SAFEGUARDING POLICY for Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC (‘The Hub’)
- Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC is a not-for-profit organisation run by Michael Tumilty, (Chair of Directors), Deborah Tumilty and Mark Ellis (Directors)
- Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC is based at No. 1 Hersham Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, KT12 1LH, with business address of 73 Crutchfield Lane, Walton on Thames, Surrey, KT12 2QY
- The Directors are responsible for safeguarding at the Hub
- The Directors have adopted this safeguarding children policy and expect every adult working or helping at Elmbridge Community Eco Hub to support it and comply with it. Consequently this policy applies to all staff, managers, directors, volunteers, students and anyone working or volunteering on behalf of Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC, or entering the Hub site.
2 Purpose of the Policy
- This policy is intended to protect children and young people who receive any service from us, including those who are the children of adults who may receive services from us.
- As an organisation we believe that no child or young person should experience abuse or harm and are committed to the protection of children and young people. This policy is intended to provide guidance and overarching principles to those who represent us as volunteers or staff, to guide our approach to child protection and safeguarding.
3 The risks to children
Nearly every child grows up in a safe and happy environment and it is important not to exaggerate or overestimate the dangers. Nevertheless, there are situations where children need protection including from risks including:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical and emotional abuse and neglect
- Domestic violence
- Inappropriate supervision by staff or volunteers
- Bullying, cyber bullying, acts of violence and aggression
- Unsafe environments or activities
4 Universality of Protection
We recognise that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount
- all children regardless of race, gender, religious belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or identity have a right to equal protection from harm.
- some children are more vulnerable to harm as a result of their circumstances, prior experiences, communication needs or level of dependency.
- working with children, young people, their parents and/or guardians, carers or other agencies is essential to protecting their wellbeing.
5 Safeguarding children at events / activities
The Hub hosts three kinds of events/activities at which children might be present:
- those open to adults and children of all ages
- those for children accompanied by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult (described collectively as ‘parent’ below),
- those for ‘unaccompanied’ children, (run by an event leader) which are sometimes run alongside other events/activities.
At events and activities open to all ages, children under 16 must be accompanied throughout by an adult over the age of 18 who brings the child, remains with them and takes the child home afterwards. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents or if we have independent communication with that parent to confirm consent.
At events and activities for children accompanied by a ‘parent’, children under 16 must be supervised throughout the event by an adult over the age of 18 who brings the child, remains with them and takes the child home afterwards. If a lone adult brings more than one child, then the children will have to stay together, so that the one adult can supervise them. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents or if we have independent communication with that parent to confirm consent.
At events and activities for ‘unaccompanied’ children, children under the age of 16 must be enrolled by a responsible adult before being left with the event leader. The enrolment must record the child’s name, age and address and the names and addresses of the child’s parents/guardians/responsible adults, plus the relevant mobile telephone numbers. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents or if we have independent prior communication with that parent to confirm consent.
6 Disclosure and barring
Some of our activities may therefore require adult participants or adult leaders to undergo DBS and/or police checks under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The required level of checking (if any) will reflect the degree and frequency of unsupervised access given to other people’s children.
The Directors will take very seriously any allegation of impropriety on the part of any member of Elmbridge Community Eco Hub. A member of Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC who discovers anything amiss should get in touch immediately with any one of the Directors.
The Directors will review the allegation and the likely risk to children and if appropriate will take steps up to and including banning the member from future events and revoking his or her membership of Elmbridge Community Eco Hub CIC.
7 Health and safety aspects of safeguarding children
Where appropriate, one of the Hub’s Directors or an appropriate volunteer will carry out a risk assessment and then take steps to minimise all risks to health and safety. Parents and children will be made aware of any particular risks and of the steps to be taken to minimise those risks. The Team will keep a record of all risk assessments.
Sufficient adults (event leaders) must be present at any event for unaccompanied children to enable one adult to deal with any emergency while another adult supervises the children not directly affected by the emergency.
8 Prevention of bullying
We will not tolerate the bullying of children either by adults or by other children. If any incident of child-on-child bullying should arise at a Elmbridge Community Eco Hub event, those involved will be separated immediately and the parents of the children involved will be asked to deal with the matter. The Team will review all incidents of child-on-child bullying and assess the likely future risk to children. If appropriate, the Team will consider banning a child from future events. Allegations of adults bullying children will be dealt with under paragraph 6 above.
9 Photographing children
No photos will be taken or published of any child attending an event or activity unless prior permission is sought from the relevant responsible adult. If any person has any concerns regarding any person taking photos at an event or activity, that person should raise this concern immediately.
10 Managing behaviour, discipline and acceptable restraint
Adults supervising children at Hub events must never use any form of corporal punishment. If physical restraint is absolutely necessary to prevent injury to any person or to prevent serious damage to property, then the minimum necessary restraint may be used for that purpose only.
Unacceptable behaviour at Hub events for unaccompanied children will generally be stopped by separating the children from each other and from the group. The miscreants will be suitably supervised and returned as soon as possible to the care of their parents.
Elmbridge Community Eco Hub may apply a further disciplinary sanction; namely the banning of the child from one or more future events. Any such sanction would be determined and applied by the Directors.
11 Legal Framework
This policy has been drawn up in accordance with the following:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- General Data Protection Regulation
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Children Act 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Children and Families Act 2014
- Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice – Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014
- Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services
- Working together to safeguard children (2017)
NOTE: This Policy was originally approved by Michael Tumilty on 03/11/2021 and reviewed, amended and approved by the Directors in April 2023.