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Last updated 9th May 2024

Reporting a safeguarding concern

Help when you need it

Any safeguarding concerns in a parish should be brought to the attention of your local Parish Safeguarding Officer(s) (PSO) in the first instance, who can seek further advice from Cath Smith, the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (DSO) or Sophie Booth, the Assisstant Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (ADSO), as necessary. 

Safeguarding concerns in a school/universtity/prison/healthcare setting should be raised with the relevant organisation's Safeguarding team.

Please contact the Safeguarding Team with any queries or worries.

  • M: 01254503088
  • E:
  • P: Diocesan Offices, Clayton House, Walker Business Park, Blackburn, BB1 2QE

If you have a safeguarding emergency outside of these hours, please ring the social care emergency duty team in your area or if someone is in immediate danger please ring the police on 999.

Out of hours helpline: Thirty One Eight

The Diocese of Blackburn is partners with Thirtyone:eight in relation to Disclosure (i.e. DBS) services and accessing their safeguarding Helpline. For DBS related queries, please contact them on 03030 031111 option 1; Mon-Fri, 09am -5pm only)

For emergency safeguarding advice, when the DSO's are unavailable (due to being on holiday or other absence), you are now able to contact Thirtyone:eight who will offer emergency safeguarding cover via the Helpline (0303 003 1111). 

This helpline is available 5pm to 12am weekdays and at weekends, in addition to holiday periods.  The safeguarding helpline is closed between midnight and 7am. 

An Information Sharing Agreement between the two organisations will allow for the DSO to receive a copy of the advice Thirtyone:eight may offer the parish church/caller. For all policy related queries please refer to the Diocesan website for more information here

Parish websites and safeguarding information

ALL parishes must have safeguarding contact information accessible on their website homepage. 

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team are currently reviewing all websites to make sure we are fully compliant after a previous review a few years ago.

You can review the House of Bishops Guidance which can be found here and consider whether your website, social media presence and ‘A Church Near You’ page are in line with the most up to date guidance.

In particular, take note of page 14 of the guidance which says each parish must display:

  • A formal statement of adoption of the House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church: Safeguarding Policy Statement’. This should be signed on behalf of the PCC.
  • Information about how to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and her team; your Parish Safeguarding Officer and how to get help outside the church with child and adult safeguarding issues. *see below for more
  • Ensure that safeguarding arrangements are clearly visible on the front page of the parish website without having to scroll to the bottom or otherwise hunt for it. Clearly displayed means exactly that - ideally as a heading at the top. 
  • Your safeguarding information should include messaging that, If you have immediate concerns for someone’s safety, contact the police on 999 and your local authority’s children or adult social care services.

* This should include your Parish Safeguarding Officer contact information/your point of contact within the church for safeguarding at the top of the page.

  • Diocesan safeguarding contact information: Email:  Telephone: 01254 503088.
  • Out of hours safeguarding contact Thirtyone: Eight Telephone: 0303 003 1111.
  • Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Catherine Smith 07711485170
  • Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Sophie Booth 07468 971759
  • Safeguarding Trainer, Andrea Richards 07484 073146

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the safeguarding team using

Survivor Support Services

A list of organisations offering support to survivors is available to download here.

Interim Support Scheme

The Archbishops’ Council has established an Interim Support Scheme to improve the Church’s response to current and non-current survivors of Church-related abuse.

This Scheme is part of the Church’s recognition that harm has been caused by both that abuse itself, and the Church’s responses to survivors. This Scheme is not intended to provide compensation or restitution to survivors, nor is it a redress scheme; this is being developed separately by the Church.

The Interim Support Scheme is intended to give immediate help and support to survivors whose life circumstances are significantly affected by the abuse suffered, and the response to it and is designed to address immediate and urgent needs that help in the short-term to put the survivor’s life back on track.

How to apply

Please send the following to

A full list of supporting documents including a How To Guide can be found here.

Confidentiality Declaration

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team has a secure electronic system for retaining any safeguarding information we receive. 

Access to the information is restricted to those in the team who are working on the concern and complies to our privacy commitment under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We may, on occasions, share this information with statutory organisations to comply with our obligations under national legislation.   

Where it is necessary for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will share information with others involved in safeguarding within the church, but we will inform you of our intention to do so.  Further information can be obtained from the Safeguarding team upon request.