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Rye Wax Safeguarding Policy


Rye Wax Ltd is committed to ensuring we provide a safe environment for the young people, vulnerable adults, and any children with whom we work and we recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all young people, vulnerable adults and children participating in activities run by Rye Wax or when using our facilities. This policy applies to anyone working for, or on behalf of Rye Wax. For the purpose of this policy the above people will be referred to as staff, a young person is defined as anyone between the age of 18-25, a child as 16-18 year olds, and a vulnerable adult as someone in need of special care or support.

The purpose of the policy is to provide clear guidance on Rye Wax’s expected standards of behaviour and what to do if there is a suspected case of abuse, or where a vulnerable adult or young person discloses that they have suffered abuse. 

Roles and responsibilities within Rye Wax:

Any adult working with or on behalf of Rye Wax has the responsibility to protect young and vulnerable people; however Rye Wax has given specific responsibility to the following people.

Rachael Williams, The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Tel: +44 (0) 7369 224176

In the event of a safeguarding issue, (or the suspicion of abuse) the Designated Safeguarding Lead should be contacted in the first instance. They will determine the appropriate action to be taken, and notify the local authority if deemed appropriate with relevant issues.

Christopher Watson, The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)

Where the Designated Safeguarding Lead cannot be contacted, all issues must be brought to the attention of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and they will determine the appropriate action to be taken, and notify the local authority if deemed appropriate with relevant issues.

If neither the DSL nor the DDSL can be contacted, then the relevant local authority agencies may be contacted

• Social Care Services (Referral and Assessment team of Southwark Council) 020 7525 3977 ask for the Duty Social Worker 

• Social Work out of hours number – 020 7525 5000 ask for the Emergency Duty Team 

• Police – 020 7378 1212 Tell them it is a child protection matter in ….. (for example Peckham)

The aims of Rye Wax’s safeguarding policy for vulnerable adults and young people :

  • To stop abuse or neglect wherever possible. 

  •  Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to young people and adults with care and support needs.   

  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned.  

All safeguarding work with young people and vulnerable adults should be based on the following principles:  

  • The empowerment of vulnerable adults and young people underpins all safeguarding adults work.  

  • The focus of safeguarding adults should always be to identify and endeavour to meet the desired outcomes of the adult.  

  • Every person has a right to live a life free from abuse, neglect and fear.  Safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults is everyone’s business and responsibility.  

  • There is zero tolerance to the abuse of young people and vulnerable adults.  

  • All reports of abuse will be treated seriously.  

  • Every person should be able to access information about how to gain safety from abuse and violence and neglect.

  • All adult safeguarding work aims to prevent abuse from taking place, and to make enquiries quickly and effectively and take appropriate action where abuse is taking place or is suspected.

Further Key Principles:


Risks are minimised for participants when staff working with vulnerable adults, young people and children are in sight of another responsible adult. 

Be publicly open when working with young people and avoid situations where staff and individuals are completely unobserved. As a basic principle, when running activities you should ensure that there is always another staff member, volunteer, or another employee of a partner organisation in the building who is aware of the work that is taking place.

Physical contact 

Physical contact between staff and young people, children, or vulnerable adults is likely to be inappropriate; even in the few circumstances where it can be justified, it is open to misinterpretation. Any form of physical punishment is forbidden, even if a parent, carer or guardian requests it and employees must not engage in inappropriate touching of any form.

It is recognised that working with young people and vulnerable adults can at times necessitate physical contact, but even when that is appropriate it can be open to misinterpretation. Staff should always be aware of how and when physical contact might be appropriate and ensure that they are public at all times. Always ask permission and explain the reason for any need to touch. Do not engage in rough, sexually provocative games including horseplay.

Personal activities 

Employees must ensure that they do not do things of a personal nature that a young person or vulnerable adult can do for themselves. 

