Newington Green Alliance (NGA) Safeguarding Policy

Issued: April 9 2019

Last amended: October 8 2023

Valid until: October 7 2024

NGA Safeguarding Policy


Important people

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Andy Pakula
    [email protected]/07809144879
  • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Obafunsho Alalade
    [email protected]/07796357020
  • Please contact Andy or Obafunsho directly to discuss any safeguarding issues

Reporting an incident

  • To report an incident related to safeguarding please contact Andy or Obafunsho, who will investigate the issue
  • In urgent and/or violent cases please call the emergency services on 999

Rules for volunteers and staff

  • No child or vulnerable adult can be left alone, except with a formal carer, family member, partner or guardian
  • Adults may not work alone with children, at least two adults must be present at all times (This restriction also applies for staff and regular volunteers when outside of NGA activities or facilities.)
  • All adults working with children must have undergone a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check 
  • It is the responsibility of all volunteers and staff to familiarise themselves with NGA’s safeguarding procedures


Children’s Social Services

Hackney First Access Screening Team
0208 356 5500

City of London Children & Families Team
0207 332 3621

NSPCC Exploitation Helpline
0808 800 5000

Adult Social Services

Adults Social Care Team (City of London) 0207 332 1224 



What is safeguarding?


Safeguarding is broadly defined as the process by which children and vulnerable adults are protected, and the measures established to ensure that issues related to their protection are carried out correctly. Safeguarding is also the responsibility of anyone who works with children and vulnerable adults to ensure that full protection from various harms is enacted. 


This guideline outlines the measures that are to be established by NGA, it’s staff, trustees and volunteers, and identifies how children and vulnerable adults are to be protected from harm - and how various issues that may arise from this process are to be dealt with. 


Safeguarding is the responsibility of all NGA personnel, including staff, trustees, and volunteers. 


Why does this policy exist?


This policy exists in order to inform all members of NGA of the correct procedures and standards to keep children and vulnerable adults free from abuse and/or neglect. It outlines the exact procedures to be followed, while also advising on potential issues that may arise. 


The safeguarding policy should be agreed upon by all NGA staff and trustees, and should be regularly updated and amended when needed. 



Abuse: The ongoing mistreatment of a child or vulnerable adult. May include physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse and/or manipulation. 


Adults at risk/Vulnerable adults: Any adult who for reasons related to health, ability, mental health or background is more susceptible to harm and/or exploitation from another adult and may be unable to protect themselves fully will be considered a vulnerable adult. There is no set definition for what qualifies as ‘vulnerable’ and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In this document all disabled adults (including elderly adults with severe medical needs) are to be classified as vulnerable adults, as well as any other adults with severe mental health issues or regular care requirements. 


Children/Child: Defined as anyone under the age of 18. 


Domestic abuse: Any form of abuse which takes place in a domestic setting, e.g., a home or living space. This is typically enacted by one member of a family onto a partner or child, but can be seen between any members of a family unit also.


Exploitation: Defined as taking advantage of a child or vulnerable adult for personal gains. This includes sexual exploitation, as well as other forms of benefitting from the mistreatment of a child or vulnerable adult.


Grooming: Defined as the process of ‘preparing’ a child or vulnerable adult for a later assault, usually of a sexual nature. Characterised as various combined efforts to win a child/vulnerable adult’s trust so that they can be manipulated into engaging in behaviours they would normally avoid. Grooming may also be targeted at those around a specific child/vulnerable adult, e.g, their family and/or caregivers.


Harm: May be considered as a physical injury caused by abuse or neglect, or also as an emotional injury caused in a similar manner. 


Neglect: Defined in this document as a failure to provide the basic care requirements of a child or vulnerable adult. These needs may be physical, health-related, social or emotional - and vary depending on the individual’s own requirements. In the case of children, neglect may also be seen as the failure to provide for a child’s developmental needs, e.g., school and education. 


Regular volunteer: A volunteer that works with NGA at least once a month on an ongoing basis.



Children involved in NGA activities are potentially at risk of many forms of harm and exploitation. It is important for any staff member or volunteer working with children to understand the most common forms of harm, and how to recognise, minimise, and address them. 


Physical harm/injury In order to reduce the risk of injuries during activities with children correct procedures must be taken to ensure maximum safety. It is the responsibility of the staff member in charge of a children’s group to ensure that potential risks are minimised and that a full risk assessment is undertaken if needed. A standardised risk assessment should be used for all Bright Lights and related activities, but will need to be reevaluated and rewritten if any new forms of activities are undertaken. 


