The Diocese of Southwark has appointed Pamela Chisholm as its new Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser which encompasses Southwark Cathedral as well as the clergy and lay leaders of parishes across large and diverse parishes. Pamela, who will be leaving her post as Acting Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Service, has over 30 years’ policing experience specialising in the strategic and operational safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, notably in cases of domestic abuse. Within the Metropolitan Police she was recognised for her expertise to optimise, implement and monitor safeguarding policies to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable.
Speaking of Pamela’s appointment, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said,
I am delighted to welcome Pamela Chisholm to her new responsibilities as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, leading a very able and committed team which works closely with our parishes in taking forward our safeguarding policies and operating effective training programmes. Pamela will bring a wealth of experience to this extremely important role in the Diocese. We commit to the highest standards of safeguarding practice seeking to build a safe Church for the wellbeing of all our people and communities in South London and East Surrey.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pamela chaired a Victims Voice Forum, a network for professionals working with diverse communities, families, and children to understand the impact of enforced lockdown and to seek solutions to mitigate risks. Together they assisted the Home Office with their You Are Not Alone campaign and other projects for Safe Spaces.
The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark, said,
Safeguarding is at the heart of our life at the Cathedral and in the diocese. We are therefore delighted at the announcement of Pamela’s and look forward to working with her to create an even safer church for all God’s people.
When asked about her accomplishments, Pamela said, “My proudest achievement is the influencing of internal cultural change, leading to a World Policing Award nomination. Employers are in a unique position to spot the signs of domestic abuse and help break the silence. Employee policy improvements and the introduction of an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) saw the Metropolitan Police Service lead the way for other Constabularies.”
She is passionate about the importance of safeguarding within community-based activities. Pamela volunteers at her village ecumenical café where she provides a welcoming environment and helps point for those experiencing financial hardship and social isolation. She is an enlisted civilian instructor and welfare officer at her local Sea Cadets Corps, where she supports and equips young people to better meet life challenges. It is her ethos to know each young person individually, and as an individual.
The Diocesan Secretary, Ruth Martin, who is also the Bishop’s Lead for Safeguarding, said, “This is really a most welcome appointment and Pamela has such excellent experience and expertise to bring, both in developing and in implementing policies and practice guidance, as well as managing difficult situations on the front line, and working in a collaborative team environment. I know that the whole of the Diocesan Safeguarding team is really looking forward to Pamela joining the team. Pamela is delighted to take up this exciting opportunity to build on her successful policing career and volunteering to benefit and support the Diocese.”
Pamela starts her new role on 24 August.
Written By: Sophia Jones