Safeguarding Officer – Liz Morrison supporting statement

Liz Morrison is standing as Safeguarding Officer at the 2023 AGM. Her nomination is supported by Nolan Smyth and Amy Elgar. This is her supporting statement.

I write to express interest in the role of Safeguarding Officer. I am happy to be DBS checked and have worked in a number of roles where safeguarding has been paramount and I have been DBS vetted. Nolan Smyth and Amy Elgar support my application.

In roles as healthcare assistant and nursing auxiliary in Northants and Leicestershire I worked predominantly with vulnerable adults with mental health needs and palliative care patients providing personal care. As a student mental health nurse, I raised safeguarding concerns to social workers when I received a disclosure of abuse perpetrated against a patient.

In my roles as community engagement officer and conservation officer for Butterfly Conservation and Froglife respectively involved working closely with young people and volunteers, some of whom were vulnerable adults. I had to ensure sessions that I delivered were appropriately supervised and that people in my care were safeguarded at all times. I followed safeguarding policies and reported to my organisations safeguarding lead. Where incidents compromising safeguarding arose, I dealt with them swiftly and reported concerns to relevant caregivers and organisational leads.

One incident during an adult work party involved an individual with explosive anger. He was not violent but he frightened and intimidated the group of older people that regularly attended the volunteer sessions and his behaviour was unacceptable. I de-escalated him, escorted him to his home and communicated concerns to his key workers. Our group code of conduct supported me in being able to cite policy for preventing this individual from re-attending the group without an appropriate one to one support worker in future.

In my most recent employed role as an employment support worker with Pluss CIC, I supported adults with Learning Disabilities to engage in horticultural work-based training. I worked to ensure my teams safety during activities and also picked up on instances where clients were subject to abusive behaviours in their home and reported concerns through my line managers and also directly to the Plymouth Safeguarding hub.

It is my experience that sadly even the world of climbing is not free from the threat of individuals who would seek to exploit climbers in their care. I have worked closely with Helen Murphy of the BMC to seek advisement on better protecting climbers. As a parent, I am keen to see climbing opportunities expand for young people within our club but this needs a careful, robust approach to safeguarding. 

I anticipate my first action in the role would be to establish who regularly provides a supervisory role within the club meets and explore the appropriateness of DBS checking for those members. The training we as a club provide on a regular basis would be deemed a regulated activity under the DBS Checks in Sport Working with Children Guidance and would be applicable where young people are in regular attendance at meets, with or without parents or persons acting in loco parentis. We would need to standardise record keeping of attendance and use safely stored loco parentis forms for events supporting young people and their families.

I have seen wonderful examples and family-friendly climbing clubs run safely and I would be proud to contribute to this vision for the LGBT Climbing Club alongside the continuing safeguarding of all members as provisioned withing the BMC’s trail code of conduct for Clubs.