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Safeguarding Policy

Repair Cafe Weymouth

Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy


  1. Our organisation, objectives and activities


Repair Cafe Weymouth hosts events at which volunteers repair broken items or give
advice to members of the public or ‘visitors’. The visitor watches the repair, often picking
up skills or confidence to attempt similar repairs themselves.
More volunteers welcome visitors, help them with the administrative process or
organise the distribution of jobs to their team of repairers. Generally we host 10 two hourevents per year. Our aim is to bring broken items back into use, saving them from being
thrown away or recycled, and to encourage repair and re-use.  
We insist on our volunteers being at least 15 years old and any under 18 require the
written permission of a parent or guardian. The term ‘volunteer’ includes our Committee
members.
Few children attend our events and we insist that they are accompanied by an adult. 
Both our visitors and our volunteers tend to be elderly but we would like to encourage a
younger demographic. Our organisation could provide an opportunity for young or
unemployed people to identify a field of repair to which they could contribute or from
which they could gain useful experience. We have also been asked to host a stall or
talk at community events to spread the word about our activities.  We would welcome
an opportunity to talk about our activities to parents and guardians of school age
children at a school or college. We therefore need to be aware of our safeguarding
responsibilities. 
 
  1. The principles and guidance:  


This policy applies to all volunteers and visitors to Repair Cafe Weymouth or any person

with whom we interact. 


The legislation and guidance relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of

children and adults at risk includes the following:


Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Protection of Children Act 1999 (P.O.C.A. ‘99) 

The Children and Social Work Act (2017)

The Children Act 2004

Working together to safeguard children (2015)

No Secrets (2000) 

The Crime and Disorder Act (1998)

The Health and Social Care Act (2008) and the Care Act (2014)

Children and Young Persons Act 2008

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Human Rights Act 1998 and similar legislation which also extends to protecting
vulnerable adults document. 

The principles of Child abuse concerns: guide for practitioners also underpin this document.

POCA covers children less than 16 years of age and young people aged 16-18years as well. For clarity throughout this and associated documents, both groups are referred to as children. 

POCA covers sexual, emotional and physical abuse of children as well as neglectof children and failing to ensure the safety of a child. 

This policy relates to the safeguarding of children and young people under 18 yrs,and vulnerable adults. A vulnerable adult is a  person who is or may be in need ofcommunity care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness;and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect himor herself against significant harm or exploitation.

  1. Our commitment: 


We need to be aware of safeguarding considerations at our events and externalactivities.  Both our volunteers and our visitors have the right to be kept safe from harm, or the

accusation of harm, regardless of gender, ethnicity, level of ability, sexual orientation or

religion.

Repair Cafe Weymouth recognises the importance of the welfare of the child/vulnerable adultand their right to protection from all forms of abuse as described in Section 2 above. 

Repair Cafe Weymouth recognises its duty of care to children and vulnerable adults by

all its Committee members and volunteers. 

Repair Cafe Weymouth will take all allegations of abusive behaviour and/ or practice in all

forms seriously and will respond to such allegations quickly. 

Repair Cafe Weymouth considers that in any aspect of work carried out by its volunteers that

the safety and wellbeing of the participants (including children and vulnerable adults) are of

paramount importance at all times. The Committee members are all members of our Safeguarding Team and they are expected

to discharge their duties and responsibilities in respect of this policy and towards both volunteers

and the public in a clear and transparent way. 
This policy will be reviewed at least annually to ensure its relevance and currency. 



  1. Action: 


Repair Cafe Weymouth does not regularly run activities that are specifically for young

people. As stated in our Volunteer Sign-Up form, the participation of children is only

allowed with the supervision of a parent/carer. 

With that in mind, care must be taken to promote and protect the safety of children and

vulnerable adults and ensure that our volunteers are not put in a position in which they could be accused of wrong-doing.

Should Repair Cafe Weymouth receive an allegation of abusive behaviour by or against

any of its Committee members or volunteers or between a visitor and their parent/ carer

then Repair Cafe Weymouth will treat the allegation as a possible criminal activity and

may report it to the appropriate local authority. 

The Safeguarding Team is authorised to take prompt action to: 

  • Support the protection of the child/ adult from further abusive behaviour. 

  • Protect the good name of the organisation. 