Staff members and volunteers should also be aware of potential risks to children outside of activities. Any potential risks should be highlighted by a member of staff, either in a meeting or a group email. 


Staff members should also ensure that volunteers are aware of potential risks to children during NGA activities. 


Grooming Children and young people face a higher risk of grooming. This is most likely to come from a caregiver or adult that is in regular contact with the child. Any adult that works with children should be made aware of grooming through adequate safeguarding training, and should also follow staff regulations to ensure that the risk of grooming is minimised(outlined in code of conduct section)


It is the responsibility of all adults to report behaviour that they feel may be related to child grooming. The procedure for this is highlighted in the code of conduct section (page 10)


Emotional abuse Emotional abuse may be difficult to spot - and adults working with children should be made aware of the potential indicators of emotional abuse through safeguarding training. All NGA staff members and regular volunteers must be trained to spot signs of emotional abuse.


Staff members and volunteers working with children should regularly ensure that a child is happy and not facing any form of emotional abuse, both within NGA and in their personal lives. Addressing this issue may be raised in several ways and children-focused staff members should be skilled in probing children on their emotional well being in an appropriate and effective way. 


Bullying Children are at a much higher risk from bullying than adults or other vulnerable individuals. Bullying may come from another child or from an adult. It is the responsibility of all adults to report incidents of bullying of children by adults.


In the case of child-on-child bullying however it is the responsibility of NGA’s staff and volunteers to address this issue. If a child is being bullied then staff and volunteers must address this issue through the bullying child and their family unit. NGA staff and volunteers are not authorised to discipline children for misbehaviour such as bullying, and so each incident should be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If a child persists in bullying another child (or children) then action should be taken to limit such child’s contact with other children, and the child may be barred from some or all future children’s activities. 


In each case of bullying, NGA’s staff and volunteers should work together to create an effective action plan that puts the welfare of all children first.


Familial abuse / neglect As with other forms of abuse and neglect familial abuse (any abuse coming from a family member or primary caregiver) may be difficult to spot. It is the responsibility of all adults to report signs of abuse and neglect to the correct individual. 


In the case of familial and/or domestic abuse a NGA DSL should undertake the responsibility of reporting issues to a higher authority if needed. In most cases of familial abuse a social service worker or organisation is best equipped to deal with these serious issues. 


Staff and volunteers should inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead of any signs of neglect and abuse. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should then in turn use this information to contact the correct authorities. In no case should the family be approached directly.


All staff members should be adequately trained in spotting the signs of domestic abuse through full safeguarding training. All staff should also be made aware of the reporting procedure as outlined in this policy. 


Inappropriate contact Physical contact with children should be limited only to include appropriate forms of contact. This is here defined as any contact that is fully consensual and not of a sexual and/or intimidating nature. 


Forms of contact including hugs, high-fives, hand holding or contact during activities should only be done with permission from the child. Children should in no case be encouraged to touch or have physical contact with an adult that is unwanted. Certain forms of contact, including kissing, touching of intimate areas, undressing, etc. should be considered always inappropriate. If you see an adult engaging in such behaviour you should report this as a safeguarding concern. 


Younger children may be carried between locations if another adult is present, but should not be held if showing signs of distress. If a younger child appears to be upset (e.g. crying or screaming) then that child’s carer or guardian should be contacted. 



Domestic violence / abuse Any form of violence, abuse or neglect within a home setting can be considered domestic abuse. The most common form of domestic abuse is violence between an adult and an adult partner or a child. It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to report any possible signs of domestic abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who should formulate an action plan if needed. 


If domestic violence of an adult is suspected then the Designated Safeguarding Lead should ensure that resources are made available for the suspected victim so that they may self-report or approach authorities if needed. In no case should the suspected abuser be approached directly, or higher authorities approached without the express permission of the victim*. The exact procedure for dealing with domestic abuse is highlighted in the reporting procedure section of this policy (p15). 


In some cases a vulnerable adult may be unable to self-report, under such circumstances it should be the responsibility of another adult to obtain full support for the individual in question.


All staff members, long-term volunteers and trustees should be trained through safeguard training in how to spot signs of potential abuse. They should also be aware of the correct reporting procedure and understand the correct boundaries of their involvement (highlighted in the code of conduct section, P10). 


(*= in the case of immediate physical harm police or other authorities may need to be contacted)


Sexual abuse Certain vulnerable adults may be more at risk of sexual abuse than others. Any staff member or long term volunteer should be trained in understanding and addressing these issues. In the case of sexual abuse there may be physical as well as emotional signs that indicate potential harm. It is also important to note that in some cases a vulnerable adult may not fully understand the concept of sexual abuse due to learning difficulties or other disabilities.


