Here at Keynsham Elim our safeguarding officers are Sarah Morton and Allan Spencer.
The church Leadership Team at Elim Keynsham are fully committed to creating a healthy vibrant church which is safe for all. As such we recognise ways in which children and adults can be at risk of harm or abuse and so endeavour to create a culture that minimises opportunities for abuse to occur. This requires having a rigorous Safeguarding policy in place that sets out clearly defined principles, standards and guidelines to keep everyone safe. This includes procedures for reporting suspicions or allegations of abuse as well as detailing practical guidance for safer recruitment and the requirement church wide for Safeguarding training and supervision for all individuals working with children, young people and adults at risk.
Children rely on adults to protect them and here at Keynsham Elim through our regular Sunday morning ‘Epic’ children’s work we seek to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment where all our children are encouraged to reach their full potential. Similarly, within our wider church services both at church and on-line and weekly ‘Friendship Hour’ meetings we have created a caring and responsive environment where adults who may require additional support due to their vulnerability, whether that is permanent or temporary, are also appropriately protected. We are very much aware that within our church there are relationships of trust which flourish best within a healthy environment within which there is openness, transparency and accountability.
As part of our wider mission we also seek to prepare and equip both young people and adults not only for ministry within our local church but also for overseas mission, especially through our work alongside families and children in parts of eastern Europe where there continues to be much need.
Matters relating to Safeguarding within our church are governed by the overarching Elim National Safeguarding Policy. In addition, as necessary we also liaise closely with our own National Safeguarding Coordinator, on both procedural matters and for any necessary advice and guidance. In addition Keynsham Elim has developed a good and purposeful relationship with the BaNES appointed LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) for both any formal Safeguarding matters that should arise or on occasions when we seek local guidance. Where a Safeguarding matter involves a church worker whether paid or voluntary, then such a response may include initiating complaints or disciplinary procedures in addition to following the prescribed National Safeguarding protocols.
Along with the appropriate screening of our key workers via the National DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) we also ensure that all church workers in contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults receive bi-annual Safeguarding training in matters pertinent to their roles and responsibilities.
Keynsham Elim consider the health, welfare and wellbeing of all those they are in contact with as being of the highest importance and we will continue to ensure that all peoples regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, colour disability or social standing are treated with the utmost care and love, befitting a fellowship where its people are always its most precious asset.
Adult and Children’s Safeguarding Coordinator