The Association takes safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. We have a dedicated Safeguarding Officer, and a regularly updated Safeguarding Policy (policy and other essential documents available to download below).
The parent or guardian of each young ringer must complete the Permission to Ring Church Bells form and provide this to the organiser of the practice (e.g. the tower captain, district secretary or practice coordinator). The CCCBR Good Practice Guide (Appendix C) should be displayed in all towers.
Anyone who regularly teaches, trains or supervises children must have a DBS check done by the parish safeguarding officer (usually a member of the PCC). Ringers in general supporting roles or who only undertake one-off teaching/deputising do not need DBS checks. The DBS check can be automatically updated or renewed every five years. The person responsible for safeguarding in each tower (who must be DBS-checked) must attend a Diocesan training update session every three years.
So much of safeguarding is really just good practice: always obtain written parental consent to teach children and ensure that two adults are present (preferably one male and one female) when children are present. Towers are also advised to keep an attendance register, just so you can look back to see who was present at any ringing occasion.
The Central Council of Church Bell ringers have published several helpful documents, including a general Safeguarding Guidance document. We recommend that each tower keeps a copy of this in the ringing chamber.
Safeguarding advice for young ringers online
In general bellringers are lovely people but very rarely things can go wrong. To help you stay safe when ringing online:
- When you are going to a practice make sure there is someone you know and trust there.
- If someone says something inappropriate use the “Report Behaviour” link on Ringing Room and tell an adult you trust (mum or dad, tower captain or another family member).
- You can take screenshots to keep a record of conversations.
- If you need more help or don’t know who to talk to, go to cccbr.org.uk/safeguarding.