The exact definition of sexual abuse, or the understanding of it from the victim’s perspective, may not be important however - as the reporting procedure is similar to all other forms of abuse and neglect. In some cases however a victim may come forward to report a recent incident - in these immediate cases the reporting procedure may differ. Permission must be acquired* in all cases from the individual to report their concerns. 


*In cases where an adult at risk is unable to give informed consent due to a disability or related issue a Designated Safeguarding Lead should approach the proper authorities despite a lack of the victim’s full consent.


Neglect from caregivers Neglect from a caregiver may not always occur intentionally. In some cases the failure to care for a vulnerable adult may not be through malicious intent, but from a lack of experience, developed inability to provide adequate care, or a misunderstanding of their needs. In all cases adults working with vulnerable adults should have a knowledge of the vulnerable individual’s care needs and be able to understand if a vulnerable adult is receiving adequate care and who is responsible for this. 


In some cases the vulnerable adult themselves may be unable to report on their own care - and so this information should be gained from the caregiver or another person in a similar position. If a caregiver believes that they are unable to care for a vulnerable adult and may need assistance in providing correct care, NGA’s Designated Safeguarding Lead should work with the carer to put them in touch with any organisations that can provide additional training or resources that may be needed. The Designated Safeguarding Leads should attempt to reach out to social services on behalf of the carer and facilitate communication which aims to help a carer provide the proper level of care.


In cases where neglect from a caregiver is suspected as being intentional then an incident must be treated as with any case of intentional abuse and should therefore be reported with the individual’s consent wherever appropriate. (see sexual abuse for more information on obtaining permission to report)


Discrimination (racial/sexual/gender/etc) Individuals from a marginalised group are more likely to face potential harm due to discrimination and bigoted behaviours. In all cases NGA should work to ensure that all forms of discriminatory behaviour are prevented within its activities. Staff and trustees should ensure a plan is created to support marginalised people and ensure that they are supported and empowered. 


If an individual reports a specific incident related to discrimination, or if a case of discrimination-related abuse is suspected then it must be reported to the correct authorities (as defined in later sections), and to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.


Ableism Many vulnerable adults face the added threat of ableism. Ableism is any form of abuse or discrimination that stems from stigma related to an individual's physical or mental health. It is the responsibility of all adults to address ableism if it occurs. At the same time adults working with vulnerable (and/or disabled) adults or children should be equipped to understand and address issues of ableism. 


NGA should ensure that any member of staff, volunteer, or activity participant who may be facing ableist discrimination is supported within our community. If an individual comes forward in search of support, NGA staff and the Designated Safeguarding Lead should create an action plan to ensure that their additional needs in this area are being addressed. No incidents of ableism or ableist behaviour should be accepted and should be addressed by staff and management if they occur. 


Financial abuse and exploitation Vulnerable adults, especially the elderly and those with learning and or/mental health issues, are at risk of financial exploitation and financial abuse. Financial abuse is the deliberate exploitation of an individual for financial gains, or the neglect of a vulnerable adult through controlling or withholding their own wealth. 


Specific actions in limiting the potential for financial exploitation by NGA’s staff are highlighted in the code of conduct section (P10). Staff working with vulnerable adults should try to be aware of how finances impact on a vulnerable adult and who controls this finance. If financial abuse is suspected it should be dealt with as with other forms of neglect and abuse.  




The following sections outline the behavioural standards that all staff, trustees and volunteers should adhere to in order to minimise the potential risk to vulnerable adults and children. A standardised code of conduct in all areas of work is important in ensuring that NGA NGA activity participants are unable to engage in behaviour which may increase the risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. 


Staff, volunteers and trustees that do not adhere to the code of conduct may be in breach of law - and may also face disciplinary action from within the NGA structure. Information on this is found in a later section of the policy (P22). Volunteers found in breach of the code of conduct may also face disciplinary action, as detailed below. 



All members of staff, volunteers and trustees at NGA must follow a code of conduct. The following rules must be adhered to at all time:


  1. No child (or children) can be left alone with an adult other than a family member or official caregiver. There must always be at least two responsible adults present with a child(or children). All adults must be DBS-checked members of staff or volunteer. 
    1. A child must not be accompanied inside of a toilet/washroom, except by a family member or primary caregiver. Adults accompanying a child to a bathroom must wait outside.
    2. No child, including creche children, should be changed or undressed by a member of staff or volunteer. Babies and toddlers should be changed by a relative or primary caregiver in a private space. (in highly exceptional circumstances, such as administering first aid for a burn, some undressing may be acceptable)
    3. An official caregiver is here defined as the legal guardian or carer responsible for a child in their daily life. 


