It would seem rather like the elephant in the room not to mention the unseasonably warm weather this week. Most conversations over the last few days have been punctuated with weather references, but we could also say ‘what’s new?’ as the weather is a perennial source of material for our British discourse. The fact that we have this bright, dry and warm weather in February also means that we are experiencing quite cold nights in comparison, so the question for early morning commuters is what to wear so as to be both warm and cool within just a few hours.
Being prepared for all eventualities is what we carry in our safeguarding backpacks. Thirty-one eight (formerly CCPAS) used to call its basic foundation level safeguarding course ‘Facing the Unthinkable’ and that’s what this February weather is making us do. Winter temperature records being broken is pretty unthinkable when compared with last year’s ‘Beast from the East’. For me though, when I carry my backpack into work or on a country walk, I want to travel light, carrying as little as possible that will weigh me down, hold me back or make me feel uncomfortable.
So how do we square the circle of travelling light yet prepared for all contingencies in our safeguarding world?
At this point I could say that I’ll turn the question over to you, readers, as resolving this dilemma may prove challenging. So answers on a postcard! However there are a number of principles that we can adopt that should help us.
Knowing and understanding your church or circuit landscape, having some awareness of where there are strengths you can rely on, and equally where there are risk areas. Sharing the load with a team of people who understand the agenda and will work as a team. Maintaining good (GDPR compliant) records of who we are and the training we have completed. Having a robust policy in place so that people know what to do and from whom to seek advice. Believing that something could happen and so not being fazed when it does, whilst rejoicing when all is calm.
None of these are new ideas nor are they the proverbial rocket science, but when you can’t decide if it’s a woolly hat and scarf, or shorts and a t-shirt day, knowing that you’ve got the basic layers right with other items to hand you can slip on and off easily, will go some way to making you feel comfortable all day.
Grahame is writing in a personal capacity. Views expressed may not reflect those of the Methodist Church.