Patrinne Irvine - Safeguarding Sponsor Northern Ireland

Safeguarding in the Irish Mission

I was appointed Designated safeguarding officer for Belfast church in Sept 2013 and I am into my 2nd three year term for Safeguarding officer for the Northern Irish mission churches.

The BUC has given us guidelines to follow in their document.

Keeping Our Church Family Safe

I have received training from various organisations including Thirtyone :8 and Volunteer Now to equip me for the role.

I have provided training for those that need it and I also prepare the forms for vetting through Access N.I I use our umbrella body Volunteer Now to process the forms. I try to go around the various churches and to have meetings with parents to make them aware of the dangers especially online.

Its important that they are aware that we as a church do our best to make the church as safe as we possibly can whilst their children or vulnerable adults are in our care. It is has also been pointed out to parents that in between and before and after church services looking after and caring for their children is their responsibility

Our leaders and teachers are very aware of their roles and they are very good at putting the safeguarding needs of children and young adults to the fore.

In my opinion the most important principle of Safeguarding is prevention, as the saying goes "Prevention is better than cure" We try to protect those in our care from five main categories of child abuse, Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse, Neglect, and Spiritual abuse.

Should you have any queries/issues in relation to Safeguardinging please feel free to get in touch

Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves for the rights of all those who are destitute.Speak up and judge fairly the rights of the poor and needy”.This is the mission God calls us to do.