  1. These same rules must also be applied to any adults that are considered to have severe learning or mental difficulties. Adults who are classed as ‘disabled’ and who are unable to provide their own health or care needs should be accompanied by a responsible adult, usually a formal guardian or carer, during NGA events.
    1. The term ‘disabled’ is defined by the 2010 Equality act as any physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) negative effect on the ability to do normal daily activities.
    2. An adult classified as ‘disabled’ may be able to provide their own care needs and may not require or wish for an accompanying adult. In these cases NGA should respect the wishes of the individual. 
    3. Accompanying adults should only be provided in cases in which a disabled adult would otherwise usually be accompanied by a carer or guardian.


  1. All staff members and volunteers should undergo an ‘enhanced’ DBS (disclosure and barring service) check and self-disclosure statement before working with children and vulnerable adults. Anyone working with children or vulnerable adults is also required to undergo a DBS check by law
    1. This check should be undertaken during the individual’s recruitment period. A short ‘trial’ period should be allowed for a DBS check to be passed, and for unsuccessful candidates to be rejected from continuing any in roles they may be barred from.
    2. An additional enhanced self-disclosure statement is also recommended, however this is voluntary and is not required by law and cannot be enforced onto a member of staff 
    3. Any unspent convictions revealed by a DBS check may exclude an individual from working with children and adults. Further information on this is found in a later section (p13)


  1. A qualified first aider must be on-site during all public activities at NGA. Adults working with children and vulnerable adults must be aware of their nearest qualified first aider and understand how to contact them during emergencies. 
    1. A public event is considered any activity where members of the public are freely able to attend, and does not include closed events such as staff meetings or training workshops
    2. In small events such as staff meetings or workshops it is not necessary to have an on-site first aider. However, emergency contact details must be available and easily accessible. 
    3. First aider training should be organised by NGA, usually through a qualified third-party trainer.
    4. Staff or volunteers working closely with children need to be trained especially in paediatric first aid.


  1. Volunteers that work with children regularly through NGA will be held to the same standards as staff members with regards to DBS checks. A volunteer that applies to work with children regularly must complete a DBS check
    1. All the adults working with children must be DBS-checked during children’s events. No adult is permitted to work alone with children. 
    2. Regularly is defined as more than once a month. For example, parents that volunteer casually are not considered regular volunteers.


  1. Any adult that works with children on a regular basis through NGA (at least once a month) must not have contact with any individual child (or children) outside of NGA without other adults present. An adult in this situation cannot spend time with a child with whom they have contact through NGA, unless they are a relative or primary carer- or in emergency situations. 
    1. Adults may not escort children to another location outside of NGA without express permission of their responsible adult.
    2. Staff and volunteers working with children must not work as informal carers or babysitters for a family or child taking part in NGA activities.. 
    3. Restricting time alone with children outside of NGA exists in order to limit the possibility of potential grooming. If a staff member or volunteer has been found to consciously breach these rules disciplinary action should be taken.
    4. ‘Working with children’ is defined here as direct work primarily with any person under 18 years of age. General work, such as helping with other activities that may be in the presence of children and adults at the same time, is not considered ‘work with children’


  1. Adults (volunteers and staff) may not communicate privately with any child under the age of 18 through telephone, letters, email or social media that they have met through NGA. 
    1. In certain incidents related to safeguarding a child may be required to be contacted by an adult through NGA. In these cases this communication should be recorded and noted in any action plans that are required. 
    2. Broadcast and public communications such as email newsletters and Facebook groups are exempt from this restriction.


  1. A staff member or regular volunteer must not encourage the exchange of money or valuables with any NGA activity participant, e.g., in the form of a gift or loan. Any gifts received by a member of staff or regular volunteer from an NGA activity participant with a monetary value exceeding £5 should be disclosed to a member of the trustees
    1. If a trustee believes that a gift was received unjustly, or through purposeful solicitation, then they may order it to be returned to the original giver
    2. If the trustees believe an NGA staff members is attempting to financially exploit an NGA activity participants then further disciplinary action should be agreed upon
    3. This restriction exists to limit the possibility of financial neglect and/or abuse of a vulnerable or elderly adult. 
    4. Typical gifts (such as birthday gifts, flowers, etc.), as well as time volunteered for NGA, should not be discouraged within the community, and only examples in which one individual exploits another for personal gain should be treated as a potential form of abuse


