NCVO has launched a range of free online safeguarding resources, in conjunction with several other charities, to outline how voluntary organisations can prevent beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm.
The resources were created to deliver phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund, which was announced in March by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in conjunction with the National Lottery Community Fund.
Minister for civil society, Baroness Barran, said: “Charities must be safe spaces for everyone, whether that’s employees, volunteers or those who use their important services.
“We all have a responsibility to raise awareness about safeguarding, ensuring organisations know their responsibilities and how to report concerns. I am therefore delighted that my colleagues in DCMS have worked alongside NCVO and other charities to develop these essential resources.”
The resources emphasise that “safeguarding works best when everyone in a voluntary organisation engages with safeguarding”. NCVO is now using the hashtag #SafeguardingAsOne to raise awareness of the resources.
The resources include specialist guides for people working in specific roles, such as chief executives, trustees, fundraisers, HR staff, PR & marketing staff and those working in voluntary sector infrastructure bodies.
The NCVO Knowhow website acts as the main hub for the resources, which directs users to content on partner websites.
‘Safeguarding is everyone’s business’
Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, said: “There can be no higher priority for the voluntary sector than looking after the wellbeing and dignity of absolutely everyone in contact with our organisations whether our intended beneficiaries, staff or volunteers.”
He added: “Safeguarding is everyone’s business – everybody working or volunteering in a voluntary organisation should understand it, even those who don’t work directly with children or adults at risk. The more that people understand their part to play in safeguarding, the more effective the whole sector’s safeguarding becomes.
“Safeguarding is too important to get wrong. These resources, developed with partners who are experts in their fields, give simple advice for organisations to take the first steps to get it right. All organisations can continue to improve their safeguarding and these resources will help them on that journey.”
Commission: ‘Charities should be places where people know the signs and symptoms of harm’
Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission, said: “Everyone involved in charities has the right to feel safe. For trustees, this starts with making protecting people from harm an absolute governance priority.
“Charities should be places where people know the signs and symptoms of harm and what to do when they have concerns, as well as the understanding that they will be heard. This is vital for all organisations – especially charities that exist to do good.
“We welcome the launch of these new resources by NCVO, which will support the sector as it strengthens its response to safeguarding.
“As regulator, ensuring trustees have the information they need in this area has been a priority for the Commission for some time. We are continuing to work in this area, building and developing the guidance we provide to trustees, as well as better enabling people to come forward when they have concerns about a charity,” she said.