The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has launched a series of free guides to safeguarding, in a bid to make safeguarding a core value for every charity.
The suite of free online resources aim to provide charities with guidance around the steps they can take to ensure they are run in a way that ‘actively prevents beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm, bullying, abuse and neglect’.
Included in the resources are specialist guides for people working in particular roles, such as CEOs, trustees, fundraisers, HR staff, PR & marketing staff and those working in voluntary sector infrastructure bodies.
The NCVO Knowhow website acts as the main hub for the resources. This in turn signposts to new content on partners’ website.
The new resources form part of phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund, which was announced in March by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Lottery Community Fund.
Phase two funding of around £600,000 will be used to raise awareness of safeguarding and improve safeguarding practice with voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations across England.
The successful applicants will share the new training resources, alongside promoting locally available advice and support.
The NCVO has also created the hashtag #SafeguardingAsOne with the aim of making clear that 'every charity has a responsibility to be a safe place and that it works best when everyone in a voluntary organisation engages with safeguarding'.
“There can be no higher priority for the voluntary sector than looking after the wellbeing and dignity of absolutely everyone in contact with our organisations whether our intended beneficiaries, staff or volunteers," NCVO chief executive, Karl Wilding said.
“Safeguarding is everyone’s business - everybody working or volunteering in a voluntary organisation should understand it, even those who don’t work directly with children or adults at risk. The more that people understand their part to play in safeguarding, the more effective the whole sector’s safeguarding becomes.
“Safeguarding is too important to get wrong. These resources, developed with partners who are experts in their fields, give simple advice for organisations to take the first steps to get it right. All organisations can continue to improve their safeguarding and these resources will help them on that journey.”
Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran added: “Charities must be safe spaces for everyone, whether that’s employees, volunteers or those who use their important services.
“We all have a responsibility to raise awareness about safeguarding, ensuring organisations know their responsibilities and how to report concerns. I am therefore delighted that my colleagues in DCMS have worked alongside NCVO and other charities to develop these essential resources.”
Charity Commission director of policy, planning and communications, Sarah Atkinson also commented on the announcement, noting trustees must ensure they make protecting people from harm "an absolute governance priority".
"Charities should be places where people know the signs and symptoms of harm and what to do when they have concerns, as well as the understanding that they will be heard. This is vital for all organisations – especially charities that exist to do good," she said.