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Survivor Advisory Panel for the NCSC


The role of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) is to ensure that the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) receives appropriate and timely information and advice from a survivor perspective. This informs the work of the Commission regarding safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

The SAP will provide the NCSC with:

  • Advice and recommendations on matters relevant to victims/survivors
  • Knowledge and insight into experience of abuse
  • A positive contribution to improve responses regarding victim disclosures and church support
  • Expertise to inform and influence work by highlighting previously unidentified areas/topics for attention
  • Input on NCSC media and communications strategy

Whilst accepting that victims and survivors perspectives cover a wide spectrum it is hoped that with the varied experience of the current SAP members from a professional and/or personal background that they will be able to provide valuable contributions to the work of the NCSC. Without exception every panel member has a real passion for the perspective of the victim/survivor to be understood and represented.

Dave Marshall, QPM
Chair of the Survivor Advisory Panel

  • Dave Marshall
  • Andrew Browne
  • Marie Grant
  • Tony Griffin
  • Frances Healy
  • Maxi Leigh
  • Panna Modi
Dave Marshall QPM
Chair of the SAP

*Dave retired from the Metropolitan police in 2010 with 30 years service which included investigating serious crime in this country and abroad. He was the operational head of the Paedophile Unit at New Scotland Yard and for the last 9 years of his service was a DCI responsible for a major investigation team dealing with complex child abuse and child homicides in London.

He is a Director of his own company which provides advice on safeguarding, investigation and management including training.

Up until 2015 he was a member of the Acknowledgement Forum on the public inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse between 1922 and 1995 in N. Ireland. His work with survivors on that inquiry and in the police has given him a real desire and passion for their voice to be heard and supported.

He is a trustee of BASPCAN and also of a non denominational church, as part of that church’s leadership team he has responsibility for Safeguarding.

Recently, through his company he has become an associate of the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).

His qualifications include a Master of Science degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology from the University of Leicester.

Andrew Browne

*Survivor of abuse as a child. Therapy/counselling has helped me get to be able to live with and grow through the pain, isolation and damage of abuse. Talking about and feeling the growth with others is a tremendous gift.

Priest of the Hallam Diocese. I am glad to know the Church is turning her attention to helping survivors.

It is a privilege to be able to be part of that mission. There will be many rewards to be had on all levels.

Compassion, Honesty and Trust are vital to growth, in renewing life that will never be the same following abuse.

A recommended aid to growth is ACoA. This allows the Inner Child to find a safe place to trust others who hurt and look for support with others in a similar struggle.

A favourite book is The Silent Struggle by Sr. Marie Theres OCD, and well worth a read.

Marie Grant

*I am a survivor of abuse as a child; emotionally, physically and sexually. Through counselling I am able to live with the pain, hurt and shame of what happened to me. Talking about what happened has enabled me to work through my isolation and fear.

I have taught in primary education for 30 years and I am now the Deputy Headteacher of an inner-city Catholic primary school in the Diocese of Hallam. In addition to this I am also the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

During the last 30 years I have had to deal with a wide range of safeguarding issues. In addition to issues regarding children, I have had members of staff disclose the abuse they suffered as a child. My experience has enabled to me to help them.

I have found ACoA a safe and loving place to continue my healing.

I am a practising Catholic and actively involved in my parish as a Minister of the Word and as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. I am very pleased that the church is taking safeguarding so seriously.

I feel honoured to be chosen to be a member of the Survivors’ Panel for NCSC and I am looking forward to working as a member of the panel.

Tony Griffin

*I am a retired Police Officer who first became involved in safeguarding children and vulnerable people in 1991 when the first structured procedures came into force. As a Detective Sergeant I developed the skills to listen to those that had been harmed by others and to investigate allegations of sexual abuse and other harmful behaviours perpetrated by family members and those in a position of trust within institutions such as schools, the voluntary sector, faith organisations. By working extensively with survivors I gained a considerable understanding of how abuse can impact on them for the rest of their lives. It is important that survivors should be listened to and that organisations should respond appropriately and sensitively to allegations that are made.

I am currently the Organisation Development Lead with a Local Safeguarding Children Board with a responsibility to develop and deliver multi-agency safeguarding training.