  1. Staff members, regular volunteers and trustees must never use language that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or discriminatory in any other way in any setting
    1. Use of this language in front of children is completely unacceptable and should be addressed with disciplinary action
    2. Using a slur within context, such as explaining why it is wrong in a lesson plan, may be acceptable. But the use of slurs and related language should also be limited with children
    3. If a staff member or volunteer is suspected of encouraging discriminatory views then it should be raised with a senior member of staff who should arrange a meeting to discuss these concerns, and possibly issue disciplinary action




If a DBS check reveals an unspent* conviction for a violent crime, or any form of abuse or neglect related to children and/or vulnerable adults then the individual must not be allowed to work with children and/or vulnerable adults. 


Some convictions legally limit an individual from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. These serious convictions are revealed as part of the DBS procedure. Any individual listed on the DBS ‘barred list’ is legally unable to work with vulnerable adults or children. If an individual falls under this category full details will be provided during the DBS procedure. NGA cannot legally hire individuals with ‘barred list’ convictions to work with children and/or vulnerable adults in any capacity.


Certain other convictions that may be revealed are subject to dismissal at the discretion of the trustees. Some unspent convictions may be considered not serious enough to warrant dismissal, or may not legally limit an individual from working with children and/or vulnerable adults, for example. 


If an individual is found to have committed a crime after being hired that would place them on the ‘barred list’ then they must be dismissed from NGA (if they work in any capacity with children or vulnerable adults). If an individual is convicted of a ‘less serious’ crime then their potential dismissal may be at the discretion of NGA staff and trustees. 


An individual’s job role should be defined before hiring by use of a job description. Whether or not, and to what extent, an individual will be required to work directly with children and/or vulnerable adults should be defined before an individual is hired. 


*Unspent convictions are defined as any criminal act for which an individual has been prosecuted and for which not enough time has passed for the conviction to be considered ‘spent’. Only certain ‘less serious’ crimes, such as traffic violations or misdemeanours can be ‘spent’ and therefore no longer part of an individual’s criminal record. Certain crimes may be accepted by NGA and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. 




If an individual applying as a volunteer or staff member has been previously convicted of a crime related to children or vulnerable adults, but may benefit from access to the NGA community then the Designated Safeguarding Lead should work to create a restricted access agreement. 


These agreements are created by the individual and the Designated Safeguarding Lead in order to allow them to access certain activities of NGA while also protecting children and vulnerable adults. These agreements should include:


  • An assessment on the potential risks involved with allowing the individual to access the community
  • Agreed boundaries, such as when and where an individual can access community events and which areas are restricted (direct work with vulnerable adults and children is not allowed, for example)
  • An agreement from the individual to work with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to set reasonable boundaries and restrictions
  • An agreement between both parties to also work with any relevant probation procedures that may be in place (liaison with police, social services, etc.)
  • Procedure to regularly review the agreement, and a procedure in place if any part of the agreement is violated


The aim of the agreement should be to allow an individual to access selected NGA activities but to also be restricted from certain activities that may increase the risk of harm for vulnerable adults and children. Restrictions such as not attending events with children, informing a member of staff about their attendance and presence, etc. should all be agreed on a case-by-case basis. 




In addition to a DBS check, any staff member or long-term volunteer should undergo formal assessment during their recruitment to ensure that they are suitable for a job which may involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults. During this time the NGA members responsible for their recruitment must include an interview or other form of assessment that includes elements of safeguarding and awareness. 


No member of staff or long-term volunteer should be allowed to join NGA’s team without displaying adequate knowledge of safeguarding, and an ability to work safely with children and vulnerable adults. Determination of suitability must be decided by a group of NGA trustees on a case-by-case basis depending on the position in question.


In addition, all members of staff working regularly with children and/or vulnerable adults should undergo an additional self-disclosure through CCPAS. This ensures that all information provided is in-line with legal requirements. Information on this procedure can be found through the CCPAS website (




All staff members and volunteers working regularly with children and/or vulnerable adults must also undertake safeguarding training. This takes two forms; the first is online training delivered through CCPAS and the second is on-the-job training from another member of staff. 


Online training is organised by NGA staff and should be undertaken in the first month of work. Online training helps to raise awareness of issues of abuse and neglect, and trains individuals in the correct procedure to spot and report various forms of abuse. 


In addition to this any adult working with children and/or vulnerable adults must undergo a period of training with a qualified member of staff. During this training the correct safeguarding policies  and the standard practices within their specific group should be highlighted. Training in this manner should be tailored to address the individual’s specific training requirements. 


