St Dunstan's Church
Agreed by Meeting of Trustees on 13th July 2021
If you have a safeguarding concern you can call Karen Lawrence 07904494306 (or Debbie Jones 07971 220952 if Karen is not available). If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies, which can be provided on request.
Code of Conduct
Allegation against a Volunteer, Contractor or Trustee
Safer Recruitment of Volunteers and Trustees
Aim and purpose of the safeguarding policy:
Wellbeing in the Weald [WitW] makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe. This policy relates to all children, young people and adults who become known to the organisation through the course of WitW's work and who may be at risk of abuse.
WitW is committed to ensuring that everyone working with the charity is safely recruited and that they understand their roles and responsibilities. They are provided with appropriate information and training in relation to safeguarding children and adults, as safeguarding is everyone’s collective responsibility.
Everyone is required to:
Know how to recognise potential abuse.
Know what to do when safeguarding concerns arise.
Understand what WitW expects in terms of behaviours and actions.
WitW believes that children and adults have the right to protection from abuse and should be able to live free from the fear of abuse.
WitW understands it has a duty of care to keep everyone safe, but this policy refers in particular to children and adults at risk.
WitW is committed to ensuring that disclosures of abuse and safeguarding concerns are taken seriously and acted upon appropriately and in a timely manner.
All information relating to safeguarding is kept securely and only shared on a need-to-know basis.
Named Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for WitW is Karen Lawrence on 07904 494306
Trustee with oversight for safeguarding is Debbie Jones on 07971 220952
The DSL will be responsible for implementing arrangements for safeguarding the welfare of children and adults at risk throughout the organisation, including DBS checks where appropriate.
The DSL will ensure that anyone working with WitW understands the safeguarding policy.
The DSL will also support project leaders to ensure that volunteers have had appropriate training to fulfil their roles and responsibilities.
The DSL should ensure that the Trustee Committee receives necessary reports on safeguarding issues and may call a special meeting of the Trustee Committee (a minimum of four trustees) where a safeguarding matter requires the Committee’s urgent attention.
The DSL is responsible for dealing with all instances relating to safeguarding children or adults at risk that arise in relation to individuals in contact with WitW. The DSL will respond to all safeguarding concerns and make appropriate referrals to the statutory authorities. The DSL will also liaise with other agencies as necessary.
Everyone has a duty to promote the welfare of children and adults. It is everybody’s responsibility to recognise the signs of, and to report, abuse wherever it is seen, suspected, or disclosed. They must also respond appropriately to any disclosure and take any immediate action necessary to protect children and adults at risk, including radicalisation.
The roles and responsibilities of everyone working with WitW are set out in full in the WitW Code of Conduct.
The DSL and Safeguarding trustee will complete DSL training every two years. All other volunteers will complete training every three but will receive annual updates and safeguarding refreshers as appropriate.
Glossary of terms used within this policy:
Authorised volunteer: Is someone who has been safely recruited, trained and DBS checked where appropriate. They will know and understand WitW policy and procedures. This is because they will be authorised to lead activities.
Adult at risk fulfils all of the following:
is a person aged 18 and over who has needs for care and support (whether or not they are receiving this) and
is experiencing or may be at risk of abuse or neglect and
as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
child: Is someone who is under 18 years of age
young person: Is someone aged between 16 and 18 years of age.
WitW acknowledges that the safeguarding of children and adults at risk, starts with prevention and so the following procedures are in place to safeguard all participants including all those who work on our behalf. To breach one of these procedures would be treated as misconduct.
Safer recruitment of volunteers, contractors and trustees is adhered to in all instances.
All activities are fully risk assessed and these assessments are shared with a group of at least three trustees before an activity takes place. Risk assessments are reviewed at least annually or after an incident has occurred. Again, a group of at least three trustees will be responsible for these reviews.
All session leaders will have undertaken Basic Adult Safeguarding training (updated every three years).
All trustees, contractors and Authorised Volunteers will have training in the recognition of abuse of an adult at risk including of sexual exploitation or radicalisation.
