On Saturday 7th May we held our first Parish Safeguarding Representatives Conference since before the pandemic.  We had 50 Reps from throughout the diocese present.

Sr Damien Cunningham started the day with a beautiful opening prayer.

We had a guest speaker from South West Grid for Learning who delivered a presentation regarding online safety.  It helped to bring everyone up to date on current issues relating to keeping safe online – both adults and also our young people.

We attended Mass at Buckfast Abbey at midday, and then shared lunch together.

In the afternoon Bob Brown, the Safeguarding Coordinator updated everyone on national and strategic issues regarding safeguarding.  Sophie Scagell, the Survivor Support and Communications Caseworker provided an overview on the work she has completed since being appointed at the end of last year.  Annette Moody-Burkinshaw, the Parish Safeguarding Caseworker ran a Q&A session addressing Rep issues, followed by Rob Kingdon, the Training Caseworker, who informed the attendees of training programme developments and availability.

Fr Mark Skelton, the Clergy Lead for Safeguarding, and Geraldine Nosowska, the Vice Chair of the Trustee’s Safeguarding Subcommittee thanked all of the Parish Safeguarding Representatives for their commitment and hard work in this vital role in their parish communities.

Fr Mark Skelton led us in prayer to conclude the day.

We are very appreciative of the work that our Parish Safeguarding Representatives do to make our communities safe spaces for all, some of whom have been volunteering for more than 15 years.