Standard training is valid for 3 years and should be retaken after this time, or if an individual’s role changes to include additional work with children and/or vulnerable adults. 




Under UK law an organisation such as NGA is legally required to ensure the care and safety of young people. The Children Act 2004 (England) places a duty on organisations involved in providing services for children and young people to safeguard and promote their well-being. This means all workers should treat those they are caring for with respect and dignity as well as demonstrate competence and integrity.


Before any adult begins work with children, young people and vulnerable adults they must be equipped with the training and resources that enable them to adequately perform their role in accordance with all proper safeguarding practices. 


All safeguarding practices should reflect the principles underpinning good safeguarding set out in the statement of government policy on adult safeguarding (2014). The six principles are:

  1. Empowerment: presumption of person-led decisions and informed consent
    2. Protection: support and representation for those in greatest need
    3. Prevention: taking action before harm occurs
    4. Proportionality: the least intrusive responses appropriate to the risk presented
    5. Partnership: local solutions through services working with their communities
    6. Accountability: accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding


All staff members, volunteers and trustees working with vulnerable groups should be aware of these six principles and be equipped in order to bring these practices into their work when required. 



It is the duty (and often legal requirement) of responsible adults to report and respond to all forms of abuse and neglect that they may encounter. Reporting these issues falls under two main categories: reporting of an actual incident and reporting of warning signs or indicators that suggest a likely incident that has not been confirmed. In both cases it is the responsibility of all NGA staff and volunteers to report incidents or warning signs that may indicate the occurrence of abuse or neglect. 


During the reporting of an incident it is vital that a victim (or potential victim) is supported adequately. This includes ensuring they have adequate medical support, mental health support and are able to escape from an abusive situation if needed. At the same time confidentiality is important for all individuals involved. Reporting of an incident should be done with confidentiality as a priority and should include only individuals or agencies from qualified channels who are able to handle an incident in the correct manner. 


The Designated Safeguarding Lead is ultimately responsible for ensuring that incidents reported are dealt with correctly and with maximum confidentiality. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should also act as liaison between NGA and outside groups in situations that require additional external support. 




In cases where a child or vulnerable adult reports an incident or abuse or neglect to a member of staff it is important to gain as much information as possible while maintaining the confidentiality of the victim. In no cases should any individual being accused of abuse/neglect be included in handling a reported incident. 


When a child or vulnerable adult comes forward, an adult should speak privately with the individual in question, and gain details on the incident. In all cases a responsible adult should ensure that the environment in which an individual reports an incident is confidential and safe. Tips for achieving this include:


  • Allow the individual as much time and space as needed and whenever possible talk in person
  • Listen without interrupting
  • If possible note down your questions in advance and go through them one-by-one to ensure the correct information is obtained
  • Do not act in a judgemental way, and do not judge the individual on their behaviour or attitudes. Always show acceptance and understanding in all cases
  • Remain calm and speak in a calm and soft manner, even if it does not reflect your current mood
  • Be honest and do not make promises regarding the situation (e.g., solving a problem, keeping full confidentiality)
  • If an individual decides to withhold information or cancel a meeting accept this and ensure there is the option for them to share any information at a later time if needed (e.g.,provide an email address)
  • Use language that is age-appropriate and communicate in an accessible way. (e.g., braille, sign language if needed, etc.)


When information is obtained it should be recorded in a suitable format, usually as an electronic document, and shared with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Any information should not include names or any other identifying qualities, and should not be accessible to the general public or individuals not involved with the reporting procedure. 


Relevant information to retain varies on a case-by-case basis. Understanding how to recognise and record this information should be covered during formal safeguard training. In general, any incidents that need to be reported to police or social services must be recorded. However this information must not be made publicly available and should contain no identifying information wherever possible.


After receiving relevant information the Designated Safeguarding Lead should create an action plan designed to address the individual’s needs, while also ensuring that maximum safety and confidentiality is ensured. This may include approaching support agencies, health services or the police, and should always ensure that an individual is able to leave an abusive or neglectful situation and receive maximum support from NGA. 


No part of the reporting procedure or support should be shared with anyone except for those involved in the support situation (e.g., the individual, Designated Safeguarding Leads and any relevant support networks). This includes any members of staff, trustees or volunteers that are not involved in the support procedure. 




If you witness an incident of abuse or neglect, it is your responsibility to report it in a timely and effective manner. Timing may be hugely important, as in many cases small incidents can escalate into more serious issues of abuse and neglect if not addressed. 


