Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Policy for The Hygiene Bank

  1. INTRODUCTION

The Hygiene Bank is a charity registered in England and Wales (1181267) and Scotland (SC049895) operating throughout the UK via a network of volunteers involved in the collection of donated hygiene products and distribution through a network of Community Partners including schools, food banks and other organisations supporting those in need.

Our Belief is that basic hygiene is not a privilege.

Our Vision is that one day everyone in the UK will have access to essential hygiene products.

Our Mission is to bring communities, businesses and thought leaders together to tackle hygiene poverty by giving access to products and being a voice for change.

Safeguarding at The Hygiene Bank means protecting people’s right to live safely, free from abuse and neglect.  It is about people and organisations working together to prevent both the risk and the experience of abuse or neglect, whilst at the same time making sure that the adult or the child’s wellbeing is promoted including having regard to their views, wishes, feelings or beliefs in deciding any action.  This aligns to the Department of Health definition in ‘Care and Support Statutory Guidance’ 2017.

2.0 AIMS OF THE POLICY

This policy represents The Hygiene Bank’s commitment to safeguard adults and children from abuse, neglect and exploitation.  This policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities of Trustees, Employees and Volunteers and seeks to raise awareness and give guidance on policies, procedures and frameworks that must be followed as well as advice on how to raise concerns or incidents.

3.0 SCOPE OF THE POLICY

Regulation establishes that safeguarding is everyone in The Hygiene Bank’s responsibility, however we recognise that the Board of Trustees has a key role in preventing, detecting, reporting and responding to abuse, neglect or exploitation and ensuring there is an effective framework in place for everyone in The Hygiene Bank to follow.  This policy applies to and must be followed by:

  • All Hygiene Bank Trustees, Employees, Volunteers, contractors carrying out work on behalf of the organisation.

This policy applies to all activities carried out by The Hygiene Bank and below is a brief description of those activities:

  • The Hygiene Bank operates via a network of volunteers to collect donated hygiene products from designated drop off points and to distribute those products to a series of signed-up third party Community Partners for onward distribution to those in need.
  • Hygiene Bank volunteers do not come into direct contact with individual beneficiaries of these products.
  • The Hygiene Bank also raises funds through grants and donations in support of delivering  hygiene products to those in need, through and in consultation with our Community Partners.
  • The Hygiene Bank campaigns to eliminate hygiene poverty and change policies

This policy applies in respect of The Hygiene Bank’s responsibilities towards the following groups of people:

  • Hygiene Bank Trustees, Employees, Volunteers and contractors carrying out work on behalf of the organisation.
  • All contacts at donor organisations and Community Partners.
  • Children and young people – legally defined as any person under the age of 18
  • Any adult at risk of abuse or neglect or with care and support needs.

4.0 SAFEGUARDING RISKS

The risks that the implementation of this policy and the policies referenced above seek to address are as set out below and are in line with the Charity Commission’s guidance:

  • sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation
  • criminal exploitation
  • cyber abuse
  • modern day slavery
  • negligent treatment
  • self-neglect
  • physical or emotional abuse
  • bullying or harassment
  • health and safety
  • commercial exploitation
  • extremism and radicalisation
  • forced marriage
  • human trafficking
  • female genital mutilation
  • discrimination on any of the grounds in the Equality Act 2010
  • people may target your charity
  • a charity’s culture may allow poor behaviour and poor accountability
  • people may abuse a position of trust they hold within a charity
  • data breaches, including those under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Where these risks apply to The Hygiene Bank they are maintained on The Hygiene Bank’s risk register, they are reviewed and reported at Trustee meetings and risk assessments are performed annually by the designated Safeguarding Officer or in the event of any major changes to The Hygiene Bank operating model or any serious incident.

Risk impact and probability (including applicability) are assessed and where any risks are considered to be outside risk tolerance or cannot be mitigated an appropriate action plan is put in place to reduce or eliminate the risk.

5.0 REPORTING AN INCIDENT

Anyone working in or with The Hygiene Bank can raise an incident or a concern and the issue will be dealt with using the Recognise, Respond and Report framework.

  • Everyone in The Hygiene Bank should Recognise the risks and be alert to signs of abuse, exploitation and neglect.
  • Everyone in The Hygiene Bank should be able to report safeguarding concerns safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to, the issue will be recorded and the designated Safeguarding Officer will Respond by committing to investigate the concern or issue sensitively, in alignment to applicable policies, Charity Commission guidance, laws and regulations and in consultation with the raiser.
  • The Safeguarding Officer will ensure that depending on the nature of the incident and those involved, the relevant Report is made.

The Safeguarding Officer will take into account:

  • The raisers wishes and preferred outcome
  • Whether the incident poses an immediate threat to safety or wellbeing
  • Whether there is a person in a position of trust involved
  • Whether a crime has been committed

Types of report the Safeguarding Officer may make include:

  • An internal incident report if the matter can be dealt with appropriately using internal procedures
  • A referral report to Local Authority Social Services if the matter involves children or vulnerable adults. Local Authorities have a statutory duty to safeguard all children and adults at risk and are required to have a Designated Officer (designated Senior Manager in Wales), for the management of allegations and incidents.  Local Authority Children/Adult Boards are multi-agency bodies set up in every Local Authority to lead and coordinate the safeguarding work of their members and partner agencies and any incidents referred to them.
  • A referral report to the police if the matter relates to criminal behaviour.
  • A report to the Charity Commission or other organisations like the Information Commissioners Office if there has been a serious breach of our own code of conduct, the Charities code of conduct or there has been a serious data breach or if the matter relates to a regulated activity.

If the raiser is not happy with the outcome or where the issue has been referred, they can escalate to the Board of Trustees via the CEO as designated Safeguarding Officer.

To raise an Incident, in the first instance please contact the Safeguarding Officer’s delegate:

Amy.thompson@thehygienebank.com

Version: January 2021