The Government has launched a new online portal today that will strengthen its support to charities handling safeguarding concerns or allegations
The portal, based on 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.
Following a combined £1.2 million DCMS and National Lottery Community Fund investment the portal will be promoted by six organisations across England. They have been appointed to champion the importance of good safeguarding and locally available sources of advice and support.
The funding has been awarded to:
Voluntary Organisations Network North East (VONNE) £115,000: VONNE will partner with four local infrastructure organisations in the North East to deliver regular training sessions, develop local safeguarding networks where needed, and share the NCVO resources widely.
Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) £104,950: ACRE will use their network of 38 county-based members to reach rural villages and community halls and share safeguarding materials and resources. They will promote the resources on their website, through newsletters and networking events supporting management committees and volunteers.
Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) £94,000: This project will be delivered in partnership with five infrastructure organisations in West Yorkshire and York - Community Action Bradford and District, Wakefield Young Lives Consortium, VSI Alliance Calderdale, Third Sector Leaders Kirklees and York CVS. Working as a partnership with locally tailored delivery, there will be a particular focus on volunteer-led groups and those working with BAME and new migrant communities. They will distribute resources via peer-to-peer support, signposting and strengthening of existing networks to enable local networking and mutual support.
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) £100,000: SCIE will support small faith-based organisations to access materials via regional workshops across the country, webinars and bespoke training courses. They will also work with user-led organisations supporting people with disabilities to devise a checklist looking at safeguarding governance and accountability.
The Federation of London Youth Clubs - London Youth £76,641: London Youth will directly train and support youth workers, volunteers and trustees operating in grassroots community youth organisations across London. They will share materials with a wide cohort of organisations, through webinars and local peer safeguarding support groups.
National Association for Voluntary Community Action (NAVCA) £104,700: NAVCA will utilise its national membership base to share resources through communication materials, peer to peer learning within networks and awareness-raising events.
The funding has also enabled the NCVO to bring together a partnership of organisations to develop a series of free, high-quality factsheets, practical tools, podcasts and videos to promote a good safeguarding culture in charities.
Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:
It is absolutely right that charities have access to the best advice and guidance for dealing with any safeguarding concerns. Charities must be safe spaces for everyone - be that those who use their important services, volunteers or employees.
I am pleased to launch this new digital portal to share best practice across the country.
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
We support charities, community groups, and people with great ideas – local or national, large or small, no matter what their starting point. Easier access to safeguarding tools, resources and support will help them to keep staff and volunteers safe as they bring people together and deliver their fantastic work.
Matt Hyde, Chief Executive at the Scouts said:
Reporting safeguarding concerns and allegations is an essential step in keeping children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from harm, but often people don’t know what to report and to whom. That’s why I’ve been proud to work with DCMS, charity sector colleagues, the police and safeguarding experts to develop a digital tool to assist charity trustees, staff and volunteers in knowing how to report safeguarding concerns.
Notes to Editors:
On 22 October 2018, former Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch announced up to £2 million for a Domestic Charity Safeguarding Programme activity to increase awareness and capacity of charities in England and Wales in their reporting and handling of safeguarding, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment (charity regulation is devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland).
The Civil Society Strategy ‘Mission 8’ committed the government to “further develop and implement measures to strengthen safeguarding in charities, including new guidance and support to help charities.”
Key achievements of the Domestic Charity Safeguarding Programme are:
Publication of revised Charity Commission safeguarding guidance Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees
The launch of a pilot Charity Commission whistleblowing helpline
Improvements to Charity Commission serious incident reporting
Publication of the report into bullying behaviours in charities In plain sight - workplace bullying in charities
Launch of the NCVO and partners online safeguarding resources