New safeguarding resources to be developed for voluntary sector

By agency reporter
April 4, 2019

A comprehensive suite of free safeguarding tools and advice will soon be available to the voluntary sector following the award of £570,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund to the Safer Social Sector Partnership.

Coordinated by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the partnership sees 13 national umbrella bodies and organisations unite to share their skills, knowledge and experience with the aim of ensuring that all voluntary organisations should be a safe place for beneficiaries, volunteers and staff.

The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of a joint £1.2 million Safeguarding Training Fund with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This will allow for the development of a suite of accessible and relevant safeguarding resources, tailored to meet the needs of the full spectrum of the voluntary sector, from small community groups through to the largest organisations.

The full list of partners involved, is: NSPCC, Ann Craft Trust, UK Youth, PROTECT, Children England, National Adult Safeguarding Network, Third Sector Safeguarding Network, National Youth Safeguarding Forum, Charity HR Network, the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and digital partner, Neontribe.

The partnership’s initial steps will be to undertake an in-depth user engagement process to inform the design, prototype and delivery of a new ‘safeguarding gateway’ on the NCVO KnowHow website. This will be followed by the updating and development of resources that meet identified needs or gaps in provision. The accessibility of these resources will be maximised through the use of a variety of dissemination channels, including podcasts and videos.

Talking about the new partnership and grant funding, Elizabeth Chamberlain, head of policy at NCVO, said: "Safeguarding is a key priority for everyone within the voluntary sector, regardless of the size of the organisation or the activity it carries out. The strength and breadth of this partnership is testament to how committed we all are to getting it right by coming together to drive improvement, creating environments that are safe for all."

Peter Wanless, chief executive, NSPCC, said: "The voluntary and community sector has a vital role to play in safeguarding children and adults at risk from abuse and other forms of harm. It also plays a key part in helping local communities to keep their most vulnerable members safe.

"The NSPCC has a long history of supporting the sector and is delighted to be a member of this partnership. The lottery funding will enable us to improve and extend our existing range of resources to enable even the smallest organisations to take the steps they need to take to keep children safe."

Jon Cunningham, acting chief executive, Protect, said: "Protect welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Safer Social Partnership, offering our expertise in the area of whistleblowing and safeguarding to voluntary sector organisations. This is a much-needed initiative."

Anna Smee, chief executive, UK Youth, said: "UK Youth is proud to be partnering with NCVO and the Safer Social Sector Partnership members to ensure youth charities of all sizes can access high-quality safeguarding resources and training to build a safe and strong civil society."

* National Council for Voluntary Organisations https://www.ncvo.org.uk/

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