  • Examine ways of working with the alleged perpetrator (if a volunteer) and of

  • supporting them where necessary. 


We shall ensure that future recruits are informed of our Safeguarding obligations at
their interview.

The Volunteer Sign-Up Form will be modified to ensure we capture the volunteer’s
agreement to our policy. 

Our Volunteer Policy will also be modified to draw attention to our Safeguarding policy.

Existing volunteers will be informed by email and also at the Volunteer Talk that
precedes each of our events at the next 2 or 3 live events after the publication of this
policy and occasionally thereafter. 

An exercise will be undertaken to capture their agreement in writing to abide by thispolicy.

Our visitors will be informed of our Safeguarding Policy by means of a laminated sign on  display at each repair event, which identifies our Safeguarding Team andsignposts to the Repair Cafe Weymouth Safeguarding Policy on our website. 

A paper copy of this policy should also be available at each Repair event. 


  1. Code of behaviour


Volunteers should:

Put the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult first. 
Act as positive role models. 
Maintain appropriate boundaries and relationships when working with children or
vulnerable adults, based on openness, honesty and respect for their personal space. 
Avoid working in isolation with a child or vulnerable adult. 
Take action if they have concerns about a child’s welfare or if they have concerns about
the behaviour of an adult towards a child NON- ACTION IS UNACCEPTABLE 
Ensure that physical intervention is only ever used as a last resort, e.g. when a child is
endangering him/ herself or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal force
necessary to prevent injury to another person. 
Such events should be reported to a member of the Safeguarding Team (committee
member), recorded and signed by a witness. 
Support a child or vulnerable adult making a complaint. 
Challenge sensitively inappropriate behaviour from a child or vulnerable adult. If this is
focussed on you, seek support; inform your colleagues. 


Volunteers should not:

Dismiss an allegation of any sort of abuse relating to a child’s welfare. 
Delay the reporting of an allegation. 
Spend excessive time with one child.

Engage in flirting, innuendo or make suggestive terms or gestures, or indicate favouritism for a child or vulnerable adult. 

  1. Guidance Note


What happens if:


A – You suspect a child/ vulnerable adult is at risk  

1. Report your suspicions to a committee member and ensure record the facts, as you
know them are recorded.
2. A member of the committee should ensure the child/ vulnerable adults’ safety. 
3. If necessary, the committee member should contact the local child protection
authorities (or local police for a vulnerable adult) and report the details to them. Do not
make any investigations yourself. 


B - A child/ vulnerable adult discloses abusive behaviour

Report the disclosure to a committee member as in Section A above. The committee
member will:
1. Remind them at the earliest opportunity that you cannot guarantee confidentiality.
Explain what this means and ensure they understand this. 
2. Listen to what they say without prejudice and accept what they say without judgement. 
3. Use only OPEN questions when it is necessary to ask a question - e.g. would you tell
me what happened? 
4. Tell the individual what has happened is not their fault. 
5. Consider what steps might be necessary to ensure the individuals safety. 


C – If you receive an allegation about another person 

Report the allegation to a committee member as in Section A above. The committee

member will:

1. Record the facts as you receive them. 

2. Ensure the safety of the person and any others who are making the complaint. 


D - If you receive an allegation of abuse by a parent or guardian

Report the allegation to a committee member as in Section A above. The committee
member will:
1. Record the facts as you receive them. 


E – If you are accused of an abusive action

1. Make notes of all your actions/ contacts with the child or vulnerable adult in question
as soon as possible after the allegation is presented to you. 
2. Ensure you are no longer working with the child or vulnerable adult making the
allegation. 
3. Follow the steps in A above. 
4. Consider seeking professional and legal advice. 
5. Accept that colleagues will be expected not to contact you whilst an investigation is
underway. They will be as concerned about the situation as you are.



  1. Designated lead



  1. Policy and guidance review

It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure this policy is reviewed annually by the

committee and amended if appropriate. With respect to safety this policy should be

read in conjunction with the appropriate dynamic Risk Assessment  produced for each

type of Repair Café activity. This policy may be amended, adapted or revised without

prior notice to comply with the current legislation. All alterations must be ratified at the

next available committee meeting.


Version 0.3 Draft 05/10/2020 incorporating comments by Mari Kershaw


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