Creating a safe and welcoming environment, where everyone is respected and valued, is at the heart of safeguarding. Making sure your group is run in a way that actively prevents harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect.
The Charity Commission expects every charity to make safeguarding a priority, find out more by watching the video above. Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a duty to safeguard volunteers, staff members, participants and donors. Safeguarding Adults and Children is everyone’s business and responsibility.
Designated safeguarding leads
For any group, it can be a good idea to appoint a specific person to take a lead on safeguarding. If you are a charity, the Charity Commission requires you to appoint a designated safeguarding lead. This person holds the main responsibility for responding to and reporting safeguarding concerns appropriately and legally. They might also take a lead in talking to members and training volunteers about the group’s safeguarding practices.
It's important to remember though, that the whole group is responsible for safeguarding overall. You should think about ways to make sure the safeguarding lead is supported by the rest of the group – particularly in any situations that might be difficult or stressful.
Trustees must make sure your charity fulfils this responsibility. Even when some activities are delegated to a safeguarding lead or group, trustees retain overall responsibility.
Safeguarding policies and practices
A safeguarding policy is a document that describes what your group will do to help keep the people in and around your group safe from harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect. You need to think about all the people that come into contact with your group, including: group members, relatives of members, people who use your services or attend your events, volunteers, trustees, and staff.
The amount of detail your safeguarding policy needs, and how often you review it, depends on what your group does, where it works, and who with. Your policy should cover all the key risks for the people you work with and the activities you do. The most important thing is to have a policy that outlines practices that make sense to your group and that you will be able to implement. You should aim to write a policy that will help your group to: understand the safeguarding risks that are relevant to you; know what to do if you are concerned about the safety of anyone linked with your group; and be aware of your legal responsibilities.
Support in the East Riding
ERVAS in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership and the East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board, offer support to all voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups and organizations working with children, young people and adults, in order to ensure they are able to meet their safeguarding responsibilities and keep people safe.
Visit the Keeping People Safe Site to see what support is available. Alternatively call the ERVAS team on 01482 871 077 (option 4) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ERVAS offers a range of support to the VCSE sector regarding safeguarding. Support includes:
- Access to a range of appropriate safeguarding related training
- Regular information from a variety of safeguarding sources via our fortnightly E-bulletin
- Access to information events and conferences covering a range of safeguarding topics, both face to face and online
- Partnership developments, particularly in regard to working more closely with the East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership and the East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board
- Membership of useful networks, including the East Riding VCSE Safeguarding Forum
It’s important that all people responsible for Safeguarding children, young people and adults within their voluntary sector group or organisation, are aware of who to contact in case of making a referral or any other matter relating to keeping vulnerable children, young people adults safe.
A wide range of information, including useful contacts, is available via the following websites, therefore all Voluntary Sector Safeguarding Officers/Leads should familiarise themselves with their local Safeguarding partnerships/boards/ by visiting the websites and keeping copies of useful information to hand.
The ERY Safeguarding Teams provide information and advice to the general public and health and social care professionals about abuse of vulnerable adults. It also provides a central team which receives referrals about suspected abuse and coordinates any investigation
Children: East Riding of Yorkshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (ERSCP)
Adults East Riding of Yorkshire Safeguarding Adult Team (ERSAB)
Immediate date: If a child or vulnerable adult is suffering abuse and requires urgent attention because they are in immediate danger call the Police Tel: 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency)
NCVO- site if full of resources and guides to help your organisation do safeguarding well, from getting started, understanding what safeguarding is, steps to a safer organisation and training and support.
The Charity Commission - Guidance Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees
NSPCC - Writing safeguarding policies and procedures
Ann Craft Trust - the leading UK Authority on Safeguarding Adults and Young People at Risk