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The Five Year Plan and other stories

Five years ago I started to write this blog for London District. The idea was to provide a two or three minute easy read to share safeguarding news, policy updates, details of training opportunities and commentary on national news items through a safeguarding lens. It became a feature of the Weekly News. In this way the topic could be kept in the public, well, Methodist, eye. Over the years I’ve added summaries of research, offered best practice tips, quoted survivor insights and if I’ve mentioned our obligation to ‘recognise and respond’ once, I’ve mentioned it dozens of times.

Now over 200 pieces later, I am about to retire (again), this time from my Connexional Safeguarding Team post and so it makes sense to take stock and possibly think about a fresh approach. I will still retain strong links with Methodist safeguarding nationally and in London, but over the summer, when the blog traditionally has a holiday, I’ll give some thought to a possibly different format and frequency.

The blog, as regular readers will know, has from time to time wandered off into more esoteric areas such as offering cultural and safeguarding insights from the lyrics of obscure 1960s music groups, as well as updating you on the travails of Crystal Palace Football Club. Patchwork quilts, art exhibitions and the deeper meanings of Paw Patrol have also featured. Safeguarding is sometimes badged, dryly, as simply a health and safety matter, but the blogs have tried to show that it is far more than that, an absolutely integral part of being church and saying clearly who we are and what we stand for. The hopefully, sometimes humorous, excursions have been attempts to bring it to life, giving it vibrancy and colour.

I’d hesitate to say the blog is syndicated in any way but it can be accessed via a button on the Church’s safeguarding pages, and I’ve seen it linked to church newsletters in all parts of the country. My own church adds it to the weekly ‘Take Note’ So hopefully some of the key messages have reached a wide audience.

It’s been a privilege to write on such a regular basis, and I do plan to continue writing from September. So this is au revoir for the summer, definitely not goodbye, Thanks for loyal reading, if you have been, and enjoy the summer, especially if you are flying, travelling by train or crossing to France from Dover. And guess what, Palace are playing Arsenal on Friday week, so the weekly angst will return. Everything comes around again so quickly.

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