Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Charity

Registered Charity Number 267532


Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children,

young people and adults at risk from abuse and neglect


It is the policy of the Village Hall Council that children and vulnerable adults should be accompanied by an appropriate person when using the relevant facilities. The context is that the Village Hall Charity itself sometimes runs activities for families where children are under the supervision and care of their parents (or people chosen by their parents), not the Charity. Vulnerable adults will normally have a carer, who will be responsible for their care, when visiting a village facility. However, there might be circumstances where children, or vulnerable adults, visit our facilities (Village Hall, Village bar & restaurant, camping ground, clubhouse, and village green), as part of an activity organised by a hirer of the village facilities. In those circumstances the hirer takes responsibility for safeguarding under the terms of hire and must ensure compliance with any relevant legislation. See section 5 and appendix A.

1. Purpose

We have a duty of care, and are committed to, the protection and safety of everyone who enters our premises including children, young people and adults at risk involved as visitors and/or as participants in all activities and events. We also have a duty to safeguard and support our trustees, volunteers, and staff.

This policy defines how Weston sub-Edge Village Hall operates to safeguard children, young people, and adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

2. Definitions

2.1 Children and young people

Theseare defined as persons aged under 18 years old. This policy will apply to all staff, contractors and volunteers and will be used to support their work. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health and development
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

2.2 Adults at risk of abuse or neglect

For the purposes of this policy, an adult at risk refers to someone over 18 years old who, according to Section 42 of the Care Act 2014:

  • has care and support needs
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • because of their care and support needs is unable to protect himself, or herself, against the abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

If someone has care and support needs but is not currently receiving care or support from a health or care service, they may still be an adult at risk.

2.3 Persons affected

  • All trustees, council members, volunteers, and village bar staff.
  • All those hiring or using the Hall or Village facilities.
  • All those attending any activity that is being delivered from the village hall or charity property.
  • All visitors and contractors.

3. Principles

There can be no excuses for not taking all reasonable action to protect children and adults at risk from abuse or neglect. All citizens of the United Kingdom have their rights enshrined within the Human Rights Act 1998. People who are eligible to receive health and community care services may be additionally vulnerable to the violation of these rights by reason of disability, impairment, age, or illness. Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Charity has a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, and it recognises that under the Care Act 2014, it has a duty to care for and protect adults who are at risk of abuse. It also recognises its responsibilities for the safety and care of children under the Children Act 1989 and 2004.
Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Charity is committed to promoting wellbeing, harm prevention and to responding effectively if concerns are raised. Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Charity is aware of the work of their local safeguarding Board/Partnership and other support organisations on the development and implementation of procedures for the protection of children and adults at risk. The policy is about stopping abuse where it is happening and preventing abuse where there is a risk that it may occur.

The Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Charity Council is committed to the following principles:

• The welfare of the child, young person or adult at risk is paramount.

• All children, young people and adults at risk have the right to protection from abuse.

• Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and

• All suspicions and allegations of abuse must be properly reported to the relevant internal and external authorities and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

4. Procedures

4.1 All members of the Council will sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office for trustees which includes a declaration that they have no convictions in relation to abuse.

4.2 All members of the Council will familiarise themselves with safeguarding responsibilities, undertake training where appropriate on safeguarding issues including whistleblowing where it is available, and offered by, their local safeguarding board/partnership or other local support organisation and ensure that they understand the principles set out in this policy at 3 above.

4.3 All members of the Council will work together to promote a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting welfare to be addressed.

4.4 All members of the Council, helpers or other volunteers will not have unsupervised access to children or adults at risk unless appropriately vetted.

4.5 The hall Council is not an employer but will follow proportionate safe recruitment practices for trustees, council members and volunteers.

4.6 A member of the Council will be appointed to be responsible for child and adult at risk safeguarding matters. This person will have responsibility for reporting concerns that arise, as a matter of urgency, to the relevant safeguarding agency.

4.7 The named person is Jacqueline Jelley, Booking Secretary and Safeguarding Officer until 1st October 2024. Jacqueline can be contacted on email: wsevillagehall@gmail.com or by telephone: 07415 718681.

