I was honored to have chaired  a Conference on safeguarding, child protection and benefits of registering as a charity  organised by Burnley & Pendle Friends League in association with the Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI)  at the St Luke’s Parish Hall, St James Street, Brierfield, Lancashire, BB9 5JW.

Protecting and safeguarding children in our faith and voluntary organisations is paramount and a key concern for parents, teachers, volunteers, community and faith groups. We all have an important role to play and ensure we keep our children safe from any form of harm.

Professional Experts in the field, spoke and led workshops on child protection, safeguarding, strengthening leadership within faith and voluntary organisations including highlighting legal requirements and registration as charity with the Charity Commission.

The conference was a huge success as it was well attended. The venue was packed with male and female representatives and practitioners from faith and voluntary organisation from Burnley and Pendle.

The conference was opened by the Right Honourable Minister for Rail, Andrew Stephenson MP for Pendle with his remarks stressing the importance of the subjects being covered.

Professional experts from Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI), Muzahid Khan, Fakrul Choudhary and Javed Bashir led the workshops and imparted valuable information on safeguarding and child protection. While Colette Bennet, the Charity Commission’s faith charities outreach officer, explained the legal requirement and benefits of registration as a charity.

Safeguarding is a series of measures to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people — especially children, young people and vulnerable adults — to live free from abuse, harm and neglect and imposes duties on individuals and organisations under the following Acts of Parliament.

*The Children Act 1989 (as amended).
* The Children and Social Work Act 2017.
* The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
* Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
* Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019.

All attendees received a certificate on safeguarding.

The SFI have offered free workshops and training to any faith or voluntary organisation in Burnley and Pendle which includes: an organisational health check, developing a bespoke  action plan, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at risk, emergency pediatric first aid, health and safety training, effective governance and risk management, fundraising and writing effective funding bids, human resources, selection and recruitment, tackling domestic abuse, faith supplementary school teacher training, managing behaviour in the class room, fire risk and health and safety assessment, DBS checks and help with registering as a charity.

Any voluntary or faith organisation interested in any of the training offered free can contact SFI directly.

By  Mozaquir Ali
Conference Chair  

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