The Ann Craft Trust 2022 Safeguarding Conference – From a Volunteer’s Perspective

Bridget Tunney is a University of Nottingham student who volunteered to help us promote Safeguarding Adults Week.

As part of her placement, Bridget helped us run our annual safeguarding conference in Nottingham.

We asked Bridget to write about her experiences of the day.

An Early Start

I’m Bridget and I’m currently partaking in an autumn term placement at the Ann Craft Trust.

Last week I attended The Ann Craft Trust’s annual safeguarding conference. Upon arrival at the fancy Crowne Plaza hotel, every attendee was given a conference pack and some refreshments. Then we saw an introductory keynote talk by The Suzy Lamplugh Trust on street harassment.

This was an inspiring talk with interactive tasks. We watched scenarios of harassment and discussed the ways in which we can act as the victim or as a bystander.

The presenter told the story of Suzy Lamplugh, who went missing in 1986. The trust is now committed to keeping people safe from all kinds of violence and harassment.

I took away three main points on responding to harassment:

  • Trust your instincts.
  • Reclaim your space.
  • Practice resilience.

I could tell that a lot of the people in the room were moved by this talk as it sparked a lot of conversation and reflection during the break.

Responding to Modern Slavery

There were three breakout sessions in the morning. Myself and Matthew, the finance officer at The Ann Craft Trust, ushered people into their breakout rooms.

I attended the Migrant Help session on “Responding to Modern Slavery, Exploitation and Trauma”.

Rabiya Ravat and her colleague spoke about the work they do with victims of modern slavery. This includes advising organisations on policies and procedures to front line work with victims.

I could tell that everyone in this session, myself included, took away vital knowledge on modern slavery that we hadn’t considered before.

During the interactive parts of this session I got talking to some of the attendees. Some worked in sport, some worked for universities. I was astonished to find that they have themselves handled cases of modern slavery victims.

Everyone in my group was able to apply Migrant Help’s guidance to their working spheres. So this session was eye-opening for me. I was forced to acknowledge that slavery still exists, in this country, and that it’s more common than I thought.

Lunch Break, and a Quest for Balloons

At lunch, the delicious food did not stop the many conversations about the sessions so far.

The other two breakout sessions were on “Grooming of Adults for Exploitation” and “Emerging Trends of Technology-Facilitated Domestic Abuse”. Though I didn’t attend these, I could tell by the discussions taking place that they had struck a chord.

After lunch I was tasked with buying some big balloons for the evening dinner to celebrate 30 years of the Ann Craft Trust. It was a windy day and I probably looked very silly making sure I didn’t let any of the huge balloons fly away on my way back to the hotel.

Into the Evening, and a Charity Dinner

The team and trustees regrouped in the evening for the dinner to celebrate 30 years of The Ann Craft Trust.

This was an excellent evening with great food and entertainment from a live jazz band. There were also some very impressive magic tricks.

It was great to talk to some of the trustees of The Ann Craft Trust. I got to hear their stories about how and why they first got involved with the organisation.

The Ann Craft Trust’s CEO Deborah Kitson spoke about Ann Craft herself, and her life’s work.

It was plain to see that Dr Ann Craft has left an excellent legacy. At the conference and dinner, I saw a strong team and a dedicated network of individuals. They are all committed to safeguarding adults.

Listen to Bridget Talk about Rugby Minds, a campaign focused on making university rugby more inclusive.