Updated July 2021. Next update due July 2022.

Download a copy of the Safeguarding policy here

1.  Policy statement

1.1  CLEFT (registered charity number 1194581) recognises safeguarding as a key governance priority for all charities, regardless of size, type or income, and not just those working with groups who have traditionally been considered to be vulnerable or ‘at risk’; namely children and young people and vulnerable adults. CLEFT is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its staff, beneficiaries, volunteers and those connected to the activities of CLEFT.

1.2  The policy aims to:

  • Promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all staff, beneficiaries, volunteers and others who come into contact with CLEFT.
  • Provide assurance that CLEFT takes reasonable steps to manage safeguarding risks.
  • Ensure that everybody understands their roles and responsibilities to safeguarding matters.
  • Ensure that appropriate action is taken in the event of any allegations or suspicions of harm from contact with CLEFT’s staff or volunteers.

1.3  This policy applies to all who work and volunteer for CLEFT.

2.  Principles

2.1  Legislative protection exists to ensure the safeguarding of those who are typically considered to be vulnerable or at risk of abuse or neglect. This includes:

  • Children and young people under 18 years of age.
  • Adults (aged 18 and over) who are considered to be vulnerable or at risk.

2.2  CLEFT does not provide support to members of the public and will not usually work with those who fall within the remit of the legislation. From time-to-time CLEFT may come into contact with young people under 18 years of age, such as hosting a high school student for work experience or in a voluntary capacity. In these circumstances, CLEFT has a Young Person Risk Assessment process which must be completed ahead of engagement with the young person.

2.3  CLEFT will take all reasonable steps to safeguard and protect all beneficiaries from abuse or mistreatment by those working or volunteering for CLEFT. The charity will also take all reasonable steps to protect from harm all beneficiaries, employees, volunteers, those connected with the activities of CLEFT, and those who come into contact with CLEFT.

2.4  CLEFT will take a risk-based approach to manage safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding will be built into the charity’s risk management processes by ensuring issues of safeguarding are considered as part of the risk assessment process. Safeguarding will be included on CLEFT’s risk register as a stand-alone risk and will be kept under review by CLEFT’s Board of Trustees wo which risk matters are reserved.

2.5  CLEFT will ensure appropriate due diligence is undertaken on its partners, grant recipients, donors and when recruiting staff, volunteers and trustees.

2.6  CLEFT will ensure a member of its Board of Trustees is nominated to act as the trustee with responsibility for whistleblowing.

3.  Taking action

3.1  An employee who has suspicions or concerns that safeguarding malpractice has occurred, shall follow the Charity Commission guidance on whistleblowing.

3.2  A beneficiary, volunteer or another person who has come into contact with CLEFT who has suspicions or concerns that safeguarding malpractice has occurred, shall contact the Chair of CLEFT, who shall ensure the charity’s whistleblowing procedures are implemented. Should the whistleblower feel unable to raise their concerns with the Chair of CLEFT, they should contact the charity’s whistleblowing trustee. If the whistleblower feels unable to raise their concern with the charity directly they may raise the issue with the Charity Commission.

3.3  CLEFT will ensure serious safeguarding incidents are reported adequately and appropriately to the Charity Commission via a Serious Incident Report (SIR) which is done online: https://ccforms.charitycommission.gov.uk/report-a-serious-incident. Reports to other external authorities, police and regulators will be made as is appropriate to the safeguarding incident. Decisions regarding whether reports to external authorities, other than the Charity Commission, will be fully risk assessed and not made if they are likely to cause further harm to the victim, or due process or the rule of law is not reasonably assured. A SIR will be made in any event and will include an explanation of the charity’s decision on other external reporting.

4.  Related policies

4.1  This policy sits alongside the Trustee Code of Conduct (CC3) and the Charity Governance Code for Smaller Charities.

5.  Review

5.1  This policy will be reviewed annually.

6.  Associated relevant legislation and guidance

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CLEFT office or a member of the Safeguarding Team listed below:

CLEFT office

Melanie Baldwin, , CLEFT, 10a Warren Estate, Lordship Road, Writtle, CM1 3WT   

[email protected]

CLEFT Chair

Brian Sommerlad, CLEFT, 10a Warren Estate, Lordship Road, Writtle, CM1 3WT

Whistleblowing trustee

Mark Dwyer, CLEFT, 10a Warren Estate, Lordship Road, Writtle, CM1 3WT