4.8 All suspicions or allegations of abuse against a child or adult at risk will be taken seriously and dealt with speedily and appropriately. The appointed person will know who to contact and where to go for support and advice in relation to an allegation, a concern about the quality of care or practice or a complaint. An allegation may relate to a person who works with children or adults at risk who has:

• Behaved in a way that has, or may have, harmed a child or adult at risk; or

• Possibly committed a criminal offence against, or is related to, a child or adult at risk; or

• Behaved towards a child (or children) or adult (s) at risk in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to them.

5.0 Hirer Responsibilities

5.1 The Village Hall Council will ensure that all hirers of the hall have signed a hiring agreement. See appendix A for the relevant parts of the agreement. This requires all hirers who wish to use the hall for activities which include children and adults at risk, other than for hire for private parties arranged for invited friends and family, to either produce a copy of their Safeguarding Policy and evidence that they have carried out relevant checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) when requested to do so or, confirm that they have understood and will adhere to the hall’s principles and procedures with regard to safeguarding. Acceptance of the Village Hall Charity safeguarding policy is part of the agreed contract taken out on hiring the Hall.

5.2 It is recognised that some private events may fall outside of specific legislative requirements, but the Hirer will still be expected to ensure that safe processes, overseen by appropriate responsible adults are in place. It is also important to ensure that for all events, whether private or commercial, the level and type of supervision is appropriate to the age group and abilities of the children/vulnerable adults. At least 2 adults should be present when working with or supervising children and young people

5.3 The Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Council recommends that at least one responsible adult is First Aid trained. A fully equipped First Aid Box, and Accident Book is available in the main kitchen. A further First Aid box is available in the entrance hallway.

5.4 The Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Council is responsible for the maintenance of the

hall and its facilities, including the provision of toilets. It is the Hirer’s responsibility to ensure that the premises and facilities are suitable for the specific needs of the attendees at any event provided or hosted by them before the event proceeds. Hirers must ensure that children do not enter the kitchen areas unsupervised. Hirers need to be aware that facilities such as the toilets might be shared with other groups if they have not booked sole use of the Hall or facilities, and that appropriate supervision arrangements should be made.

5.5 The Hirer is responsible for ensuring that any items brought into the hall (for example, exercise or music equipment) conform to any relevant legislation to ensure that they are safe and fit for purpose. Equally, if any of the assets of the hall, such as crockery or the sound or video system are used as part of the hire then they must be used in a safe manner in order to minimise any risks to any users, including children and vulnerable adults.

5.6 Hirers should be aware of their obligations under the Licensing Act 2003 to ensure that alcohol is not sold to those under the age of 18 and that no children may be admitted to films when they are below the age classification for the film. No gambling or entertainment of an adult or sexual nature shall be permitted on the premises.

5.7 Should any user become aware of any potential or actual risk to any user of the hall (including children and/or vulnerable adults) which they cannot immediately safely rectify, then the event in progress must be immediately suspended or terminated until such time as the problem is satisfactorily addressed. Where such a risk is due to any fault with the premises then the Hall Booking Secretary or a member of the Weston sub-Edge Village Hall Council must be immediately notified. Emergency contact details are displayed on the Hall noticeboard.

6.0 Village Green

The Village Green play equipment and playing field are always publicly accessible. The play equipment and playing field are inspected monthly for any signs of damage, wear or other hazards and a report is made to the Parish Council. Any hazards identified by Village Green users, or the public should be notified immediately to the Hall Booking Secretary or a member of the Parish Council.

7. Review

The village hall management Council will carry out an annual review of this policy.

8. Communication of this policy

A copy of this policy will be available on the Village Hall website and will be displayed for the attention of all on the Village Hall notice board.

Updated: September 2022

Appendix A

Standard Conditions of Hire – Hiring Agreement

Safeguarding children, young people, and adults at risk

You must ensure that any activities for children, young people and adults at risk are only provided by fit and proper persons in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and 2004, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and any subsequent legislation. When requested, you must provide us with a copy of your Safeguarding Policy and evidence that you have carried out relevant checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). All reasonable steps must be taken to prevent harm, and to respond appropriately when harm does occur. Relevant concerns must be reported.