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Annual Safeguarding Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer my annual letter on Safeguarding in the Diocese of Motherwell.

An important development in recent months has been the establishment of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, the independent body which now has responsibility to oversee the work of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church in Scotland. The Agency is chaired by Lady Rita Rae KC and there are by five other directors on the Board. Mr Paul Donaldson has been employed as Director of Safeguarding and Helena Rameckers as Director of Safeguarding Training. We wish both the Board and the Staff well and look forward to benefitting from their guidance as we continue to develop the Safeguarding Service here in the Diocese of Motherwell.

We are grateful to our Safeguarding staff in Motherwell – Veronica McKenna, the Safeguarding Adviser, and Norma Brand, the Safeguarding Coordinator. They continue to work hard in supporting the work of Safeguarding in our Parishes, Religious Communities, and Diocesan Groups and Associations. They have produced the On-line Training Programme, which is available for new volunteers in particular, but also for others to update their knowledge and skills. This should be of great benefit, particularly as Covid has disrupted the previous practise of gathering in groups to do the Safeguarding Training. Our staff continue to be available in the Office to guide all who seek assistance in organising Safeguarding in parishes and other groups. Please get in touch therefore if you need help or wish to ask any questions. I thank the Parish Coordinators also and all volunteers, recognising that your efforts in protecting the young and the vulnerable are a crucial part of the Church’s life and witness.

An important part of Safeguarding work is caring for survivors of abuse and every effort is made by the Diocese to support those who have come forward to report what has happened to them, however long ago that may have been. We are aware also there may be others who have not reported what they have experienced and I address the following statement to them:

The Diocese of Motherwell wishes to encourage anyone who has experienced abuse by clergy or church personnel, or who have any Safeguarding concerns to come forward and speak to the Diocesan Safeguarding team. You can contact them either by emailing, writing, or calling the Diocesan Advisor. Every effort will be made to offer assistance. We have a mandatory Duty of Care, which requires all allegations of abuse, including non-recent abuse, to be referred to Police Scotland.

Address: Private and Confidential, Safeguarding Advisor, Diocesan Centre, Coursington Road, Motherwell, ML1 1PP

Tel: 01698 269114 (Safeguarding option).

With my prayers and best wishes,

Yours in Christ,

+ Joseph Toal


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