Keeping children and vulnerable adults safe

Policy Statement

The Water Conservation Trust (“The Trust”) is committed to providing a safe and trusted environment which safeguards anyone who comes into contact with it. This includes beneficiaries, children, vulnerable adults, Members of The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators (“The Company”) and members of the public involved in attending Trust events.

The Trust recognizes that everybody has the right to be safe, no matter who they are or what their circumstances are and is committed to complete transparency in its safeguarding activities. The Trust will never seek to cover up any allegations of harm and will report annually to the Charity Commission on all allegations made (whilst keeping all individual details completely confidential) and the outcome of them.

The Trust expects its Trustees to ensure that they do no harm to children and vulnerable adults. Equally importantly, it also expects its Trustees to ensure that they report any concerns that children and vulnerable adults, with whom they have had contact, might be suffering harm by others.

Definition of Safeguarding

NHS England defines safeguarding as protecting a citizen’s health, wellbeing and human rights; enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. Those most in need of protection include:

  • Children and young people, and
  • adults at risk, such as people with physical, sensory and mental impairments, and those with learning disabilities.

Minimising Risk

The Trust will work with its stakeholders to avoid creating situations in which its Trustees might, deliberately or accidentally, cause harm to children and vulnerable adults.

No children may attend Trust events without being accompanied by a “designated and responsible person”, acting in loco parentis, such as a parent, grandparent, relation, carer or teacher.

No Trustee, who has not been successfully checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service, will meet with, or be left alone with, a child without the designated responsible person being present.

The Trust’s policy on the General Data Protection Regulation will protect children and vulnerable adults from harm caused by the unauthorized release of information about them, including photographs, that may be stored by the Trust.

Reporting on concerns

It is the duty of all Trustees to report to the designated responsible person on any concerns that they may have that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected.

Whilst such concerns should otherwise be kept completely confidential, they must be passed to the designated responsible person as soon as possible. As the Trust rarely has direct dealings with children and vulnerable adults, it is likely that the designated responsible person will not be a member of either the Trust or The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators but rather the Head of a School or a Care Home Manager or a designated person in a Local Authority. Trustees should never promise a child or a vulnerable adult that they will not tell anyone about a concern or allegation as this may ultimately not be in the best interest of the child or vulnerable adult.

If the concern or allegation relates to the designated responsible person, it should be passed to the next appropriate level of authority. In all cases, the Trustee should inform, in confidence, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the action being taken and the reasons therefor.

Such concerns will always be documented but such documentation will be subject to the Trust’s policy on the General Data Protection Regulation.

Where a concern or allegation relates to a Trustee, the complaints procedure, as set out below, will always be followed strictly.

Complaints Procedure

All complaints made by a child or vulnerable adult, which involve a Trustee, should be addressed to The Chairman of the Board of Trustees. If the complaint refers to the conduct of the Chairman, it should be addressed to The Clerk of The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators (“The Company”).

If a complaint involves any possibility that the law has been broken it will always be passed immediately to the police to be dealt with in accordance with the law.

All other complaints will be investigated internally. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential and the Trust will ensure that he/she is protected from any additional harm arising from the act of making the complaint.

Investigations will normally be carried out by the Chairman of the Trust. If the matter relates to the conduct of the Chairman, the Clerk of The Company will undertake the investigation.

All investigations will be done in liaison with the designated responsible person and the results will be communicated to the designated responsible person in writing.

A record will be kept, by the Chairman or the Clerk as appropriate, of all complaints, investigations and outcomes, with the specific details anonymized to protect confidentiality. This record will be subject to the Trust’s policy on the General Data Protection Regulation.

Sanctions and disciplinary measures

Any Trustee who has been found to have caused harm to a child or vulnerable adult under the terms of this policy is liable to any of the following sanctions:

  • verbal or written warning,
  • suspension from trusteeship and membership of The Company,
  • loss of trusteeship,
  • temporary or permanent ban from attendance at Trust events.

In addition, it is noted that The Company will have its own policy.

The nature of the sanction will depend on the gravity and extent of the harm caused. It should be remembered that all or any of the above sanctions might be taken in addition to, but also irrespective of, any restrictions or punishment by a Court of Law.

Implementation of the Policy

The Water Conservation Trust will ensure that this policy is widely disseminated to all relevant persons. It will be included in the Trust section of the Company’s website. All new Trustees must be made familiar with the content of this policy as part of their induction into the Trust and know where to find it on the website.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Water Conservation Trust recognizes the importance of monitoring this policy and will ensure that it anonymously xollects statistics and data as to how it has been implemented and whether or not it is effective.

Signed by Roger North, Chairman, 20 November 2018.