As with other incidents the issue should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. If the Designated Safeguarding Lead is not available, the incident should be reported to the deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. If neither officer is available and if the incident seems to be highly pressing then an incident should be reported to local police authorities (not through the emergency services) who will advise on the correct procedure. In either case the incident should be recorded by the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 


If an incident presents an immediate threat of violence or injury to a child or vulnerable adult then the incident should be addressed through the police. 


Before reporting an issue it is important to have as much information recorded as possible. Details such as individuals involved, timings, and locations should all be written down and given to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. After receiving a report, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will create an action plan and attempt to address the issue at hand. In some cases the individual reporting the incident may be required to help during the supporting phase to corroborate information or help provide support services. 




Staff and volunteers should be trained in spotting the signs of possible abuse or neglect through safeguarding training. Some aspects of this are also outlined in this policy (page 4 onwards).


If you observe indications that a child or vulnerable adult may be the victim of abuse or neglect you should attempt to gain more information and raise your concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. When possible warning signs are first spotted, make a note of their kind and where you first witnessed them. It may be important to track the development of certain indicators that may be linked to abuse and neglect. 


Common warning signs may include:


  • Bruises, cuts or bodily injuries. These may also be in concealed areas in some cases
  • Sudden changes in mood and mood swings
  • Acting withdrawn, depressed or ‘disconnected’
  • Unusual or deteriorating health patterns which may indicate an inadequate lack of care
  • Unwillingness to discuss personal/family life in any form
  • Nervousness or fear around a relative or carer
  • (In children) attention-seeking behaviour and ‘acting up’
  • Atypical emotional reactions or a sudden change in emotional behaviour
  • Eating disorder-like behaviour, such as eating erratically or refusing to eat
  • Unwillingness to leave an activity and/or return to a family member or carer


Spotting the warning signs of abuse and neglect should be covered during online safeguarding training.


If one or more of these signs is spotted in a child or vulnerable adult, especially if they occur with any regularity, then it may indicate an abusive or neglectful situation. In these cases an adult should attempt to gain more information by talking with the individual in question and trying to understand any problems they may be experiencing. 


The individual in question should only be approached, and not their family or carers. This conversation should be presented as a friendly conversation, and not explicitly as an attempt to see if they are being victimised. Information from this conversation should be noted as it may be important. 


If you feel unsure of how to approach an individual or of how to gain information or offer support then you may wish to ask the Designated Safeguarding Lead to approach the individual. 


If a conversation reveals an incident that requires support, then you should discuss with the individual how you intend to handle their problem. Being honest and upfront is important. Ensuring confidentiality is vital, and you should emphasise that no one (except the Designated Safeguarding Leads and/or any relevant support agencies) will be involved unless the individual explicitly wishes them to be. In these cases you must agree with the individual a plan of action and outline where necessary any external organisations that may need to be contacted. Ensure that the individual understands and agrees to your approach, and that they are ensured of their confidentiality. 


In some cases an individual may not wish to discuss an incident, or report a case of abuse or neglect. In these cases the Designated Safeguarding Lead should be made aware of the incident and the individual in question should be presented with alternative accessible ways of gaining support or reporting a problem, such as an email address or phone number. Ensuring that an individual is able to report an incident at a later time that they feel is more suitable is important, and not allowing an incident to go completely unaddressed is vital. 




The above flowchart gives an overview of incidents where NGA staff and volunteers are obliged to report an incident of abuse and/or neglect. If an incident does not fit into the above flowchart then an individual should seek advice from an external authority, such as a social services team, immediately.


In all cases the identity of a victim or potential victim should be kept anonymous, except when 

providing details to a relevant social services or police team. 



In addition to reporting from within NGA’s staff members and volunteers, channels should be established for NGA activity participants and the general public to report issues that may be related to the safety and wellbeing of NGA activity participants. 


A complaints / suggestions system must be maintained in which members of the public can offer suggestions on various aspects of the organisation. This system should be anonymous and be made completely accessible. In addition NGA activity participants should be made aware of its existence and how they can anonymously offer suggestions. 


If an issue raised is linked to safeguarding or the safety and wellbeing of NGA activity participants, especially children and vulnerable adults, then an action plan should be created by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and agreed upon by the trustees. 


THE ROLE OF THE Designated Safeguarding Leads


The Designated Safeguarding Lead is a  staff member or trustee that is responsible for the welfare and safety of NGA NGA activity participants, including the implementation of safeguarding policies and the handling of potential incidents. 


The Designated Safeguarding Lead should handle any possible incidents and be responsible for ensuring that full support is achieved whenever possible. At the same time the Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for updating and implementing safeguarding policies so that they continue to ensure the safety and welfare of all NGA Designated Safeguarding Lead. 


