We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Connell as Ecumenical Safeguarding Adviser and Co-ordinator for Churches Alive in Man (CAIM). Tony will be responsible for Safeguarding across the four main denominations of the Methodist Church, Living Hope Community Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.
We welcome Tony and his wife Andrea to live in our community here with us and look forward to meeting up with them after the 1 September.
I welcome this opportunity to introduce myself as your new Ecumenical Safeguarding Advisor and Coordinator.
My career began in residential social work working with vulnerable young people. I subsequently qualified as a social worker and probation officer, mainly working in Lincolnshire. Having progressed into management posts I was responsible for the Ministry of Justice national pilot of the 'Offender Assessment System' – an offender profiling tool used for the identification and subsequent management of individuals who pose a risk to others.
This tool has been adopted internationally and is considered a cutting edge instrument for risk management. I would bring this knowledge and insight into the role of safeguarding coordinator to inform appropriate responses to safeguarding issues.
My last post with the probation service was managing a department who worked exclusively with vulnerable adults. This service consisted of clinical staff drawn from the NHS, a local authority and the probation service and engages with ill health, social exclusion, long term unemployment and the high mortality rate which many vulnerable adults face. The multi disciplinary nature of the department enabled us to draw upon a range of experiences and perspectives in relation to our service users who are either victims of abuse or perpetrators or occasionally both. Safeguarding activity in relation to children and adults was central to our work.
I am educated to post graduate level and have undertaken research and associated academic papers in relation to the mental and physical health needs of vulnerable adults. I have received national awards for my work, including being one of five nominees for an international innovation award relating to the meeting the needs of homeless and marginalised individuals.
I recently left a management position the Lincolnshire Probation Service in order to undertake independent consultancy in relation to policy development and training in adult safeguarding and associated organisational risk management processes. I am currently working in a range of sectors including the NHS, criminal justice agencies, local authorities and a number of charitable organisations. I then saw this post advertised! After careful consideration I decided to apply, as it affords a unique opportunity to combine my professional experience, my faith, and the pastoral priorities of the church's mission.
I'd like to finish by saying following my appointment I have undertaken further visits to the island and have been so impressed by the universal warmth of those we have met. By way of an example, my wife Andrea and I got lost just outside Ramsey and having asked for directions the lady said 'turn round and I'll wait for you and tell you where you need to be'. A minute later we were with her again and she presented us with a detailed map she had just drawn! I am so looking forward to being with you and contributing to keeping your Christian communities safe from harm, in addition to enjoying the splendours of your beautiful island.
I look forward to meeting you very soon!
Take care – Tony Connell