Safeguarding Policy

What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding refers to measures designed to protect the health, well-being, and human rights of individuals. These measures allow adults and children to live free from abuse, harm, and neglect.

Abuse, harassment, and harm can happen to anyone, including people we work with and volunteers. It’s not always visible and often not spoken about.

Frodsham Festival of Walks is committed to following good practice. We take our responsibilities for safeguarding extremely seriously, recognising that we have a duty of care to our volunteers, walk leaders, supporters, and members of the public who join us on walks or other events we organise.

The welfare of children and adults is paramount in all the work, events, and activities we carry out, as well as the decisions we make. It is important to value, listen to, and respect all views and opinions. All children and adults, regardless of age, ability, or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or gender status, have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice, and to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.

We will seek to ensure that we are inclusive and make reasonable adjustments for any ability, disability, or impairment, we will also commit to continuous development, monitoring, and review. The rights, dignity and worth of all children and adults will always be respected. We recognise that ability and disability can change over time, and that some children and adults may be additionally vulnerable to abuse, particularly those with care and support needs.

We all have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all and will act appropriately and report concerns whether they arise within the walks, events, and activities of the Frodsham Festival of Walks, or in the wider community. All allegations will be taken seriously and responded to quickly, in line with our Safeguarding Policy and agreed procedures. The Frodsham Festival of Walks recognise the role and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in Safeguarding and is committed to complying with their procedures.

Policy Statement
The policy and procedures are in place for volunteers/walk leaders to work to prevent abuse and know what to do should a concern arise. They will enable Festival of Walks to:

  • Promote good practice and work in a way that can prevent harm and abuse occurring.
  • Ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately and the person experiencing abuse is supported.

The policy and procedures relate to both the safeguarding of adults at risk, and to children.

Adults at risk are defined in the Care Act 2014 as individuals aged over 18 who:

  • Have needs for care and support (whether the Local Authority is meeting any of those needs or not).
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.
  • 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.

A child is defined in the Children Act 1989 as:

“anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday even if they are living independently, are a member of the armed forces or are in hospital.”

Responsibilities of The Frodsham Festival of Walks
The Frodsham Festival of Walks will work to:

  1. Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs and children.
  2. Promote the wellbeing of any adults and children at risk in safeguarding arrangements.
  3. Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live.
  4. Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults and children concerned.
  5. Raise awareness of safeguarding to ensure that everyone can play their part in preventing, identifying, and responding to abuse and neglect.
  6. Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult or child.
  7. Address what caused any abuse or neglect where appropriate, if it occurred on a walk or activity organised by The Frodsham Festival of Walks

The Frodsham Festival of Walks will:

  1. Ensure that all volunteers are familiar with this policy and associated procedures.
  2. Work with other agencies within the framework of Cheshire West and Chester
  3. Act within its confidentiality policy and will usually gain permission from adult clients before sharing information about them with another agency. The safeguarding of a child or an adult who is at risk, or if a crime has been committed, will override any need for consent (If a child has disclosed or if Frodsham Festival of Walks volunteers have concerns about a child, and the Designated Safeguarding Lead judges that a referral to Social Care is needed, they will inform the child that they need to tell someone else, but will not need to gain consent).
  4. Make a safeguarding referral to CWAC Integrated Access and Referral Team on 0300 123 7047. (Their Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on: 01244 977277) as appropriate. i.e. if there is an immediate danger or the child/adult is at risk of harm.
  5. Ensure that all volunteers are aware of their responsibilities to attend training and support others in accessing training.
  6. Endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults and children.
  7. The Frodsham Festival of Walks has a Designated Safeguarding Lead and ensures that the Designated Safeguarding Lead understands her/his responsibility to refer incidents of abuse to the relevant statutory agencies (Police/Social Care). The contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be given to all Steering Group members of the Frodsham Festival of Walks and all Walk Leaders during each Festival.
  8. Respond appropriately when abuse has, or is suspected, to have occurred.
  9. Understand how diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services may influence the identification, prevention, and response to safeguarding concerns.
  10. Ensure that all volunteers and Steering Group members, who meet vulnerable adults and any children, have a DBS check in line with the requirements of the Independent Safeguarding Authority Vetting and Barring Scheme. This will include undertaking a DBS check on any potential volunteer as well as all existing volunteers and Steering Group members.