Behaviour towards young people 

Adults should praise positive behaviour and any criticism should always be constructive - a verbal assault can be as damaging to a young person as a physical one. Employees must ensure that they do not make sexually suggestive comments to young people – even in fun.

If a member of staff accidentally hurts or distresses a young person in any way or if the young person misunderstands something that the adult has said or done, then a senior staff member should be informed immediately (and if present the Designated Safeguarding Lead), and an incident form should be completed.

Occasionally members of staff may experience inappropriate behaviour from young people, including approaches of a sexual or provocative nature. These can be addressed by a response which is clearly discouraging without being insensitive, supported by strict adherence to the principles of openness outlined above, and by behaviour which consistently and visibly treats all young people equally. Any instances of such inappropriate behaviour should immediately be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will record the details, ensure that the staff member is never left unsupported in a vulnerable situation, and address the issue with the young person or vulnerable adult and/or their carer where necessary.

Social Networking sites 

It is essential that Rye Wax Staff, or those employed by Rye Wax on a freelance basis, do not befriend young people who are participants on programmes within the organisation, and where a professional relationship exists, on social networking sites such as Facebook. This is to ensure both the protection of our employees and the safeguarding of young participants that take part in our programmes. Rye Wax understands that on occasion there will be people within the organisation that are friends with some young participants due to long standing relationships, outside the working context. This is permitted only where no professional relationship exists.

Vulnerability to other young people 

Young people should be given a clear code of behaviour which emphasises that the health, safety and welfare of participants in a project is everyone’s responsibility; in an extended project, young people should be expected to sign up to an agreed code of behaviour.

Bullying is a common form of abuse and it can take many forms. It includes name calling, mocking, kicking, taking belongings, gossiping, excluding people from groups, and threatening others. This is not an exhaustive list. Any behaviour by one young person which affects the well-being of another can be a form of abuse, and should be addressed firmly and in most cases publicly; inaction through fear of making things worse is almost never justified.

In circumstances where participants spend time unsupervised, staff need to be particularly vigilant, and the young people need to feel able to report unacceptable behaviour.

When dealing with an incident, employees need to consider, in conjunction with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, how they will inform the parents/carers of the victim and perpetrator. It must be remembered that parents/carers have a right to be kept informed on issues affecting their children, and how these issues have been dealt with.

Vulnerability to third parties 

It is essential to have clear lines of communication with parents/carers, in order to communicate essential information quickly, especially for: 

• emergencies 

• missing young people 

• cancellation of activities 

• any other unforeseen problem

The beginning and end of sessions can be a time when young people are at risk. Regular sessions must adhere to the following guidelines to ensure risks are minimised:

• A member of staff must take responsibility for the signing-in and collection of younger pupils – a collection book signed by the collecting adult is recommended.

• No child should leave the session unaccompanied by an adult without written consent.

• Where children or young people are sharing group taxis, consent must be obtained from their parent/carer/guardian who has given them permission to do this.

• Procedures need to be in place for parents to communicate changes to normal arrangements, for example when a different adult is collecting. 

• Employees need to be able to identify any young people who are absent, other than for drop-in sessions, with procedures for checking immediately for unexpected absences. There should be clear expectations of young people’s levels of commitment and the need to inform staff of unavoidable absences in advance. 

• There must be clear procedures and lines of responsibility in the case of the unavoidable delay or cancellation of a session, or the absence of staff. The duty of care towards young people cannot be compromised by such circumstances.

3. Training 

Staff members will be given suitable safeguarding and/or child protection training in accordance with their role in the organisation. This policy and process should be read in conjunction with the training and should be regularly re-read as necessary.

What to do 

All allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse should be treated seriously and with sensitivity. Where a child, young person or vulnerable adult makes a disclosure to a member of staff, it is essential that the disclosure is dealt with in the following way:

  • Listen – let the individual explain what they are feeling. Do not comment upon what has been said, or make suggestions/alternative explanations. 