All WitW activities are intended to be in groups. If only a leader and one other person are in attendance, the leader will inform the participant after 20 minutes that it is WitW’s policy that we only run activities in groups, so that the session will have to be ended on that occasion.
If a one-to-one session takes place, an appropriate risk assessment must be completed and shared with the group of at least three (as described above) Trustees before this takes place.
Children must always be accompanied by a suitable adult (someone who is 18 years or older). However, where children are in regular attendance the authorised volunteer will complete additional Basic Child Safeguarding training every three years.
If sessions are intended for children to attend unaccompanied, all volunteers must complete Basic Child Safeguarding training AND undergo an enhanced DBS and Barred List Check prior to delivery of the session.
All volunteers and Trustees must be aware of WitW policies which are linked to the safeguarding policy and must always adhere to them.
Refer to the E-safety policy for storage, deletion and use of images and social media usage.
When working with other agencies or Charities a partnership agreement is drawn up to safeguard children and adults at risk – See Partnership Working policy.
Disclosure or Safeguarding concern:
WitW recognises that appropriate and swift action needs to be taken when a concern is raised or a disclosure is made. All those involved with the process must maintain confidentiality. It is not the volunteer’s or the DSL’s responsibility to investigate, but to report their concerns based on fact not opinion.
Everyone has a responsibility to share information with the DSL about children and adults at risk, if they suspect that they are experiencing abuse.
If a disclosure is made or anyone has a concern, they follow the WitW procedure (See Appendix 1) and Code of Conduct (Appendix 2). The procedure includes ensuring that the person making a disclosure is aware that they may need to share the information, and cannot promise to keep it secret.
In the event of a disclosure, efforts should be made to get informed consent from the person making the disclosure before a referral is made to the local Safeguarding Team. However, a referral may be made without consent if the person does not give consent and there are concerns about the welfare of a child or adult at risk.
The Capacity of the person about whom a concern has been raised to give consent to the safeguarding process will be assumed unless there is a reason to believe that the person cannot understand, in which case an assessment of their capacity may be undertaken.
Capacity to give consent is not just based on age but where there may be other identified difficulties or disabilities.
A young person aged 16 or older is presumed in law to have capacity to consent unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Consent of adult at risk – An adult is presumed in law to have the capacity to consent unless there is evidence to the contrary.
There may be concerns about someone’s mental health and intentions to harm themselves or general concerns about their health. These concerns should be taken to the DSL in the same way as a Safeguarding concern. A person with a concern may provide concerned listening but should not give advice to the individual.
Information should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis and be kept to a minimum.
Anyone who receives the information must inform the DSL on the same working day or as quickly as possible.
The DSL and the person raising a concern will discuss the matter and the DSL will decide whether to inform the relevant statutory authorities. The decision about whether to make a referral should be based on the following:
The welfare of the child or adult at risk is paramount. Protecting the welfare of the person who may be experiencing or at risk of abuse should be the only consideration when deciding whether a referral is needed. The welfare of a child or adult at risk will always take precedence over confidentiality if there is a conflict between the two. If there is any doubt as to whether a referral is needed, a referral should be made.
It is not the role of WitW volunteers or staff (including the DSL) to assess whether abuse has taken place. A referral should be made if information is known that indicates that abuse may have taken place.
If the disclosure is historic this must still be referred if it was not dealt with appropriately at the time of the alleged abuse or harm.
Where a concern is identified, our DSL will communicate clearly what has been done and will be done to safeguard the child or adult at risk, unless to do so would in any way increase risk to them or the child. This information will be shared with the person raising the concern and the person about whom the concern is raised (as appropriate).
If a disclosure of harm or abuse is made about a volunteer and or trustee, refer to the Allegations Against a Volunteer, Contractor or Trustee Policy.
If the person raising a concern believes that the appropriate action was not taken in respect of a safeguarding concern, they can refer the abuse themselves to the relevant Local Authority Safeguarding Team. They should also discuss their concerns with Debbie Jones the trustee with safeguarding responsibilities or the Chair of the trustees Andrew Chandler.
