Safeguarding

The Diocese of Durham takes the safeguarding of children, young people and adults very seriously. Safeguarding is the action the Church takes to promote a safer culture. 

This means we will promote the welfare of children, young people and adults. We work to prevent abuse from occurring, seek to protect those that are at risk of being abused and respond well to those that have been abused. 

We will take care to identify where a person may present a risk to others, and offer support to them whilst taking steps to mitigate such risks.

Read the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy

More useful safeguarding documents

Click here for all of the Church of England’s latest safeguarding policy and practice guidance.

Reporting Abuse

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

If you do not think there is a risk of immediate danger, but you are concerned that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm, or you want to report abuse whether it is currently happening or happened some time ago, do not hesitate to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for advice and support. 

The Diocese of Durham is committed to responding to safeguarding concerns, providing advice, and supporting survivors. We are not able to offer an emergency or 24-hour response. 

Contact details for the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser:

Beth Miller - Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Address: Cuthbert House, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY
Email: beth@bethmillerisw.co.uk | beth.miller@durham.anglican.org
Mobile: 07968034075
or contact your local police force by dialling 101 or your local children’s or adult services.

Support for survivors and victims

The Diocese of Durham aims to provide caring, practical and helpful support for all victims and survivors. We recognise that reporting abuse may be very difficult and distressing. Durham Diocese aims to deal with any contact made by a survivor/victim of abuse in a church-related context with empathy and integrity. If you need help and support then the information below can help.

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, Church in Wales or the Catholic Church of England and Wales. 

Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates, who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church.

The service is for those who may have experienced any form of abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour.

Find out how to access support here.

Finding support

Contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser:

Beth Miller - Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Address: Cuthbert House, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY
Email: beth@bethmillerisw.co.uk | beth.miller@durham.anglican.org
Mobile: 07968034075

As the Safeguarding Adviser is not available 24 hours a day. Here are the contact details of other agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5 pm)
  • NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood) 0808 801 0331 (Monday – Thursday 10am – 9pm Friday 10am – 6pm) or email support@napac.org.uk
  • The Survivors Trust: 08088 010818 (free 7 day a week helpline) or email helpline@thesurvivorstrust.org 

Complaints about how a safeguarding matter has been dealt with

If you are not happy about how a safeguarding matter has been dealt with and you cannot resolve the issue or concern with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, you should, in the first instance, contact the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group:

Mark Gurney – (Independent Chair of Safeguarding Advisory Panel)
Address: Cuthbert House, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY

You may also report any concerns using the Diocese’s Whistleblowing policy.
 

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