Safeguarding Young People And Children


As one of its major activities Giggs Hill Church seeks to serve the

needs of young people and children, promoting holistic development.

In so doing, Giggs Hill Church takes seriously the welfare of all young people and children who come onto its premises or who are involved in its activities.

Giggs Hill Church aims to ensure that they are welcomed into a safe, caring, Christian environment with a happy, friendly atmosphere.

Giggs Hill Church recognises that it is the responsibility of each one of its helpers to prevent the neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse of young people and children and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.

Giggs Hill Church recognises its responsibility to implement, maintain and regularly review procedures, which are designed to prevent such abuse.

Giggs Hill Church is committed to supporting, resourcing and training those who work with young people and children and to provide supervision.

Giggs Hill Church is committed to supporting parents and families.


The Safeguarding Co-ordinator is the person 

to whom all concerns or allegations should be addressed. 

Rita Lewis

01689 812 372


Church Policy

We recognise that child protection is everybody's responsibility.

As a Church we are committed to the nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of all, especially the young and vulnerable.

All activities within the Church have a designated leader working under the authority of the church leadership. This leader is supported by other leaders authorised to work with  members of the various groups.

The leaders are fully vetted using application, confidential declaration forms, and references of previous children's work. All leaders are D.B.S. checked. These records are accessible solely to the Child Protection Officer (henceforth C.P.O., currently Rita Lewis)

No person with a history involving child related offences will be allowed to undertake any role associated with the children's work of the church, nor be present as an observer.

Non-leading helpers may assist with children related activities (these could be members of another church or parents). These people will be checked and approved by the children's leader and the C.P.O. They will always work under the supervision of the children's leader

and the C.P.O.

All leaders are to be familiar with Guidelines For Leaders and briefed on these annually.

Single sex groups require same sex leaders and mixed groups require mixed leadership. No leader can be on the premises alone with any child or children.

The activities to be undertaken on all children outings and other special occasions are to be fully agreed in detail by the children's leader and C.P.O. The full implementation of all our discipline and child protection documents are mandatory on all such occasions.

The children's leader will act as the contact for all discipline and child protection issues. He or she will quickly gather the available facts concerning any reports of abuse or serious incidents involving workers. He or she will then work with the C.P.O. and Minister (Pastor or senior Elder) to decide on the appropriate action.

It is understood that on church events adults may make reasonable requests to the children in regard to behaviour. If the child is unresponsive then all matters of any further discipline are dealt with by the children's leader only (or in his or her absence, the C.P.0. or a nominated children's leader).

Guidelines For Leaders

Leaders are to be fully conversant with the discipline and child protection rules and to ensure their implementation.


Build healthy relationships with the children and be a good role model. Set a good example, be well prepared when leading, consistent and prayerful.

Leaders are expected to do everything in their power to prevent behavioural problems. If a child is behaving in such a way as to provoke a disturbance, the leader must withdraw the child from the group and place him in the care of the children's leader or C.P.O.

Leaders are to maintain order without using frightening words, aggressive behaviour threats, or physical intervention. Minimum physical intervention may be used however, as a last resort to separate fighting children and to restrain a child from potential harm or harming others. Striking a child - however softly - constitutes criminal assault.

Look honestly at your programme and preparation - if the children are bored, they misbehave. Is the programme or preparation at fault?

Take time to give the quieter children attention: do not allow some children to take all your time and energy.

Avoid actions that could be misunderstood or misconstrued.

Ensure that you supply a SAFE ENVIRONMENT for your activity to take place. Make time to check the room or area for potential harm before the children arrive.


If you work ALONE WITH A GROUP of children make sure you are in sight of other leaders. No leader may be on the premises alone with a child or group of children.

Ensure that REGISTERS are being accurately kept at the beginning of every meeting with full home address and telephone number recorded for every child.

Unless you are qualified, call for the children's leader or C.P.O. for all FIRST AID needs.  A fully stocked first aid kit and accident report book are kept in the kltchen of the back hall.

Be conversant with the FIRE EVACUATION procedure.(contd.)

Guidelines For Leaders – contd.

Toileting: Most children should be able to cope for themselves and should be encouraged to do so. If there are any problems, male helpers should take the boys to the toilet and only female helpers can take the girls. Please report any such problems to the Children's leader or C.P.O. as soon as possible after the event.

At the end of the meeting ensure that every child in your care remains on the premises until a parent or other designated person collects them (unless the child is allowed home alone as signed for by their parents).

