At the parishes of Byker, Heaton, and Walker, safeguarding is of the utmost importance to us. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.

It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

What is Safeguarding

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. We believe therefore that all people should be valued, supported, and protected 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 take all reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for all which promotes and supports their wellbeing. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or adults at risk and responding robustly where concerns arise.

Safeguarding Children & Adults

Safeguarding Children

The term ‘child’ is used to include all children and young people up to the age of 18. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
– Protecting children from maltreatment
– Preventing impairment of children’s health and development
– Ensuring that children are growing up with safe and effective care

Enabling children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.The main Government guidance setting out duties and responsibilities for all agencies and organisations who work with Children and Families is ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018′. It recognises that churches provide a wide range of services for children; and that religious leaders, staff and volunteers have an important role in safeguarding and supporting children and families.

Children may be in need of protection from abuse or maltreatment in their own home or in other environments including the church itself. Wherever a child is at risk or concerns are raised about a child, all adults have a duty to act to safeguard that child and promote his or her welfare. The need to safeguard children is not confined to any particular age group or groups in the community and all concerns should be responded to equally, always bearing in mind that the welfare of the child is paramount.

In all research and in reviews where a child has died or been seriously injured as a result of abuse, the same messages to all organisations come back time and again – namely, the importance of adults responding promptly to concerns, listening to children with respect and most importantly, communicating effectively with one another within and between organisations and agencies.

Safeguarding Adults

In the same way arrangements must be in place to respond to concerns about any form of abuse or maltreatment of an adult at risk.  Statutory safeguarding duties apply to an adult who meets the following criteria:
– Has needs for care and support (whether or not a local authority is meeting any of these needs
– Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
– As a result of these care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

Referring Allegations

If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.

If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to the safeguarding officefor the Diocese. Details can be found below of the relavent contact numbers

Meriel Anderson

Meriel Anderson

Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle Safeguarding

Meriel Anderson

07472 068014

Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency


Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA)

0207 901 1920

Parish Safeguarding Representatives

Parish Safeguarding Representatives


The Parish safeguarding representatives are

St. Anthony’s – Christine Dixon
St. Lawrence’s – Paul Atkinson
St. Teresa’s – Jean Potts

0191 265 5290


DBS for volunteers

Some roles will be working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults; and will therefore require volunteers to undergo a DBS check before they undertake that role. The Parish Safeguarding Rep will discuss your role with you, and decide if you need a DBS check.

There are different levels of DBS checks depending on your role – this can be to checking you for a role with a child, a role with an adult, or both. Legally we can only check you for the role you are undertaking. Here is a list of the Roles eligible for a DBS certificate.