National Safeguarding Awards for UCKG HelpCentre Childcare Officers

child safeguarding, Finsbury Park, independent Christian charity, Metropolitan Police Service, North London, Sexual abuse, Sexual assault,

Wednesday 19th October 2011

Senior child protection officer Jennifer Mensah and former child protection officer Sherene Changoo, from the UCKG HelpCentre’s national headquarters in Finsbury Park, North London, have received Community Ambassador Awards from CCPAS, the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service. Both Sherene and Jennifer were presented with framed certificates by Simon Bass, CEO of CCPAS on Saturday 15 October at an award ceremony in the Resource Centre, Holloway Road, London N7.

The awards were made under the Community Champion Awards scheme launched earlier this year. The scheme was created to recognise the valuable contribution to child safety made by individuals and organisations, recognising that an important part of the solution to combating child abuse is for communities to take a greater responsibility for safeguarding.

Jennifer and Sherene were recognised for their outstanding contribution in facilitating one of the largest training seminars CCPAS has ever conducted, which formed part of the UCKG HelpCentre’s ongoing commitment to delivering exemplary safeguarding. A total of 814 delegates comprising pastors, bishops and volunteers from UCKG HelpCentres all over the UK, all CRB checked, attended the briefing in 2010.

Bob Pull, CCPAS’s communities consultant, who previously served in Metropolitan Police where he was a specialist in child abuse investigations, commended their achievements saying: “Jennifer and Sherene effectively raised the profile of child safeguarding to a national level within their denomination. Their enthusiasm, planning skills and professionalism shone through.”

Bishop Celso Junior who heads the UCKG HelpCentre in the UK added: “Jennifer and Sherene are to be congratulated on their excellent achievement in becoming Community Ambassadors under CCPAS’s award scheme. Their work emphasises the importance we place on protecting children and vulnerable adults and our commitment to being an exemplar in this vital area.”

The briefing at the UCKG HelpCentre followed CCPAS’s proven Facing the Unthinkable format. It addressed the question: what is abuse? And went on to advise on how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, how to contact the statutory authorities (police and children’s social services), and how to safely work with children and young people. The important role churches can play in protecting children from abuse and harm was highlighted, along with supporting survivors of abuse.

CCPAS has run about 2,000 Facing the Unthinkable seminars throughout the UK over the past 20 years. They are specially designed for churches and other organisations working with children and young people and aim to achieve a greater understanding of abuse. This includes where it happens and how it can be prevented by adopting safer

working practices. The ultimate aim is to develop a more confident approach to working with children and young people.

ENDS

Notes to editors 

Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) is the UK’s only independent Christian charity providing professional advice, disclosure checks, training and support in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, and for those affected by abuse. Its award scheme is supported by Trust for London that has funded CCPAS, AFRUCA (Africans United against Child Abuse), the Victoria Climbie Foundation and the Congolese Family Centre in a major preventative project helping them to tackle child abuse.

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are 39 UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.

UCKG’s child protection policy was developed in conjunction with the Islington Area Child Protection Committee, which comprises representatives of all major child welfare organisations in the borough.

UCKG is not an African church; however its congregations include many people of African and Caribbean descent.  It is totally committed to preventing and combating all child abuse including any that is linked to practices that are established in those areas and it consistently speaks out against them.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckgnew.org or call 020 7686 6033.

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