At Chailey Free Church we take the safety and well being of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. 

Below are our Safeguarding policy and statement.

Chailey Free Church

Safeguarding Policy


Section 1

Details of the place of worship / organisation


Name of Place of Worship / Organisation:            Chailey Free Church

Address:                                                                  South Common, South Chailey, BN8 4AN

Tel No:                                                                     01273 890114

General Email address:                              


Senior Leader Names                                               David Caughley


Roger Nutley


Peter Cottingham

Senior Leader Contact Telephone/Email as above


Safeguarding Coordinator Name:      Ann Hill

Safeguarding Coordinator Contact Email:


Membership of Denomination/Organisation:        FIEC



Insurance Company:                                               Public Liability Insurance with

ANSVAR Insurance



The following is a brief description of our place of worship / organisation and the type of work / activities we undertake with children and adults who have care and support needs:


The Church runs a number of activities. We have regular Sunday services, prayer group,  Home groups for bible study and Messy Church (after-school activities for parents and children from the local community.) From time to time we also run special one-off events like barbeques, games nights, breakfasts and afternoon teas.


Our commitment


As a Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults.  We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.  We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.  We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse.   They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.”  As a Leadership we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance.  We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding. 


The policy and any attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by thirtyone:eight.


The Leadership undertakes to:

Section 2



Understanding abuse and neglect


Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.


In order to safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19:

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Detailed definitions, and signs and indicators of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included in our  policy. 


Safer recruitment


The Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment.  This includes ensuring that:



Safeguarding training

The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone.  All our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.

The Leadership will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.

Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct 

As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers have been issued with a code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs.


Section 3

Practice Guidelines

As an organisation / place of worship working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusation.


As well as a general code of conduct for workers we also have specific good practice guidelines for every activity we are involved in and these are attached or in the appendices.


Working in Partnership


The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.


We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement will have their own policy that meets thirtyone:eight’s safeguarding standards.


We believe good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.



Section 4

Responding to allegations of abuse


Under no circumstances should a volunteer or worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse.  Follow procedures as below:


·  Documenting a concern

The worker or volunteer should make a report of the concern in the following way:

Make notes as soon as possible (preferably within one hour of the person talking) including a description of any injury, its size, and if possible use the Welfare Concern Form or else a drawing of its location and shape on the child's body.  write down exactly what has been said, when it was said, what was said in reply and what was happening immediately beforehand (e.g. a description of an activity).

Write down dates and times of these events and when the record was made.

Write down any action taken and keep all handwritten notes even if subsequently typed up.

These notes should be passed to the safeguarding co-ordinator to assist them should the matter need to be referred to the statutory agencies such as Adult or Children's Social Services or the police.

Workers need to share concerns with the co-ordinators as well as clear allegations made by, or about, children, young people and adults at risk.  Sharing 'gut feelings' at an early stage, may assist in helping those who need it.

Remember someone becoming quiet and withdrawn does not automatically mean that they are being harmed. By sharing your concern about them with your safeguarding co-ordinator, it will enable you to discuss ways of asking 'open questions' which may clarify their worries.

Questions such as 'you seem a bit quiet today, can you tell me about it?' will enable them to talk to you (if they wish) and let them know you are interested in them.

The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to:

Name: Ann Hill (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator")

Tel: c/o 01273 890114

Email (preferred):

The above is nominated by the Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.


In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to:

Name: Jan Cottingham (hereafter the "Deputy")

Tel: c/o 01273 890114

Email (preferred):


If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to:

thirtyone:eight PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ.

Tel: 0303 003 1111. 

Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.


·      The Safeguarding Co-ordinator should contact the appropriate agency or they may first ring the thirtyone:eight helpline for advice.  They should then contact social services in the area the child or adult lives.


Name of local authority: East Sussex County Council


Children’s Social Services

Tel: 01323 464222

Out of hours Tel: 01323 464222

Website Address:


Adult Social Services

Tel: 0345 6080191

Out of hours Tel: 0345 6080191

Website Address:


Police Protection Team Tel: 999 for emergencies, or 101 for non-urgent problems.


·  The Safeguarding Co-ordinator may need to inform others depending on the circumstances and/or nature of the concern


·  Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.


·  Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from thirtyone:eight.


·  The Leadership will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.


·  It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from thirtyone:eight, although the Leadership hope that members of the place of worship / organisation will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct.  We hope by making this statement that the Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.


The role of the safeguarding co-ordinator/ deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.


Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:


Allegations of physical injury, neglect or emotional abuse.

If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:








Allegations of sexual abuse


In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:





Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:

Suspicions or allegations of abuse or harm including; physical, sexual, organisational, financial, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, forced marriage, modern slavery, domestic abuse.


If there is concern about any of the above, Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:



If there is a concern regarding spiritual abuse, Safeguarding Co-ordinator will:

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people

If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will:

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with adults with care and support needs


The safeguarding co-ordinator will:




The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide not the church.


Section 5

Pastoral Care


Supporting those affected by abuse


The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship/organisation.


Working with offenders and those who may pose a risk


When someone attending the place of worship / organisation is known to have abused children, is under investigation, or is known to be a risk to adults with care and support needs; the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults with care and support needs, set boundaries for that person, which they will be expected to keep. These boundaries will be based on an appropriate risk assessment and through consultation with appropriate parties.









Adoption of the policy


This policy was agreed by the leadership and will be reviewed annually on: March 2025


Signed by:    D.J. Caughley                               Position: Chairman


Signed by:    Ann Hill                                   Position: Safeguarding Coordinator


Date: 03/03/2024


A copy of this policy is also lodged with: