Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has been awarded over £100k from the National Lottery Community Fund to promote good safeguarding practice to village and community halls throughout England.
ACRE will be working to make sure that the voluntary management committees that run halls and community buildings have the knowledge and confidence to provide a safe environment for all.
Advice and examples of best practice will be shared with those managing and using village and community halls so that they fully understand their responsibilities and have appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures in place.
The project will be rolled out using ACRE’s network of 38 county-based members, including Surrey Community Action, who already provide support to rural village and community halls. We will be working with management committees to help them understand current legislation around safeguarding and make sure procedures are in place which reflect good practice. Ultimately, our aim is to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding and making sure that these important rural assets are welcoming and safe places for all.
England’s 10,000 village halls are at the heart of rural community life – providing a hub for social activities, classes and services. Through its network of skilled advisers, ACRE supports the 80,000 volunteers who run village halls and similar rural community buildings.
NCVO Safeguarding information https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/safeguarding
NSPCC child protection guidance https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/voluntary-community-groups/
Safeguarding concerns: practice example – hiring out space https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/safeguarding-concerns-practice-examples/
Safeguarding guidance for disabled children and adults at risk https://www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/
Voluntary and community groups guidance from NSPCC
A range of resources available to assist you in achieving best practice in safeguarding disabled children and adults at risk. https://www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/
ACRE produce the following information sheets that can assist Village Halls to consider their safeguarding responsibilities – please contact our Community Buildings Adviser
5. Village halls, children and young people
17. Trustees – roles and responsibilities
21. Overnight accommodation in village halls
22. Managing employees and volunteers
Guidance on handling safeguarding allegations in a charity
This portal, at https://safeguarding.culture.gov.uk/ offers a step by step guide to help charities correctly manage their concerns, identify the right people to contact if needed and access helpful resources and advice.
Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a responsibility to safeguard people from harm or abuse, whether they are staff members, volunteers, or other people who come into contact with your charity through its work. This tool will help charities in England to handle the reporting of safeguarding allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity.
This link provides the Government statutory guidance, definitions, and responsibilities (A useful reference guide)