Responsibilities of ALL Frodsham Festival of Walks Volunteers and Steering Group members:

  1. To follow the Safeguarding Policy and procedures at all times, particularly if concerns arise about the safety or welfare of an adult at risk or a child.
  2. To participate in safeguarding training and maintain current working knowledge of Safeguarding.
  3. Always discuss any concerns about the welfare of any client or child with a member of the Steering Group. If nobody is available, volunteers must go directly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  4. Work collaboratively with other agencies to safeguard and protect the welfare of people who use The Frodsham Festival of Walks services.
  5. Remain alert at all times to the possibility of abuse.
  6. Recognise the impact that diversity, beliefs, and values of people who use services can have.

Responding to People who have Experienced or are Experiencing Abuse
Frodsham Festival of Walks recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of adult abuse is never easy.

Responding if the Frodsham Festival of Walks Receives an Allegation

  1. Reassure the person concerned.
  2. Listen to what they are saying.
  3. Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible.
  4. Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief.
  5. Tell them that the information will be treated seriously.
  6. Ask questions to ensure you gather the full facts but do not start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions.
  7. Use the vulnerable adult/child’s own words where possible.
  8. Do not promise to keep it a secret.
  9. Tell the child or vulnerable adult what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe.

If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place, the priorities will be:

  1. To call an ambulance if required.
  2. To call the Police if a crime has been committed.
  3. To preserve evidence.
  4. To keep yourself and others safe.
  5. To inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (s).
  6. To record what happened in the agreed place/file/log.

Allegations made against a Volunteer or Steering Group Member
If a volunteer/Steering Group member has information which suggests a colleague:

  1. Behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a vulnerable adult/child.
  2. Possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a vulnerable adult/child.
  3. Behaved towards a vulnerable adult/child in a way that has indicated she/he is unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults/children.

The member of staff should immediately report this to their Designated Safeguarding Lead.

If appropriate, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (s) will consult with/make a referral to the Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding and Welfare Partnership. Their Integrated Access and Referral Team (I-ART) can be contacted on their central telephone number: 0300 123 7047. Their Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on: 01244 977277.

If the allegation is made about the Designated Safeguarding Lead (s), colleagues must inform another Steering Group member who will in turn inform the rest of the Steering Group.

Recording and Managing Confidential Information
Frodsham festival of Walks is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information regarding safeguarding issues should be shared only with those who need to know.
For further information, please see the Frodsham Festival of Walks Keeping your Data Safe and Security Protection Policies.

All allegations/concerns should be recorded in the agreed place/file/log where safeguarding concerns are recorded. The information should be factual and not based on opinions. Record what the person tells you, what you have seen and names of witnesses if appropriate. The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with the Frodsham Festival of Walks Keeping Your Data Safe and Security Policy.

Disseminating/Reviewing Policy and Procedures
This safeguarding policy and procedures will be clearly communicated to staff. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (s) will be responsible for ensuring that this is done. The safeguarding policy and procedures will be reviewed annually by Frodsham Festival of Walks. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (s) will be involved in this process and can recommend changes. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (s) will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to all volunteers.

Making a Referral
Please dial 999 if the person is in immediate danger. To discuss whether or not a referral is required, you can call the CWAC Integrated Access and Referral Team on 0300 123 7047. Their Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on: 01244 977277.

For Concerns about a Child
If you have a concern about a child or a young person, you can call the Cheshire Police on: 0845 458 00 00.

For Concerns about an Adult
If you have a concern about an adult and wish to make a safeguarding referral you can call the CWAC Integrated Access and Referral Team on 0300 123 7047. Their Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on: 01244 977277.

Frodsham Festival of Walks Safeguarding Lead for the 2024 Festival is: Caroline Ashton

This Safeguarding Policy was updated and reviewed in February 2024.

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