'Too important to get wrong' – but with #SafeguardingAsOne and new NCVO guides you can get it right

  • NCVO’s Knowhow advice site is hub for range of new online resources
  • User testing ensures resources meet user needs, are accessible and easy to use
  • Developed as part of DCMS and National Lottery-funded Safeguarding Training Fund

Safeguarding should be a core value of every voluntary organisation and considered a personal responsibility of everyone working in them, NCVO today urged.

A suite of free online resources, launched today, outlines simple steps that voluntary organisations can take to ensure that they are run in a way that actively prevents beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect.

The resources were developed collaboratively by an NCVO-led partnership made up of expert organisations, created to deliver phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund. The fund was announced in March by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Phase two funding of around £600,000 will be used to raise awareness of safeguarding and improve safeguarding practice with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across England. The successful applicants will share the new training resources, alongside promoting locally available advice and support.

Development of the resources has included extensive user research and usability testing with small charities by digital agency Neontribe to ensure that information is presented in an easily navigable and clear format.

#SafeguardingAsOne

The resources are clear that every charity has a responsibility to be a safe place, and they emphasise that safeguarding works best when everyone in a voluntary organisation engages with safeguarding. Hence NCVO’s use of the hashtag #SafeguardingAsOne.

Included in today’s new resources are a series of specialist guides for people working in particular roles, such as CEOs, 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. This in turn signposts to new content on partners’ website.

‘Highest priority’ for sector

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.

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.

Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society, 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.

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission for England and Wales, 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.

Notes

For any questions, please contact Sam Burne James (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07848 380 394.

  1. Resources can be found online at https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/safeguarding, which in turn signposts to partner sites. A full list of newly-published resources is available on request.
  2. The Safeguarding Training Fund is a jointly funded programme developed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund. It includes a total of £1.2m of funding over two phases until March 2022
  3. NCVO is the lead organisation of the partnership delivering phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund. Other partners are the NSPCC, the Ann Craft Trust, UK Youth, Protect, Children England, Charities HR Network, the FSI, NAVCA, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Action With Communities, National Adult Safeguarding Network, Third Sector Safeguarding Network and the National Youth Safeguarding Forum.
  4. Also involved in development of the materials were Neontribe, a digital agency who carried out user research and usability testing, and content agency Crocstar. The partnership also benefited from advice from professional services firm Bates Wells.
  5. The National Lottery Community Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (£511.1 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK and supported over 12,000 projects to turn their great ideas into reality.
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