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New chair of safeguarding children board appointed

Press release   •   Apr 05, 2016 12:49 BST

Sharon Beattie has been appointed the new chair of Bury Safeguarding Children Board.

Sharon is a chartered psychologist by profession and has held a number of high profile posts across the civil service, NHS and police.

She has taken over this month (April) from Gill Rigg who leaves after seven years in the post.

As well as being employed as a psychologist, she has worked independently since 2005 and has undertaken expert witness work in a wide number of family matters.

Sharon is a Trustee for the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, treasurer and local branch secretary and board member for a regional autistic service and a previous Trustee for Women’s Aid.

Before setting up her own company she was the director of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI), ensuring effective inter-agency work to safeguard children.

Before this, Sharon worked with the police for 13 years and previously for an occupational psychology consultancy specialising in work for police forces and educational services. She had the responsibility of managing projects within the areas of safeguarding, youth issues and reducing offending.

Sharon (aged 48) was born in Northern Ireland and is married with two teenage boys.

"I am delighted to accept this position and feel privileged to have been offered this opportunity to work with Bury Safeguarding Children Board and its partners,” she said. “A key aim is to ensure that children are seen, heard and helped, so listening to their voices will be one of my key priorities to help make the children of Bury safer.”

Sharon was appointed by the council’s chief executive Mike Owen following a national advert and an interview with a multi-agency group from the Safeguarding Board which included Greater Manchester Police and the NHS.

Mr Owen said: “We are delighted to have appointed someone with Sharon’s enormous experience of safeguarding and very high level skills to chair our Safeguarding Board. I am absolutely sure she will provide excellent leadership over the next three years.”

He added: “Gill has made a massive contribution to developing children’s safeguarding work in Bury over her substantial period as chair of the board, and made many friends here. She leaves safeguarding in Bury in a healthy state, and I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to her. We will miss her and wish her all the very best for the future.”

ENDS

Press release issued: 5 April 2016.

Picture: Sharon Beattie.

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