeguarding privacy policy.

Safeguarding newsletters

Our newsletter brings together the latest safeguarding information from across the diocese so we can better protect children and vulnerable adults involved in the life of the Church. Read past editions and sign up to receive the quarterly news.

Subscribe now


 

Safeguarding drop-in sessions and training
 
Berkshire

Berkshire drop-in session – Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements

29/02/2024

13:30 Daytime drop-in - register here

19:30 Evening drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements to understand why they are a critical step in protecting children and vulnerable people from harm.

Berkshire drop-in session – Working with the Parish Dashboard System

06/06/2024

13:30 Daytime drop-in - register here

19:30 Evening drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how to best use the Dashboard system to ensure good safeguarding practice in your church.

Berkshire drop-in session – Managing the Risk of people who have Sexually Harmed

03/10/2024

13:30 Daytime drop-in - register here

19:30 Evening drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how we work with people who have committed sexual offences.

 

Oxford & Dorchester

Oxford & Dorchester Drop-in session – Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements

29/02/2024

12:00 Daytime drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements to understand why they are a critical step in protecting children and vulnerable people from harm.

Oxford & Dorchester Drop-in Session – Working with the Parish Dashboard System

27/06/24

17:00 Evening drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how to best use the Dashboard system to ensure good safeguarding practice in your church.

Oxford & Dorchester Drop-in Session – Managing the Risk of people who have Sexually Harmed

29/10/24

12:00 Daytime drop-in - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how we work with people who have committed sexual offences.

 

Buckinghamshire

Buckingham Drop-in session – Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements

27/02/2024

12:30 Daytime session - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about Risk Assessments & Safeguarding Agreements to understand why they are a critical step in protecting children and vulnerable people from harm.

Buckingham Drop-in Session – Working with the Parish Dashboard & Safeguarding Hubs

21/06/2024

18:00 Evening session - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how to best use the Dashboard and Hub systems to ensure good safeguarding practice in your church.

Buckingham Drop-in Session – Managing the Risk of people who have Sexually Harmed.

20/10/2024

18:00 Evening session - register here

Take this opportunity to join a discussion about how we work with people who have committed sexual offences.


 

If I Told You, What Would You Do?

Check out this excellent survivor-led resource. You'll find the links on the templates and resources page.


 

Further safeguarding resources and information...

Safeguarding in parishes

Information and resources for PSOs, help responding to survivors and encouraging culture change.

Support for survivors

Sources of support for anyone who has experienced abuse.

Safeguarding adults

Guidance on caring for adults.

Safeguarding children

Guidance on caring for children and young people.

Spiritual abuse

Information and resources on abuse in a religious context.

Safeguarding training

Training programmes for every level.

Safer recruitment & DBS

Recruitment guidelines and resources.

Safeguarding panel

Details on our independent panel.

Policies & guidance

Policies, forms and further guidance.

Complaints & whistleblowing

Steps to take when things go wrong.

Audits & reviews

Audits and learning reviews from the diocese.

Safeguarding strategy & annual reports

The diocesan strategy agreed by Bishop's Council.

National Safeguarding Standards

Details on the Church of England framework.

Page last updated: Tuesday 9th April 2024 1:19 PM
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