What is Safeguarding and why is it so important to the Church?

Every human being has a value and dignity which we, as Catholics, acknowledge, as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in His own image and likeness. This implies a duty to value all people and, therefore, to support them and protect them from harm. In the Catholic Church, this is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults; supporting families under stress; caring for those hurt by abuse in the past; ministering to and managing those who have caused harm. It is because of these varied ministries that we need to provide a safe environment for all, which promotes and supports their well being. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and responding robustly where concerns arise.

The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth 

At the Diocesan Safeguarding home page you find much more information including how Safeguarding works in the Diocese, who is responsible for what, becoming a volunteer and what to do if you think a vulnerable person is at risk or is being abused.  It also has links to many other related external websites. Examples of Roles which require volunteers to be DBS checked and trained are Children’s Liturgy, Catechist, Adult Altar Server, Sacristan, Care Group Member, Transport Provider, Visiting Eucharistic Minister, Youth Worker. There are many others.

Your local Safeguarding Representative and Diocesan Co-ordinator

Each parish has a Safeguarding Minister who is responsible for: making sure the Parish is aware of the importance of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; promoting good and safe practice, including what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour; with their Parish Priest and the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Officer decide how to administer the National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures within the Parish. Sacred Heart’s Parish Representative is Maggie Wood.  

For further information, please contact Maggie at safeguardinghook@gmail.com

The Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator, whose responsibilities are set out on the Diocesan website, is Ruth Attfield.  

For further information, please contact her at: rattfield@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or by telephone on:  02392 816396 or 07554 427064.

If you would like to volunteer for a role which requires a DBS check, you can download a Volunteer application form and information about the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly CRB) process and Safeguarding Training.  If you have any queries about any aspect of Safeguarding or the DBS application process, or have difficulty accessing the aforementioned documents please contact Maggie Wood (see above)

Safeguarding Training

Please go to the Diocesan website to see the Training Diary.   If you wish to enrol onto a forthcoming session, or you are unsure whether you are required to attend a Child Protection, Vulnerable Adult or Refresher input, please contact Maggie Wood.

E-learning Package:

The NCSC (National Catholic Safeguarding Commission) has provided an e-learning package designed to raise awareness of safeguarding matters throughout the Catholic Community in England and Wales.  To access the programmes please follow these instructions.

1. Email elearning@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk to register your interest.
2. Your email should contain your name, email address, the name of your parish/order/congregation, and your role. For example: Priest, Member of the Religious, Safeguarding Representative, Youth Worker, Teacher, SVP or Other Volunteers, Parent/Grandparent/Guardian, or Other.
3. On receipt of your email the safeguarding administrator will register your email address with EduCare.
4. You will receive a Welcome Email from EduCare where you will set your password.
5. You will then have instant access to the training programmes.


For more information on Sacred Heart Hook’s Safeguarding – please contact Maggie Wood at safeguardinghook@gmail.com