Procedures must also be put in place to ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead is held responsible for any mistakes they may make. The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead may need to be altered at a later date, with additional responsibilities being added or removed to ensure that the role is suitable for the needs of NGA and its community. Any changes to the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead should be done with the input of the trustees and NGA staff.  


The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for assisting the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The deputy must ensure that the primary Designated Safeguarding Lead is able to fulfil their role, and is responsible for addressing any problems within the role that may occur. The deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead must also act in the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead if the main officer is absent or unable to work.




Any complaints made regarding the Designated Safeguarding Lead should be handled by the trustees (except in cases where a trustee has been accused of a safeguarding violation). A discussion should be held over the suitability of the current officer in their role, and also of the powers and responsibilities of their role. If it is determined that they are unable to perform their role correctly, or that their role is unsuitable for maintaining safety and welfare, then the trustees must agree upon a new officer or job description for the current officer. 


If a new officer is appointed then they should immediately update the NGA safeguarding policy and if needed make changes which should be agreed upon by the trustees. 


If a serious complaint is made regarding the Designated Safeguarding Lead then the trustees should consider dismissing the current officer. If the officer has been found to be neglectful or has broken any serious guidelines in their role then these should be recorded and reported to the police. 



In the absence of the Designated Safeguarding Lead reports should be made to a senior member of staff or trustee. 


If a concern is about a child the Safeguarding Coordinator should be responsible for contacting the Children’s Social Services. If the concern is regarding a vulnerable adult then the Adult Social Services should be contacted. 


Children’s Social Services

Hackney First Access Screening Team
0208 356 5500

City of London Children & Families Team
0207 332 3621

NSPCC Exploitation Helpline
0808 800 5000

Adult Social Services

Adults Social Care Team (City of London) 0207 332 1224


In emergency situations when an individual is at immediate risk of injury, harm or serious abuse the police should be contacted on 999



In the case of a serious incident by a staff member or volunteer, NGA must be prepared to issue disciplinary action. Any action that potentially jeopardises the safety and welfare of a child or vulnerable adult must be taken seriously. 


Any examples of the following incidents should be considered justification for disciplinary action. 


  • Breaching the code of conduct outlined in this safeguarding guideline
  • Failure to provide accurate self-disclosure information for DBS checks
  • Involvement in a criminal incident 
  • Failure to undertake required safeguarding training
  • Failure to report a potential harm or safeguarding concern 
  • Inadequate care or safeguarding of a child or vulnerable adult
  • Being subject of a complaint by a parent, relative, carer or any NGA activity participant


In each case this action should be issued on a case-by-case basis. First time ‘offenders’ should be offered additional training if needed in order to continue their role effectively. Anyone who continues to behave inappropriately should be considered for disciplinary action.


In cases where a volunteer or staff member is found to have been involved in the abuse, neglect or manipulation of a child or vulnerable adult immediate dismissal must be issued. The individual in question should also be reported to police. If a member of NGA has been found to be involved in an incident like this then the Designated Safeguarding Lead must report to the trustees on why a serious incident was able to occur. An immediate review of the safeguarding policy must be undertaken and the trustees may wish to issue disciplinary action to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 



NGA must show a commitment to transparency and openness within its safeguarding policy. This safeguarding policy must be accessible to event participants and members of the public and may be subject of a freedom of information request. Information within the safeguarding policy should be open to consultation, and feedback from the public should be taken into consideration.  


No information recorded during interviews or any part of the safeguarding and support process should be accessible to the general public. All information regarding individuals and incidents of abuse and/or neglect should be kept only during the support process and should be later retained by an organisation such as social services or the police and not by NGA. 




Safeguarding is a continuous process. It is the responsibility of all members of staff and volunteers to ensure that the welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults is maintained at all times. As a result our approach to safeguarding may adapt over time. 


This safeguarding policy should be reviewed annually by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and agreed upon by the trustees. In the case of a new Designated Safeguarding Lead taking over the policy should also be reviewed and presented to trustees. 


In any incident where NGA is shown to have failed in its safeguarding approach then a full review of its safeguarding policy must occur and the Designated Safeguarding Lead must issue a report into how and why an incident was able to occur.


Training of staff and volunteers must be ongoing, and retraining in areas related to safeguarding should occur at regular times. This period depends on how long the training remains in date. It is the responsibility of staff members to ensure that their training remains up to date and the responsibility of the NGA Administrator to organise training when needed.