In my role within the Safeguarding Advisory Panel I am committed to help improve the way that the Catholic Church responds to allegations of abuse.

Frances Healy

*I am a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest whom I approached for help as a young religious. (His claims to be a qualified counsellor and psychologist later proved groundless). The abuse was serious and sustained. Besides being sexual it was also emotional and spiritual. I left religious life as a result of his order to do so but continued to attend his ‘counselling‘ sessions for many years.

After this ended I remained silent and in denial for decades. Subsequently, following years of personal therapy originally to deal with childhood trauma, I had to face up to the deep wound of sexual abuse. I want to help others to find their voice and to find at least some measure of healing. I feel humbled and honoured to have been accepted as a member of SAP.

I am a practising Catholic. Throughout my teaching career, which encompassed both the Primary and Secondary sectors, I have always taught in Catholic schools. In each context my main responsibility was as Head of Religious Studies. Latterly I trained in counselling and psychotherapy, then practised on a voluntary basis for a number of years. It was through my interaction with young people and their parents that this interest had been sparked. I longed to be of more help.

Now retired, I am particularly enjoying the freedom this affords to pursue my interests, to relax and to enjoy the companionship of friends on a more regular basis.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to speak up for those who have suffered abuse and hopefully also to assist the Church in however small a way, in its mission of healing.

Maxi Leigh

*My name is Maxi Leigh, born in Nottingham. I have a son who is amazing, the true love of my life and my Persian cat “Prince Charles”.

I love writing, reading, spending many hours in my garden. Yoga is a part of my life, bringing and giving me more peace and harmony.

I am a “Survivor”- sexually, physically and psychologically abused from the age of 8years until me escape aged 26.

The impact on my mental health- “enormous”. I was handed a leaflet for a charity supporting female survivors because of my lack of self esteem and confidence. I continued to carry my leaflet for a further 8 years, continuing with further self harm; my life looking very bleak.

My friend encouraged me to contact the charity; this is because I was sinking very fast after my breakdown. Walking through the doors I knew my life was going to change; being with other survivors was overwhelming- truly- I was NOT ALONE.

Eight months later I became Chair! Mentored by the previous Chief Executive Mr. Mike Cooke, C.B.E., enhanced my life and ability to tap into my hidden skills and strength, enhancing my potential, opening doors where I was able to have an effective and influential, proactive voice for Survivors; implementing good practice and a sensitive approach to supporting survivors of childhood abuse.

I have recently ben elected governor to council, Nottinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust; Vice Chair for the Trust’s Gender Equality Steering Group; Trustee for BASPCAN-The British Association for the Study and Prevention of Abuse and Neglect. Managing Director of ENIXAM- Consultancy for the delivery of Historic Abuse and Impact on Mental Health and Recovery.

I have been supporting survivors for the past 7 years and have just been granted charity status for my charity “Support for Survivors”- supporting male and female survivors.

The drive-my love and passion to change lives-fills my heart. Putting a smile on an individual’s face; holding their hand; giving hope; nothing compares.

It is an honour and a pleasure to have been chosen to be on the Survivor Advisory Panel for the NCSC. I will be committed and improve its response to survivors.

Panna Modi

Panna has worked in Child Protection and Public Protection agencies for over 30 years. During most of this time, she has worked with victims and survivors of sexual abuse and strongly feels that whilst steps have been taken to address some of the issues, there is a lot that needs to be done and it is very much hoped that SAP will provide the platform for this important work. Panna is currently working for National Probation Service and based in the Sex Offender Treatment Unit which she joined in 1999, her primary responsibilities are risk assessment, delivering staff training and delivering Accredited Group Work Programmes to men convicted of sexual offences. Some of the offenders are of dual status; they have been subjected to childhood sexual abuse, including neglect, physical and emotional abuse as well as bullying. Within the Probation Service she has also worked with female survivors of sexual abuse. Prior to joining the Probation Service, she worked in Avon and Warwickshire Social Services Departments, specialising in Child Protection and adult mental health services and a lot of the patients had endured childhood trauma including sexual abuse. Panna has also worked at Family Service Unit in Leicestershire where she was initially employed as a Family Therapist and later a Joint Project Coordinator setting up services for adolescents and adult male sexual offenders and male and females Survivors of sexual abuse. Following this she worked as Project Manager for the local NSPCC project. Panna has extensive experience in Probation, Social Work, Counselling, Family Therapy, Mentoring and training. She has held positions of visiting Lecturere as Leicester University, Independent Assessor and Guardian Ad Litems. Panna has also published articles in this field.

