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Safeguarding Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to protect the people: children, at risk adults and other beneficiaries from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Geek.Zone. This includes harm arising from the conduct of

  • staff
  • volunteers
  • personnel
  • members
  • non-members

This policy lays out the commitments made by Geek.Zone, and informs staff and relevant members of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. This safeguarding policy will be reviewed annually. This policy will be maintained in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the Care Act 2014 for children and adults.
We believe that:

  • Children, young people and vulnerable adults should never experience abuse of any kind.
  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.


We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the individual is paramount.
  • all children, young people and vulnerable adults, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • some children, young people and vulnerable adults are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • working in partnership with children, young people and vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.


We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them.
  • appointing a nominated child protection/safeguarding lead, a deputy child protection/safeguarding lead and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding.
  • developing child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures which reflect best practice.
  • using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people and vulnerable adults, parents, families and carers appropriately.
  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures.
  • sharing information about child protection and safeguarding best practice with children, young people and vulnerable adults, their families, staff and volunteers via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions.
  • recruiting Trustees, staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures.
  • implementing a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately.
  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place.
  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people and vulnerable adults, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.
  • recording and storing information professionally and securely.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults in England. A summary of the key legislation and guidance is available from the NSPCC.

What does Safeguarding mean?

Safeguarding means protecting a citizen’s health, wellbeing and human rights; enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It is an integral part of the Geek.Zone community and ethos. Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is a collective responsibility, all Trustees, members have a duty of care to ensure the physical and mental health of all persons involved with Geek.Zone, no matter how seemly irrelevant. Those who are non-members, who may be venue hosts, occasional attendees and other external persons are advised that they adhere to this policy, which is publicly available.

What does this safeguarding policy cover?

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Bullying and cyber bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Child Protection and Vulnerable person policy

This safeguarding policy will instruct on how to identify the above points, and where to report any concerns to. The persons who have the highest need are children, young people and vulnerable adults, see please appropriate policies mentioned above.

Related policies and procedures

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies and procedures, including:

  • Procedures for responding to concerns about a child or young person’s wellbeing.
  • Dealing with allegations of abuse against a child or young person.
  • Role of the designated safeguarding officer.
  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers.
  • Safer recruitment policy and procedures.
  • Adult to child supervision ratios.
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Anti-bullying policy and procedures.
  • Online safety policy and procedures for responding to concerns about online abuse.
  • GDPR guidance.
  • Child protection.
  • Whistleblowing policy.

More information about what these policies and procedures should include is available from
the:

Identifying a Safeguarding Concern

What is a risk?

Someone or something that jeopardises a persons safety mentally, emotionally and physically. Anyone can pose as a risk. This can be identified as the following:

  • Sexual harrasment– made by inappropriate physical approach, inappropriate verbalisations or blackmail of any kind. Sexual harassment risks a person to feel unsafe and makes the victim/s vulnerable. This is a high risk.
  • Sexual Abuse – made by inappropriate physical approach, inappropriate verbalisations or blackmail of any kind. Sexual abuse risks a person to feel unsafe and makes the victim/s vulnerable. This is a high risk.
  • Bullying and cyberbullying – whether online, indirectly (to other persons), face to face and unethical enforcement. Bullying risks a person’s mental health and isolates the victim/s. This is a high risk.
  • Discrimination – this may be in the form of gender discrimination (reassignment, or inequality of a gender), racial discrimination, class discrimination and discrimination of disability or difference. This is a high risk.
  • Radicalisation – being manipulated or coerced into believing or acting upon the wishes of another person or organisation/s. This is a high risk.
  • Neglect of an elderly person or child/young person. This is a high risk.
  • Controlling behaviours over individuals, this may come in the form of manipulating a person’s environment (telling them what they can or can’t do, making them do things they may not be in agreement with). This can also come in the form of financial abuse which is controlling what someone spends, physically taking money from them. This

is a high risk.

  • Social Isolation – withdrawing from society or manipulating someone’s environment. Being socially isolated can significantly increase the risk of suicide. This is a high risk.
  • Domestic abuse – someone being controlled mentally, emotionally and physically. Also comes under social isolation although not restricted to social isolation. This is a high risk.

Risks may be on different levels:

  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

When a safeguarding concern is raised, a safeguarding form and a complaint form may be completed
if identified as one of the three classifications of risk.

What to look for when Safeguarding someone?

All members should be aware of safeguarding each other as well as non-members. Typical things that are easily noticed are:

  • A person verbally saying that they are depressed, self-harming and that they want to end their life.
  • Isolation is an important factor to consider, whether someone is being isolated or is deliberately isolating themselves, this should be investigated immediately as their situation could get worse. Social isolation could look like someone making a person go home early from an event, saying unkind and untrue things. The most common form of social isolation is the perpetrator telling other people untrue facts, or embellishing statements about the isolated person in order to set other people against them. Also comes under bullying.
  • Physical aspects could be seeing regular fresh bruises appear on someone’s body, flinching away from physical contact and being dominant or submissive around certain individuals.
  • If someone is being verbally abusive or manipulative this could look like someone being mocked publicly or forcing someone to do something that they initially verbalised they did not want to do.
  • Becoming frightened around a particular gender and not wanting physical contact. If someone is being sexually abused or harassed they will likely not come to events, or if they are able to attend they may steer clear of a certain triggers.
  • If Trustees or other members are aware of certain individuals who may have been incarcerated prior to attending an event or becoming a member, it is all members duty of care to ensure that information is discreetly shared with the Safeguarding Officer, who may have to inform the Trustees if that person committed a crime of high risk to our members.

Who can I report a Safeguarding Concern to?

There is an online form if you wish to follow the Whistleblowing policy and be made anonymous. Otherwise the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Coventry, London and Chelmsford is Hannah Baller. However, if you feel that the DSL is not the appropriate person to report to please call the police or Social Services to officially report a concern. If you have a concern DO NOT tell others to help protect who is involved on both sides.

  • West Midlands Police Emergency Number – 999.
  • West Midlands Police Daytime Number * 0845 113 5000

Social Services Number:

  • Coventry 024 7683 3478
  • London (Adults) 020 8430 2000
  • London City 020 7364 5000
  • Chelmsford 0845 603 7630
  • Geek.Zone 03000 3000 30
    HQ at Geek.Zone