It's very important to us that everyone should be safe, happy and welcome at St Mark's, and our safeguarding procedures reflect this priority.
Our Parish Safeguarding Officer is Margaret Robertson, and together with our Children and Youth Advocate, Rachel Slade, and our Vicar, Fr Tony Curtis, Margaret is responsible for making sure that our safeguarding policy is followed and that all our DBS (Criminal Record) Checks and Safeguarding Training are up-to-date.
Everyone who works regularly with Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults at St Mark's goes through a DBS vetting process and receives ongoing training on how to create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment. Occasional volunteers always work with someone who has been through this process, under the direct supervision of a trained individual. Everyone at St Mark's is required to follow good practice in safeguarding (see below).
If you have any concerns at all about a child, young person or vulnerable adult, you can talk to Margaret (07425 143 171), Rachel (0191 253 7020) or Fr Tony (0191 253 7020). If there is immediate risk or danger to someone, please contact Northumbria Police on 101.
If you are still concerned, or for any reason you wish to talk to someone outside the parish, you can also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Ruth Rogan through the Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding team on 07825 167 016, or by email at
Getting Help from outside
There are also a number of organisations outside the church who can help:
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours).
Phone if you are worried about a child.
Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours).
Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours).
Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours).
Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)
Phone if you are worried about an older vulnerable person.
Safeguarding Procedures and Further Help
The Church has developed extensive guidance for safeguarding, which is available online.
Everyone who has contact with children and vulnerable adults at St Mark's should be familiar with our safeguarding procedures and how to find help; you can see our Safeguarding Policy here.
In addition, you can download the nationally produced Parish Safeguarding Handbook here.
If in doubt, please consult one of our safeguarding team for help.