All people are made by God and in his image. We at Bessels Green affirm that this is so, whether that person is young or old. All are loved and valued by our Father in heaven and we seek to reflect this in our relationships with one another and all those with whom we come into contact. 

As the church family at BGBC we commit ourselves to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk, and ensuring their wellbeing in the life of this church.

Everyone who participates in the life of the church has a role to play in promoting a safer church for all. 

BGBC follows the Baptist Union Excellence in Safeguarding guidance; our policies and procedures can be found at BGBC SAFEGUARDING POLICY

If you have any worries or concerns about yourself or another person that may be being harmed or is at risk of harm, we will do our best to help you. If you have any concerns that an individual working or volunteering at BGBC may be acting inappropriately or harming another we want to know. 

If a child, young person or adult is in immediate need of protection call the police on 999. If you can’t speak, press 55.


WHO TO CONTACT? – external organisation

We at BGBC are wholly committed to the best of our ability to:

  • safeguarding and protecting all children, young people, and adults at risk;
  • carefully selecting and training paid and voluntary staff who might come into contact with children or adults at risk, and using the Disclosure and Barring Service, together with other resources, to verify their suitability;
  • responding without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed;
  • cooperating fully with the police, local authority and other appropriate statutory bodies relevant to an investigation;
  • ministering appropriately to anyone, child or adult, who has experienced abuse;
  • extending pastoral care to those known to have offended against children, adults or adults at risk while ensuring that children and adults are protected;
  • challenging any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust;
  • providing a pastoral ministry of care and nurture for all children and all
  • establishing a safe, caring community which provides a loving environment
    with a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ about the dangers of abuse;
  • regardless of faith, all children, young people and adults should be treated with care, dignity and compassion so that whatever their gender, race or sexual orientation they are reassured that they are loved, as human beings created in God’s image. In this knowledge they and those supporting them will be treated with tact, empathy and respect.

What to do if you suspect abuse or someone makes a disclosure of abuse to you?-Quick guides


If you are a member you can access our personal details on Churchsuite.

If you would like to talk to somone on the phone please call the church office: 01732 454921

Safeguarding team

Alison Ovens

Designated Persons for Safeguarding

Contact – Alison Ovens

Charlie Ingram

Ministry Team

Contact – Charlie Ingram

Jessica Jameison

Designated Persons for Safeguarding

Contact – Jessica Jameison

Andy Potter

Minstry Team

Contact – Andy Potter

Alison Riches


Contact – Alison Riches

Josh Amott

Minstry Team

Contact – Josh Amott /a>

WHO TO CONTACT?- External Organisations

Agencies and organisations and that can help:



  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Childline: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)
  • ONRECORD appRecord your story/evidence here either verbally or typed. This can be vital to record your recollection of events, before they are potentially altered by recounting them to others. On record has advice about record keeping where the quality of your evidence is vital. The ONRECORD app is free to download and use, with additional features that can be added by subscription.

Quick Guides- Overview

What to do if abuse is suspected or disclosed

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child, adult or adult at risk. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and adults may be abused in a range of settings, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. There are many ways in which people suffer abuse. 

Everyone has their part to play in helping to safeguard children and adults at risk within the life of the church:

  • If the behaviour of a child, adult or adult at risk gives any cause for concern
  • If an allegation is made in any context about a child, adult or adult at risk being harmed
  • If the behaviour of any individual towards children, adult or adults at risk causes concern

1. How do I hear suspected abuse (recive a disclosure)?

Below is a helpful table on how to behave and respond when a child, young person or adult discloses something to you.

Firstly, if someone asks to speak to you privately:

  • Find somewhere to speak privately but in view of other people
  • Try to sit slightly to one side or beside the person disclosing to put them more at easy.
  • Keep physical contact to a minimum – arm around the shoulder, or hug if they give permission is okay.

2. How do I report suspected abuse?

Responding to concerns

When there are concerns that a child, young person or adult is being abused, the following process must be followed:


It is much less clear who might be at risk. In the past we have talked about vulnerable adults and thought of those with all types of disabilities or who are elderly. However, ask any adult who has been scammed via the internet and most will say – ‘I thought I was more savvy than that’.

There may be no outward sign that an adult has experienced something in their life that might put them at risk of abuse or who is currently experiencing abuse.

The Care Act 2014 provides helpful guidance on situations involving adults:

“If the adult has the mental capacity to make informed decisions about their safety and
they do not want any action to be taken, this does not preclude the sharing of information with
relevant professional colleagues. This is to enable professionals to assess the risk of harm
and to be confident that the adult is not being unduly influenced, coerced or intimidated and
is aware of all the options. This will also enable professionals to check the safety and validity
of decisions made. It is good practice to inform the adult that this action is being taken
unless doing so would increase the risk of harm”.

BGBC Safeguarding Incident Report Form can be found here

More information and advice can be found in Section 2.1.2 Responding to Concerns of BGBC Safeguarding policy

3. Supporting the victims of abuse

The church’s role in responding to those who have experienced abuse is in supporting the individual to express what they want to happen. This is not always easy or simple and the needs of the individual may change over time. Revd Dr Marie Fortune has identified seven essential elements to the process of recovery for those who have experienced abuse:

It is important for the church to establish a culture and environment where people are able to express any fears, anxieties and concerns they have without the fear of ridicule, rejection or any retribution. Relationships should be developed where people can communicate about harm or abuse they have experienced. 