All accidents and behavioural incidents must be reported to the Children's leader or C.P.O. as soon as possible after the event.


If a child confides in a leader concerning abuse whether at home or at the church then the leader has several duties to care for that child. The leader must:

  • Listen carefully.
  • Treat the allegation seriously.
  • Keep calm.
  • Look at the child directly.
  • Do not promise confidentiality. Tell them someone else will have to   know.
  • Reassure the child.
  • Do not push for information.
  • Make notes after, giving times and dates and all the information you  have received and the conversation that took place.
  • Do not discuss this with anyone else.
  • Report this to the children's leader immediately (if it concerns the  children's leader, then report to the C.P.O.).

For the purpose of these documents a child is defined as a young person under the age

of 14 years old.


Under no circumstances should a church worker carry out their own investigations into an allegation or suspicion or abuse. The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse will do the following:

Concerns must be reported as soon as possible to the Children’s Leader and the Child Protection Officer (currently Rita Lewis), nominated by Giggs Hill Church 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.

Contact numbers:

Bromley Social Services (020 8461 7373 (between 8.30 am and 5 pm).                                           Out of hours emergency number - 0300 303 8671. 

Or email the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):

Bromley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the single point of contact for the various child protection and safeguarding services within Bromley, in partnership with the Council, the Police, and probation and health services. Its main aim is to ensure different organisations work together to deliver effective and focused services to young people and their families in the borough. 

If you are seriously concerned about a child's immediate safety, call 999 and ask for the police.

Advice should be sought from:

Safeguarding Children

For advice on the implementation of the URC Good Practice Guidelines for Safeguarding Children and Young People within Southern Synod, please contact:

Belinda Nielsen, Tel. , Email

For advice & support with particular safeguarding cases and more complex safeguarding issues within Southern Synod, please contact the Synod Safeguarding Link Person – children & young people:

Belinda Nielsen, Tel. , Email

CCPAS 24 hour helpline

The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service run a 24 hour helpline: Tel 0845 120 4550

Please note that out of office hours this helpline should only be used when a decision needs to be made about a safeguarding case which cannot wait until the next day.

The CPO may also be required by conditions of the Church Insurance Policy to immediately inform the Insurance Company. They may also be required, as part of their denominational policy to inform strategic personnel within the Denomination.

In the absence of the CPO, or if the suspicions in any way involve the Children's Leader or CPO, then the report should be made to the Pastor, Ian Burbridge.

Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above.

The Children’s Leader and CPO will accept that any information they may have in their possession will he shared in a strictly limited way only on a need-to-know basis. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance.

The role of the Children's Leader/ CPO is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass the information on to the Social Services Department, whose task is to investigate the matter under Section 47 of The Children’s Act 1989.

It is, of course, the right of any individual to make a direct referral to the child protection agencies or seek advice from CCPAS, although Giggs Hill Church hopes that the members of the church will use our procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the CPO/Children's Leader has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with them to the appropriateness of a referral, they are free to contact an outside agency directly.

We hope that by making this statement, Giggs Hill Church demonstrates the commitment of the church to effective child protection.

Safeguarding Adults

For advice and support with safeguarding adults within Southern Synod, please contact:

Synod Safeguarding link person(s) – adults:

Revd Colin Telfer, Tel. 01843 448705, Email

URC Safeguarding Officer

If the Southern Synod safeguarding personnel are unavailable and you need advice urgently, please contact the URC Safeguarding Officer:

Ioannis Athanasiou, Tel.  020 7520 2729, Email:

Fire Evacuation Procedure

All Leaders should make themselves acquainted with these procedures, and the location and operation of fire extinguishers/blankets and alarms: check at each meeting that extinguishers are in their correct places.

Should a fire start that is too fierce for extinguishers,


and call the fire brigade on 999 as soon as possible.

In both the hall and the church there are two exits. If there is clear knowledge as to the location of the fire, then take the exit furthest away from the fire. Leave everything and lead the people outside. Gather outside on the grass and move away from the building until a safe distance has been reached.  

If possible, inform Bromley Mind in the rear annexe. If not, advise the fire brigade of their presence.

Ensure everyone is out of the building. Count to check, and also ask the people gathered there if anyone is missing.                     

If someone is unaccounted for, inform the fire officers immediately. 

Try to maintain a calm and controlled aspect, as this will promote calm.

On no account re-enter the building, until given the all-clear by the fire brigade.