If the person raising the concern remains unsatisfied with the action taken by Wellbeing in the Weald, they should refer to the Whistleblowing policy.
Appendix 1 – What to do if you have a concern – Flowchart
Appendix 2 - WitW Code of Conduct for Trustees, Contractors and all Volunteers Code of Conduct
Things you need to know about our ethos and the way we work.
Wellbeing in the Weald was set up early in 2019 to promote and support community activities and volunteering in order to improve the physical and mental health of people in our communities and in particular to combat loneliness and social isolation.
We do this by organizing healthy activities and also supporting others who share our aims in the provision of new and existing ventures in Cranbrook and in the surrounding villages in the Weald.
The following is our statement of Objects and Charitable Purpose:
Objects and Charitable Purpose:
The objects are:
(1) To preserve and protect the health of people living in Cranbrook and the surrounding areas by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities, support services and practical advice not normally provided by the statutory authorities.
(2) To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing or assisting in the prevention of people living in Cranbrook and the surrounding areas from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.
What you can expect of WITW
We aim to provide a safe environment free from discrimination, upholding and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
We undertake to:
Treat everyone with respect and dignity
Ensure that their welfare and safety is paramount at all times
Maintain professional boundaries both face to face and when using technology.
Always listen to individuals and take account of their wishes and feelings.
Always act in a professional way and not accept bullying, swearing or other disruptive behaviour
Make sure our activities are fun and enjoyable.
What we expect of our volunteers, contractors, and trustees:
Professionalism – always acting in a responsible and thoughtful way and do not accept bullying, swearing or other disruptive behaviour.
Help to keep everyone safe.
Understanding the charity's duty of care for everyone who works alongside others, and for everyone who attends our activities.
Sensitivity – being aware that some people who attend WitW activities will be having struggles with all sorts of things in their lives. Part of the role of the volunteers is therefore to be welcoming and to encouraging towards people who may need help to join in.
Lone Working – all of WitW's activities and meetings are in groups, and no volunteers or representatives of the charity should ever be alone 1:1 with children, young people or adults at risk whenever possible. If a volunteer is asked to work with someone 1:1, a new risk assessment will need to be agreed by a group of at least three of our trustees.
Remain only in public spaces – and never enter private homes. This is for the protection of everyone concerned.
Safeguarding vulnerable people – everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding.
Volunteers are asked to disclose any past offences against any person when joining, and are also required to do so, should anything of that nature occur during their time with WitW.
Listen to, and act upon, any disclosures allegations, or concerns of abuse.
Participate in approved safeguarding training at appropriate levels.
Follow WitW's safeguarding policy at all times.
Keep the WitW safeguarding flow-chart to hand to ensure confidence in responding appropriately if a volunteer sees or hears anything of concern.
Training – volunteering in some roles will depend on completing and keeping updated the training we offer on safeguarding (mandatory for activity leaders) and on Mental Health Awareness.
Boundaries – volunteers should only give their time to approved activities and not to give extra help to people outside the sessions. This can lead to safety issues and to possible dependency.
Insurance for volunteers, contractors and Trustees, is only in place at scheduled WITW sessions.
Social Media - only approved volunteers can put posts on Social Media in the name of Wellbeing in the Weald.
Photography and Filming - our Safeguarding Policy and e-safety policy gives guidance on this.
e-safety – please see our Safeguarding Policy and e-safety policy for guidance on this.
Keeping everyone safe - this is everyone’s responsibility. Risk Assessment will be carried out for any activity you volunteer for - in accordance with the management plan.
Any concerns about anything seen or heard should be raised with the activity leader or a Trustee. If it is a safeguarding concern, then it should be notified to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Karen Lawrence. If the concern is urgent and there is risk to life – call 999.
If anything is observed by volunteers which seems wrong, they should advise the activity leader, or the Chair of our Trustees Andrew Chandler. (Please see WitW's Complaints Policy and Whistleblowing Policy).