Terms of Reference

1. Purpose: to ensure the NCSC receive appropriate and timely information and advice from the survivor perspective that will help inform the work of the NCSC and subsequently the safeguarding policies and practices within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

2. Remit of the Survivor Advisory Panel:

The Panel will:

2.1 provide the NCSC with advice and recommendations on matters relevant to victims and survivors;

2.2 offer knowledge and insight into the experience of those who have been hurt by abuse;

2.3 make a positive contribution to the current agenda of the NCSC to improve responses to victim disclosures and the Church’s support for those hurt by abuse;

2.4 inform / influence the work of the NCSC by forwarding/receiving issues for discussion or ideas for pieces of work and as per the work plan of the Panel;

2.5 provide input on the NCSC media and communications strategy (where appropriate) for example, the annual report, literature and co presenting with the NCSC.

3. Group Membership:

3.1 It is important that the Panel provide a survivor perspective; to this end those who have been hurt by abuse should make up the majority membership.

3.2 Membership of the Panel will be made up of individuals who have experience of abuse, this could include:
• direct personal experience of abuse by Catholic clergy or religious
• direct experience
• a parent of a child who has been abused;
• a carer of a vulnerable adult who has been abused;
• a person with extensive experience of working with survivors (including a representative from a national survivor group);
• a health/social care professional with relevant knowledge and experience.

3.3 The Panel will have a maximum of twelve members.

4. Recruitment of members, including the Chairperson:

4.1 The NCSC will identify a suitable Chairperson for an initial 2 year appointment. Thereafter the post will be a three year appointment, although this will be subject to a decision to extend the duration of the Panel beyond the initial 3 year pilot phase.

4.2 All members will be appointed to a term of three years and will serve no more than two terms (and subject to the possible extension of the pilot phase). After initial members are appointed (up to a maximum of eight), further appointments will be staggered to ensure group continuity after the initial 3 year period.

4.3 In order to be open and transparent members will be recruited through advertisement via local and national networks:

4.4 Consideration should be given to gender balance when recruiting members.

4.5 Verbal feedback will be provided, on request, by the Chair of NCSC to any applicant not appointed. This will be in addition to a standard letter.

5. Method of working: Two way communication…

5.1 The NCSC will identify work tasks to be undertaken by the Panel and the Panel will identify topics they feel the NCSC needs to consider.

5.2 The Chair of NCSC and the Chair of the Panel will agree a work plan, to be reviewed on a quarterly basis. A standard tool will be used that will aid evaluation and review.

5.3 This may result in briefing papers being presented to the NCSC.

6. Accountability:

6.1 The Chair of the Panel will report directly to the NCSC and will attend an NCSC meeting at least once a year, at the invitation of the NCSC.

6.2 Agenda items for the Panel meeting will be the responsibility of the Chair.

6.3 Minutes should be taken in line with agenda.

6.4 The link person from the NCSC will attend a Panel meeting periodically as agreed by NCSC and the Panel Chair and report back to the Commission.

6.5 Members will be required to sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement.

6.6 All contact with the media will be via the NCSC and with the agreement of the Chair of the NCSC

7. Administration:

7.1 The Chair will liaise with the NCSC secretary regarding booking meeting rooms; circulation of agenda/briefing papers; payment of travel expenses.

8. Expenses:

8.1 The following will be funded by the NCSC: meeting venue; meeting refreshments; travel expenses.

8.2 The Chairperson will receive a small honorarium.

9. Review:

9.1 Outcomes of the Panel will be assessed using the work plan tool.

9.2 The NCSC will review the relevance and value of these terms of reference of the Panel at least every three years.

9.3 A formal evaluation of the Survivor Advisory Panel will be undertaken to deliver its results at the end of the 3 year pilot phase. The results of this evaluation will be used to determine the value of continuing with the Panel.

Approved by the NCSC June 2015