Safeguarding | Child Protection


Contact the Safeguarding Team to:

  • Raise a safety/welfare concern

  • Find out more about how we keep young people safe


Our Safeguarding Culture

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility at Young Life International.

We take continual steps to foster a culture where young people are kept safe - that’s the wholehearted aim of the Trustees, UK Director, senior field and operational leadership. We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of all those under our care and protecting them from abuse – this is primarily young people, but also includes children and adults at risk.


We encourage a growing culture where:

  1. Everyone takes responsibility for keeping young people safe.

  2. We safeguard children with excellence, as the best possible backdrop within which to communicate, demonstrate and live out an authentic witness to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

  3. We promote the safety of young people as well as taking steps to prevent them from experiencing harm.

  4. Children are listened to, respected and where the Child Protection Officer (CPO) is swiftly informed of any disclosures and observations of harm or potential harm to a young person.

  5. Best practice principles are known, understood and applied within new and changing situations, rather than being conceptualized as a narrow set of rules that are learned by rote and not by heart.

  6. Local staff and leaders are empowered into becoming the experts in keeping safe the young people under their care.

  7. Best practice on the ground is considered as a team, using the Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy (CPS Policy) as a baseline starting point and a helping hand.

  8. Child safety considerations form a natural part of leadership meetings, event planning and informal conversations.

  9. There is accountability through our line management structure so that the CPS Policy can be effectively implemented ongoingly at a local level.

  10. Full communication with the CPO and line management occurs in response to any situation where child safety may be compromised.


Our Safeguarding Policy

Our Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy (CPS Policy) is trained on regularly and reviewed periodically by our trustees. It has been reviewed by ThirtyOne:Eight safeguarding consultants and incorporates their 10 Safeguarding Standards.

The CPS Policy covers:

  1. Safer Recruitment

  2. Training & Accountability of staff & volunteers

  3. How to respond to harmful situations & disclosures

  4. Ministry practice guidelines

  5. Electronic communications

  6. Health & safety and risk assessments

  7. Serving young people with additional needs

  8. Driving young people

  9. Serving adults at risk

Its purpose is to explain to staff, leaders and other adults with responsibility over young people the risks involved, principles to abide by and safety measures that should be taken when working with young people under the banner of Young Life International (YLI). Our approach seeks to carefully balance the need to maximise opportunities to draw alongside young people whilst minimising the risks towards both teenagers and adults.

Whilst setting a uniform baseline to be maintained throughout all areas of our ministry, the goal is to empower field staff and leaders with the best practice principles to make the most suitable decisions in the situations that they face.


Our Safeguarding Team

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Benedict Sutton

Child Protection Officer (CPO)

Benedict has served as CPO since 2012 and is the primary focal point for coordinating responses to child protection disclosures, advising local ministries on policy matters and keeping the board updated on caseload trends. He also brings leadership across YLI’s operational functions, so that our systems and policies help our field teams engage with even more young people. When he’s not writing policies you might find him with a viola under his shoulder or sitting on a piano stool.


Denise Garrell

Deputy Child Protection Officer (DCPO)

A valued member of the Operations Team, Denise has served as DCPO since 2014, providing support to our disclosure handling processes. She also manages our Volunteer Application Process and coordinates DBS checking. When she’s not vetting youthworkers, Denise enjoys film and theatre, reading, traveling and sports.

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Contact the Safeguarding Team

Contact the Safeguarding Team if:

  • You have a child protection/safeguarding concern

  • You want to find out more about how we keep young people safe

We will respond to you as soon as we can.

If it is an emergency

If it is an emergency and cannot wait until the next working day,

call the CPO on 07803 505221 or Deputy CPO on 07860 774647.

If a child or young person is at risk of immediate harm

If a child or young person is at risk of immediate harm and our team cannot be reached straight away,

call the emergency services on 999.

Use the form below to:

  • Raise a safety/welfare concern (where it is NOT an emergency and a child or young person is NOT at risk of immediate harm)

  • Find out more about how we keep young people safe

For any concerns that do NOT require immediate attention (i.e. can be addressed the next working day),

please contact the Safeguarding Team by filling out the form below.

Contact - Safeguarding Team

Name *

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