Safeguarding Week

ACRE are working with village and community halls to improve safeguarding in rural areas.
Below we’ve included information from ACRE, Good Safeguarding Practices for Village Halls, What’s Next and Useful Links.

This week is #VillageHallSafeguardingWeek as well as #SafeguardingAdultsWeek.

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is calling on England’s 10,000 village halls to make sure policies and procedures are in place to keep everyone safe.

The charity which heads up England’s largest rural grouping of community support agencies will be raising an awareness of measures that can be taken by halls to protect individuals from harm as part of Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 which begins Monday 16 November.

Paul Dixon, ACRE’s Rural Evidence Manager said: “We want volunteers managing village halls to understand they have an important part to play in creating safe spaces for members of their community, especially when it comes to protecting younger or more vulnerable rural people. Over the campaign week we will be highlighting the importance of having safeguarding policies and procedures in place, how everyone has a responsibility to look out for others, and where to find help”

Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 is a national campaign run by Ann Craft Trust. ACRE’s involvement in this national campaign is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and has the aim of sharing resources and best practice amongst community groups.

A recent national survey conducted by ACRE showed that village halls are a vital asset for many rural communities.  60% of halls provide the only meeting space in the local area, whilst 80% of respondents knew someone whose lives had changed for the better as a result of joining activities at their local hall.

 Halls can continue to improve lives through adopting effective safeguarding practices and policies, to ensure that everyone is protected in rural areas.

Expert village hall advisers, employed by members of the ACRE Network will be on hand in every county to help management committees understand information about safeguarding and put in place policies and procedures suitable for use in their hall.

Follow ACRE on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates on our work throughout National Safeguarding Week.

Good safeguarding practices for Village Halls

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has been awarded over £100k from the National Lottery Community Fund to promote good safeguarding practice to village and community halls throughout England.

ACRE will be working to make sure that the voluntary management committees that run village and community halls have the knowledge and confidence to provide a safe environment for all.

Advice and examples of best practice will be shared with those managing and using halls so that they fully understand their responsibilities and have appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures in place.

What’s next?

The project will be rolled out using ACRE’s network of 38 county-based members who already provide support to rural village and community halls.

We will be working with management committees to help them understand current legislation around safeguarding and make sure procedures are in place which reflect good practice.

Ultimately, our aim is to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding and making sure that these important rural assets are welcoming and safe places for all.

England’s 10,000 village halls are at the heart of rural community life – providing a hub for social activities, classes and services. Through its network of skilled advisers, ACRE supports the 80,000 volunteers who run village halls and similar rural community buildings.

Useful Links:

Safeguarding Children
Pan-Dorset Safer Children Partnership – https://pdscp.co.uk/       
(Professionals) Tel.no. 01305 2285558  
(Families & The Public) Tel.no. 01305 228866     
Reporting a Concern – Children Safeguarding  – https://pdscp.co.uk/working-with-children/applying-thresholds-and-reporting-concerns/
Safeguarding Adults
Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board  email : adultaccess@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk     
Tel.no. 01305 221016 (duty hours 8.30-5.00)
Online Adult Safeguarding Portal (report a concern) – https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/care-and-support-for-adults/adult-abuse/safeguarding-portal.aspx

Safeguarding guidance for disabled children and adults at risk https://www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/

A range of resources available to assist you in achieving best practice in safeguarding disabled children and adults at risk. https://www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/

ACRE produce the following information sheets that can assist Village and Community Hall committees to consider their safeguarding responsibilities – please contact us to find out more.