1 Statement of Intent
- The Victory Hall Trust (VHT), its staff and volunteers have a duty to safeguard vulnerable users of the hall and its premises and those who may come into contact with vulnerable users.
- They should respond to any concerns they may have regarding the physical, sexual, emotional or psychological safety of a vulnerable person or concerns relating to discriminatory or financial violation or exploitation of a vulnerable person.
- This policy is in place to protect all vulnerable persons regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religion or faith. This policy applies to users of the village hall and the adjacent annexe building.
- The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is paramount and is the responsibility of everyone. All children and vulnerable adults, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse, whether physical, verbal, sexual, bullying, exclusion or neglect. Bullying, shouting, physical violence, sexism and racism towards children will not be permitted or tolerated.
- The responsibility for ensuring the safety of children or vulnerable adults while at the hall rest with the individual or organisation hiring the hall.
3 Policy Statement
- No member of the trustees, helpers or other volunteers or staff will have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults.
- All suspicions or allegations of abuse against a child will be taken seriously and dealt with speedily and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers need to be aware of this policy, child protection, and vulnerable adult issues. A copy of the appendices will be provided to all whom request it.
- There will be a nominated and named Vulnerable Users representative to who any suspicions or concerns should be reported. This person is Josie Walledge, Parish Council Trustee.
- The trustees will endeavour to keep the premises safe for use by children and vulnerable adults and they recognise that a higher standard of safety is required where use is made by small children, those who cannot read safety notices and physically disabled adults.
- Any organisations or individuals hiring the hall for the purposes of holding activities involving children or vulnerable adults are confirming by signing the terms and conditions of booking that they have appropriate safeguarding policy in place.
- The Trust will ensure that hirers are made aware of their obligations under the Licensing Act 2003 to ensure that alcohol is not sold to those under the age of 18. The Trust will ensure that hirers are aware that no children may be admitted to films when they are below the age classification for the film or show. No gambling or entertainment of an adult or sexual nature shall be permitted on the premises.
- This policy and procedures will be reviewed annually and updated as appropriate in the interim periods.
4 Useful Procedures
- All trustees, volunteers and staff will be given information about child protection awareness (https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/get-expert-training/child-protection-introduction/).
- An annual review will take place following the AGM to allow for any required up-date of policies and or procedures. New trustees, volunteers and staff must be given an induction to this policy and understand their responsibilities.
- A copy of the policy will be displayed for the attention of all in the village hall and made available on request to hirers.
- Organisations hiring the hall for activities for children will be asked to confirm that they have suitable Child Protection policies in place before the first booking commences. Individuals hiring the hall for activities for children will be made aware of this policy. Organisations hiring the hall for activities specifically involving vulnerable adults will be asked to confirm that they have a suitable Vulnerable Adults Protection policy before the first booking commences. Other organisations hiring the hall whose activities may involve vulnerable adults will be made aware of this policy.
- The committee will require hirers to report any damage, breakages or safety issues needing attention to the booking administrator, who will inform the appropriate people. These will be dealt with as soon as practicable, in the light of the circumstances, with provision to prevent access by children and vulnerable adults pending repair where appropriate.
- A hiring agreement which includes appropriate clauses will be entered into for all hirings for licensable activities. The Trust will ensure that these provisions are observed when holding any licensable activities itself. The trustees will give written instructions to those selling alcohol concerning the licensing offences which must be avoided.
- Contractors engaged to carry out work at the premises must not be allowed unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. All work should be undertaken when the hall is not in use, but appropriate supervision will be arranged if it is necessary to carry out work when the hall has been booked.
- If the premises might be used by more than one hirer, the attention of hirers will be drawn to the need to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are supervised when using toilets.
- The supervision of all groups remains the responsibility of the people who hire the hall and sign the terms and conditions of booking.
If you work as a childminder, or provide day care for children under 8 years old for more than two hours each day you must register with Ofsted and be inspected regularly. Nursery education settings which are on their local authority’s directory to provide free places for three to four year olds must also be inspected regularly by Ofsted. (www.ofsted.gov.uk)
These requirements cover playgroups, nurseries, after school clubs and holiday clubs, amongst others
The nominated Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult representative Josie Walledge will have responsibility for reporting concerns that arise, as a matter of urgency, to the local authority Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult lead agency. The representative may choose to have a confidential discussion with others in order to clear up any misunderstandings or to corroborate and support any suspicions before reporting a concern to the lead agency.
The nominated person should:
- know who to contact at the local authority
- know who to contact in Social Services for advice and referrals
- know about helplines and other sources of help for children and young people and vulnerable adults
- ensure that there is an environment in which staff have the opportunity to raise any child protection or vulnerable adult protection concerns.
Policy adopted by the Trustees at their meeting on 11 January 2016
Next review date: May 2017