SAFEGUARDING POLICY STATEMENT
This Safeguarding Policy applies to Ormskirk Music Society members (including trustees), volunteers and all others invited to perform or work with Ormskirk Music Society (OMS). OMS is committed to ensuring that all children, young people, vulnerable adults and everyone have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.
OMS is committed to anti-discriminatory practice and explicitly recognises the additional needs of children, young people, vulnerable adults and individuals with a disability.
OMS is committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to vulnerable adults’ and children’s welfare are minimised, and where there are concerns, to share them with other the appropriate agencies.
As a matter of good practice OMS has developed this policy to provide:
· protection for children (aged under 16), young people (aged 16 and 17) and vulnerable adults with whom OMS has contact (including the children/relatives of adults who use our services)
· guidance to ensure that the risks of harm to children, young people and vulnerable adults’ welfare are minimised
· guidance for Responding to a Child or Vulnerable Adult making an allegation of abuse.
· guidance on procedures that should be adopted in the event that any adult suspects a child, young person, vulnerable adult or any person may be experiencing, or be at risk of experiencing harm.
OMS recognises that it is not the role of our organisation to decide whether a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been abused or not.
OMS will publicise this Safeguarding Policy on its website and draw it to the attention of members at the beginning of each term.
Who are Children or Vulnerable Adults?
In this context anyone up to the age of 18 is a child. A vulnerable adult is defined in the Care Act 2014 as someone over 18 years old who has care and support needs, is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect as a result of their care and support needs or is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
The society is a registered charity managed by a committee of volunteers elected at the annual general meeting or co-opted as necessary. Committee members are trustees of the charity. To carry out its charitable objects, it presents a number of concerts a year sometimes performing with professional soloists and other choirs. Rehearsals are run by our self-employed Musical Directors with accompanist. The members attend weekly rehearsals in order to prepare for the concerts. There are no employed staff or volunteers in the conventional sense. From time to time the society organises other events such as socials and music workshops.
OMS does not advertise itself as an activity suitable for children, young people or vulnerable adults though music making undoubtedly is such an activity and we would hope to be inclusive of all. Choir and Orchestra rehearsals and performances are group activities, and there is no need for a member of the OMS to be alone with another member of any age. OMS recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults with whom it works and comes into contact and believes that everyone has the right to enjoy the activities of the Society in a happy, safe and secure environment.
Membership – Should any child or close relative (under 18) of a member of OMS participate in choral or orchestral works with OMS, the member must act as a responsible adult. Should any other child/young person join OMS or participate on any OMS activities, they must have the written consent of their parent or carer. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult who remains responsible for them throughout rehearsals and performances.
Joint concerts with schools – OMS will make appropriate joint working arrangements to ensure that school groups will always be in the care of their teachers and helpers and/or parents who will bear responsibility for their welfare at all times. This does not detract from the general responsibility to provide a safe environment for joint activities and the principles of this safeguarding policy still apply.
Audiences and Social Events – OMS is aware that children and vulnerable adults may attend their concerts as members of the audience, or attend social functions hosted by OMS. It is the responsibility of the parent, guardian or carer to ensure adequate supervision. If a parent / guardian / carer is not personally attending an event this policy requires them to be satisfied that the child or vulnerable adult will be accompanied and adequately supervised by a responsible adult acting on their behalf at all times.
Privacy – Parents and guardians should be aware that photography, audio and video recording are undertaken from time to time at concerts and rehearsals. The images and recordings are used both on- and off- line including on the web. They provide valuable tools to promote the work of the Society to a wider audience and form part of the historical record of our work.
Abuse – OMS endeavours by the implementation of this safeguarding policy to protect and minimise the risks of abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and also the welfare of all members. The term abuse is used to describe a range of ways that people harm others. Abuse can happen anywhere. It can happen at home, in a residential or nursing home, in a hospital, at work or in the street. There are five main categories of abuse namely physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse, neglect. OMS notes the importance of being alert to signals of abuse and to the difficulty children or adults may have in reporting it.
MEASURE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS POLICY
The OMS committee have named Stephen Henders, currently Secretary of the choir as the Designated Safeguarding Officer and Kate Lawley, currently an Orchestra committee member, as Deputy in respect of Safeguarding. These Persons, who have been DBS checked, shall undertake appropriate training as required and will be identified to children and adults as the principal person they should turn to if they have any concerns or queries. Contact details for the Designated Safeguarding Officer are — Stephen Henders ([email protected]) and Kate Lawley ([email protected]).
Any concerns regarding either a child, a Society member or other adult must immediately be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Deputy (or in their absence to the Chair of the Committee).
How to respond to safeguarding concerns or allegations:
What is a safeguarding concern?
· A person discloses alleged abuse.
· A person discloses concern for another person.
· You notice signs of abuse.
· There is an accident to a child or vulnerable adult in your care.
· There is a disclosure regarding an offender against a person.
· Behaviour is observed which poses risk to others or to themselves.
Be aware of your feelings. It is very natural to feel the following emotions:
· Split loyalties
· Denial – you want it to disappear
Recognising your emotions will help you be able to handle the situation appropriately.
What should you do?
· Listen carefully to the person disclosing.
· Take the person seriously.
· Be non-judgemental.
· Ask open questions.
· Do not promise to keep it secret.
· Tell them what you will do next (if possible).
· Check you have the necessary contact information.
Immediate danger – call the police and/or appropriate emergency service immediately
Non-emergency – seek advice from the designated Safeguarding Officer
Make sure you:
· Write down what has happened or been disclosed and keep that record.
· Talk to the designated Safeguarding Officer within 24 hours.
· Safeguarding concerns are the responsibility of statutory agencies.
· The priority is the person’s safety.
· Do not delay.
· Avoid gossip.
Who may need support?
· Alleged victim.
· Family and friends of alleged victim.
· Alleged perpetrator.
· Family and friends of alleged perpetrator.
· Other members of the Society affected.
· You must tell the designated Safeguarding officer.
· Say as little as possible to others without being too secretive.
· Kill rumours.
· Remain non-judgemental.
· Avoid gossip – and try and prevent others from gossiping.
· The committee (via the safeguarding officer) will review how the Society operates to reduce/prevent future abuse.
All persons participating in the Society activities are entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. These principles apply to all participants, but young people in particular are entitled to a higher duty of care and to be protected from poor practice and abuse.
Everyone involved in the Society has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and young people and preventing their abuse. Anyone having regular contact with children is well-placed to identify cases where a child needs protection. All members must be aware of the identity of the Safeguarding Officer, with whom any concerns are to be discussed.
OMS will conduct risk assessments as may be appropriate for the circumstances to which they relate.
Society members are expected to speak to the Designated Safeguarding officer should they see or hear anything that they feel could be putting another member at risk. OMS notes the importance of being alert to signals of abuse and to the difficulty individuals may have in reporting it. To assist in responding appropriately to a complaint, we offer the following strategy for anyone who is made aware of an issue:
· Maintain confidentiality as far as possible subject to the principle of the welfare of the child/vulnerable adult being paramount which means that information may have to be shared (but only with people who need to know about it).
· A permanent confidential record will be kept of the report by the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
This policy will be reviewed on annual basis by the general committee.
Date of implementation: 19th January 2023
Date most recent review completed: 19th January 2023