NCVO publishes free safeguarding resources for charities

Karl Wilding, chief executive of the umbrella body, says 'there can be no higher priority for the voluntary sector' than safeguarding

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched a suite of free online resources to help charities improve their safeguarding practices. 

The resources, which are available on the NCVO Knowhow guidance website, outline the simple steps that charities can take to ensure that they protect beneficiaries, staff and others from suffering harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect, the NCVO said in a statement.

They include a series of specialist guides that offer advice to people in particular job roles, including chief executives, trustees, fundraisers, HR staff, PR and marketing staff, and people working in voluntary sector infrastructure bodies.

In a statement, the umbrella body said safeguarding worked best when everyone in an organisation was aware of their safeguarding responsiblities and it would be promoting the suite of resources on social media using the hashtag #SafeguardingAsOne.

Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO, said safeguarding was "too important to get wrong".

He added: "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.

"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."

He said the resources were designed to give simple advice for organisations to take the first steps to get safeguarding right.

He said: "All organisations can continue to improve their safeguarding and these resources will help them on that journey."

The resources were developed as part of an NCVO-led partnership including the children’s charity the NSPCC, the safeguarding charity the Ann Craft Trust, UK Youth, the whistleblowing charity Protect, the children's charity umbrella body Children England and the Charities HR Network.

The partnership was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as the first phase of the Safeguarding Training Fund, which was announced in March

The second phase will see £600,000 be used to raise awareness of safeguarding and improve safeguarding practices across the sector.

Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "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 the DCMS have worked alongside the NCVO and other charities to develop these essential resources."

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission, said protecting people from harm should be an absolute governance priority for charities.

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