  • The child/young person/vulnerable adult should feel that they are being believed.

  • Do not pass judgement.

  • Do not ask leading questions i.e. questions that need a "yes" or "no" answer.

  • Ask open questions to establish exactly what was done and who did it for example “what happened next”. 

  • Do not promise that any particular course of action will be taken. 

  • Staff cannot promise confidentiality to any child who may disclose abuse to them. Where a child, young person or vulnerable adult asks for secrecy they should be told sensitively that the employee has a duty to refer allegations of abuse to the appropriate agency for their own sake. As an organisation Rye Wax and its employees are legally obliged to inform the relevant authorities if they are aware of any abuse towards a child, young person or vulnerable adult, and for this reason confidentiality can never be assured. 

  • Do not rush the child/young person/vulnerable adult – it may have taken them a great deal of thought and courage to make the disclosure. 

  • Inform the participant that you have a legal responsibility to inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who has experience of dealing with similar cases.

What to do after a disclosure has been made to you 

  • Once a disclosure has been made to you, make an immediate detailed and careful note of what has been described to you, using the individual's words wherever possible.

  • Immediately inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead. They will decide based upon the evidence and information provided to them, and where appropriate a possible further discussion with the participant. Once a disclosure has been made a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Referral Form must be completed within 24 hours and submitted to social services. 

  • Record and maintain a record of the fact that you have made a referral to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Frequently asked Questions

What if I suspect an individual is being abused?  

A member of staff who suspects that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is experiencing abuse, Rye Wax will discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead or in their absence the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. A careful record will be made of any concerns or relevant incidents. Appropriate action will be discussed, and where there are reasonable grounds (e.g. behaviour, physical symptoms or signs) the DSL or DDSL will inform Social Services that there is a suspicion of abuse and on what grounds.

If you are working outside of the building, you should report it to the appropriate member of staff in that building.

What if I suspect that an adult has engaged in inappropriate behaviour?

As discussed throughout the policy, adults may innocently engage with a child, young person, or vulnerable adult, and it can be interpreted the wrong way (for example hugging a child or young person), therefore people should always be aware of making assumptions. Nevertheless, if they are concerned with a particular behaviour that they have witnessed or the overall behaviour of a person they should immediately inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead who, in conjunction with the relevant colleagues, decided on the appropriate action to take. This may range from having a discussion with the person in question to conducting an investigation, which may lead to external parties (such as Social Services and the Independent Safeguarding Authority) being informed of any issues.

Any reported issues will be dealt with in full trust and respect, and it will always be assumed that an issue reported has been done so in good faith and honesty. However, if it is established that a malicious accusation has been made by a member of staff towards another it will lead to disciplinary action in accordance with Rye Wax’s Disciplinary and Grievance procedure.

Please Note: - When working outside of Rye Wax, (i.e. in a school or other educational institution) if you suspect abuse or a disclosure is made to you, please ensure you follow that establishment/organisations Child Protection/Safeguarding policy and report it immediately to their Designated Child Protection Officer, or other nominated person. You should not wait until you return to Rye Wax to report it.

What will happen if allegations of abuse are made against members of staff?

Any allegation of abuse against a member of staff will be considered a disciplinary issue and dealt with through the disciplinary procedure. The member of staff will be suspended from working with children, young people and vulnerable adults whilst an investigation is carried out. This does not imply guilt but is imposed to protect the staff member during the investigation and is in line with Local Authority guidelines.

4. Support for staff

Any member of staff working with young people may find themselves in the position of discovering or suspecting that a young person in their care is the victim of abuse. This can sometimes lead to difficult emotional pressures or apparent conflicts of interest.

Managers of staff who deal with children, young people and vulnerable adults should be aware of these pressures, and look for signs that their staff may need additional support. Increased discussion, more frequent 1-2-1 meetings, or referral to a third-party counselling service may be appropriate.

If you have any further queries on this please do not hestiate to contact us at


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