Campaigning guidance

Our guidance for charities on campaigning in the lead up to the general election. Learn more

Safeguarding and volunteers

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Taking a safeguarding approach to volunteering will help your organisation keep people safe. It creates a culture where everyone understands their right to be safe.

Your volunteers should see safeguarding as a way of working every day. They should understand why it’s important to keep everyone safe, including themselves.

If you’re new to safeguarding, get started with our what is safeguarding page.

What to consider

You need to think about:

  • volunteers causing harm to others – such as staff, other volunteers or clients
  • others in (or in contact with) your organisation causing harm to your volunteers
  • people outside your organisation causing harm that comes to volunteers' attention when volunteering.

Where to start

You should think about safeguarding at all stages of volunteering. This includes:

  • planning and putting in place the right policies to keep your volunteers and others safe
  • taking an appropriate approach to safeguarding when you recruit and induct volunteers
  • including safeguarding in other volunteer support processes like supervisions
  • thinking about safeguarding when a volunteer leaves your organisation.

NCVO has specialist guidance for volunteer managers to help you get safeguarding right.

Safeguarding concerns

If you're worried a volunteer or someone else is at risk of harm, you should always speak up. See our guidance on what to do if you have immediate concerns.

Our designated safeguarding lead’s handbook includes detailed guidance on responding to safeguarding concerns.

Last reviewed: 12 April 2021

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 12 April 2021

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