Once someone has disclosed about abuse they have experienced, they are likely to feel nervous and fearful. They may also feel some relief that at last some things are now out in the open. They should continue to receive support and the opportunities to be able to disclose at their own pace any harm or abuse which they have experienced. They may need to revisit their story time and again, sometimes adding more details in the retelling. 

Communicate with them in ways that take account of the stress and distress they may be experiencing. However, if their behaviour and condition give cause for concern, immediately seek advice from the appropriate people and organisations.

Sample Reporting form

BGBC Safeguarding policy


Understanding, Recognising and Responding to Abuse

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a person including a child, adult or adult at risk. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children, adults and adults at risk may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or a child or children. 

There are many different ways in which people suffer abuse. The list below is, sadly, not exhaustive.

Type of abuseChildAdult at risk
PhysicalActual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury to a child.To inflict pain, physical injury or suffering to an adult at risk.
EmotionalThe persistent, emotional, ill treatment of a child that affects their emotional and behavioural development.  It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless and unloved, inadequate, or that they are given responsibilities beyond their years.The use of threats, fear or power gained by another adult’s position, to invalidate the person’s independent wishes. Such behaviour can create very real emotional and psychological distress. All forms of abuse have an emotional component.
SexualInvolves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  This includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.Any non-consenting sexual act or behaviour.

No one should enter into a sexual relationship with someone for whom they have pastoral responsibility or hold a position of trust. 
NeglectWhere adults fail to care for children and protect them from danger, seriously impairing health and development.A person’s wellbeing is impaired and their care needs are not met. Neglect can be deliberate or can occur as a result of not understanding what someone’s needs are.
Type of AbuseAdditional Definitions
FinancialThe inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions.
SpiritualThe inappropriate use of religious belief or practice; coercion and control of one individual by another in a spiritual context; the abuse of trust by someone in a position of spiritual authority (e.g. minister). The person experiences spiritual abuse as a deeply emotional personal attack.
DiscriminationThe inappropriate treatment of a person because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality or disability.
InstitutionalThe mistreatment or abuse of a person by a regime or individuals within an institution. It can occur through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect, or poor professional practice or ill-treatment. The church as an institution is not exempt from perpetrating institutional abuse.
Domestic AbuseDomestic abuse is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between persons aged 16 or above who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members. It can affect anybody regardless of their age, gender, sexuality or social status. 
Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual or psychological, and whatever form it takes, it is rarely a one-off incident. Usually there is a pattern of abusive, coercive and controlling behaviour where an abuser seeks to exert power over their family member or partner. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 identifies children who see, hear or experience the effects of domestic abuse as victims in their own right.  
Online abuseThe use of information technology (email, mobile phones, websites, social media, instant messaging, chatrooms, etc.) to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner.
The Online Safety Bill, 2021, introduces new rules for internet search engines and firms who host user-generated content, i.e. those which allow users to post their own content online or interact with each other. Those platforms which fail to comply with the rules could face penalties of up to 10% of their revenue, and in the most serious cases some may even be barred from operating. 
Self-harmSelf-harm is the intentional damage or injury to a person’s own body. It is used as a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress. An individual may also be neglecting themselves, which can result in harm to themselves.
Mate crime‘Mate crime’ is when people (particularly those with learning disabilities) are befriended by members of the community, who go on to exploit and take advantage of them.
Modern SlaveryModern slavery is the practice of treating people as property; it includes bonded labour, child labour, sex slavery and trafficking. In the UK we see examples of this through County Lines, Child Sexual Exploitation and forced labour.
Human TraffickingHuman trafficking is when people are bought and sold for financial gain and/or abuse. Men, women and children can be trafficked, both within their own countries and over international borders. The traffickers will trick, coerce, lure or force these vulnerable individuals into sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime, domestic servitude or even the sale of organs and human sacrifice.
RadicalisationThe radicalisation of individuals is the process by which people come to support any form of extremism and, in some cases, join terrorist groups. Some individuals are more vulnerable to the risk of being groomed into terrorism than others.
Honour / Forced MarriageAn honour marriage / forced marriage is when one or both of the spouses do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage. There may be physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure exerted in order to make the marriage go ahead. The motivation may include the desire to control unwanted behaviour or sexuality.
Female Genital MutilationFemale genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). FGM is a cultural practice common around the world and is largely performed on girls aged between 10 and 18. Performing acts of FGM is illegal in the UK as is arranging for a child to travel abroad for FGM to be carried out.
Peer-on-Peer AbusePeer-on-peer abuse is where sexual abuse takes place between children of a similar age or stage of development. 

Child on Child Abuse
Child on Child abuse is when a child abuses another child of any age or stage of development
Historic/ Past AbuseHistoric abuse is the term used to describe disclosures of abuse that were perpetrated in the past. Many people who have experienced abuse don’t tell anyone what happened until years later, with around one third of people abused in childhood waiting until adulthood before they share their experience.

Whilst it is not possible to be prescriptive about the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, the following list sets out some of the indicators which might be suggestive of abuse:

  • unexplained injuries on areas of the body not usually prone to such injuries
  • an injury that has not been treated/received medical attention
  • an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
  • a child or adult at risk discloses behaviour that is harmful to them
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or mood (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden bursts of temper)
  • inappropriate sexual awareness in children
  • signs of neglect, such as under-nourished, untreated illnesses, inadequate care

It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive and the presence of
one or more indicators is not in itself proof that abuse is actually taking place.
It is also important to remember that there might be other reasons why most of the above are occurring