LMAC CHILD PROTECTION POLICY – 2012 v. 1.2
The Longmynd Adventure Camp (Registered Charity No. 508293) is hereafter referred to as “the Charity” and the camp’s grounds and facilties as “the Camp”. Groups hiring the Camp and its facilties or gifted the use of the same by the Charity are hereafter referred to as “Client Groups”. Visitors to the Camp representing or hired by the Charity (for whom the Charity has gained the prior visitor approval from the resident Client Group) are hereafter referred to as “Authorised Visitors”.
The purpose of this policy document is to set out:
- The requisite conduct of anyone working at the Camp for or on behalf of the Charity in either a voluntary or contracted capacity when a child or children are present within the Camp boundaries. This includes the Charity’s Officers, Trustees, volunteers, repair and maintenance personnel (working for companies, partnerships or on their own account) contracted by the Charity and other occasional visitors (e.g. social groups such as Rotary or Round Tables clubs to provide a charitable service; prospective donors; local government officers etc.)
- How instances of any suspected or alleged child abuse reported by any of the above parties are to be managed by the Charity’s Officers
- The Charity’s procedures for recruiting new Trustees and Committee members that are specifically intended to optimise child safeguarding standards by raising Child Abuse awareness and vigilance.
The primary objective is to ensure optimum safeguarding standards of all Children resident at the Camp at all times.
For the sake of clarity, a child is any person under the age of 18 years as defined by The Children Act 1989.
The Longmynd Adventure Camp [LMAC] is located 3 miles south of Church Stretton, situated on the lower eastern side of the Longmynd ridge; set in an approximately 1.5 acre green field site. The Camp enjoys a ‘get away from it all’ rural location within the South Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
At the heart of the Camp is a centrally situated Mess Hall cum meeting or classroom area. At one end is a fully equipped kitchen and at the other a staff room. In front of the Mess Hall is a parking area and beyond this is a large, gently sloping grassed playing field that can also double as a camping area. Behind the hall are five 6 bed and two wide door (for wheelchair access), 4 bed cedar wood bunkhouses arranged in a semi-circle around another grass camping or play area.
There are two ablutions facilties, one brick built, gender segregated unit with showers, toilets and hand basins. There is also a separate shower/toilet/hand basin facility serving the needs of physically impaired residents and visitors. When not in use this can also serve as staff ablutions facility.
The Charity’s Officers and Trustees manage the Camp’s facilities, grounds and infrastructure – they do not run, manage or staff any camps for Children under the direct auspices of the Charity.
The Charity exclusively lets or gifts the use of the Camp to recognised child social, educational and welfare Client Groups who are responsible for staffing, running and safeguarding the children participating in their camps.
CPP CONDITION OF BOOKING
It is a condition of booking that each Client Group using the Camp’s facilties does so under the auspices of their own Child Protection Policy [CPP]. The Camp’s booking form asks for confirmation that the Client Group has a CPP.
The Charity reserves the right to request sight of a Client Group’s CPP at any time and such provision is mandatory if any of Charity’s Trustees provides an additional service, such as helping to guide a walk etc.
A failure to provide such a confirmation on the booking form or to provide a copy of the CPP when requested to do so by an Officer of the Charity invalidates the Client Group’s booking. Access to the Camp will be denied until any deficiency is remedied.
CONTACT WITH CHILDREN
The Charity’s Officers and other Trustees may have limited contact with children in certain circumstances such as:
- Welcoming a Client Group, particularly first time users, upon arrival at the Camp, or to inspect the facilties shortly before a group’s departure
- Making or supervising emergency repairs
- When asked to visit by the Group Leader (or deputy if absent) or the Client Group’s appointed Child Protection Officer
- Reading utility meters
- Providing a pre-arranged service – e.g. helping to guide a walk in the local hills when this has been agreed in advance with the Client Group.
- Accompanying Authorised Visitors to the camp
- Staffing the Camp during occasional Open or Community Days
AUTHORISED VISITORS REPRESENTING THE CHARITY
The Charity will always seek the prior authority of the Client Group to permit the Charity’s representatives and/or service providers, including the Charity’s Trustees, to enter the Camp during the Client Group’s occupation of it. The date, time and purpose of such visits will always be advised and agreed with the Client Group in advance by an Officer of the Charity. The only exception is in the case of extreme emergency where immediacy of action has the potential to save a life, prevent severe injury, serious assault or abuse or preserve property of high value, e.g. buildings. Thus an Authorised Visitor representing the Charity is any individual or group that has been approved to visit the Camp by the Client Group’s Lead Organiser or Group Leader (or their deputy if absent) in advance of the visit taking place. A Client Group will authorise its own visitors, i.e. people connected with that group’s organisation, without reference to the Charity. The Charity assumes that such arrangements will be compliant with the Client Group’s own CPP.
STANDARD SAFEGURDING PRACTICES
Building, Maintenance & Repair works
Generally the Camp is available for use by Client Groups between mid-March and early November each year. Major repairs, building and maintenance works are normally undertaken in the ‘closed’ winter period. On occasions, adverse weather conditions or other unforeseeable factors may result in such works over running. The Charity will advise any Client Group of any potential overruns affecting their occupancy period, as soon as such a possibility becomes apparent. This policy ensures that any consequential safeguarding issues can be properly anticipated, assessed and implemented. When the Camp is occupied the Charity will try and ensure that any essential running or emergency repairs are made when children are away from the Camp, e.g. out on a day trip etc. If this is not practical, the Group Leader and the Charity will agree what additional safeguarding measures need to be put in place to fully comply with the Client Organisation’s CPP. For example, it might become necessary to temporarily close part of the Camp off to children.
Authorised Visitors representing the Charity
All the Charity’s visitors to the Camp must gain the prior consent of the Client Organisation for their visit via one of the Charity’s Officers, i.e. the Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer. Upon arrival at the Camp Authorised Visitors must immediately report to the Group Leader, or if absent, their deputy and properly identify themselves. The Charity expects all of its visitors to be accompanied by a member of the Client Group’s staff or a Trustee of the Charity, if children are present at any time during the visit. If this is not offered then Authorised Visitors must ask for compliance, or leave. Wherever possible, Authorised Visitors will be accompanied by a Trustee of the Charity to effect a formal introduction to the Group Leader or supervise repair works. All Authorised Visitors must endeavour to arrive on time, or if delayed to telephone the Group Leader (mobile phones only) to advise their revised time of arrival. All Authorised Visitors will comply with any reasonable request of the Group Leader relating to the safeguarding of the resident children. Authorised Visitors should avoid any direct contact with any child or children unless they are accompanied by a Client Group staff member. They should especially avoid at all times, whether supervised or not, any physical contact with children, however innocent. We note here that no Child Protection Policy can legislate for every eventuality and common sense needs to be applied in unforeseen emergency situations. For example, trying to resuscitate a child that has stopped breathing would not be deemed to a breach of the above policy.
Visits by the Charity’s Trustees
A Trustee may be tasked by the Charity’s Chairperson to attend the Camp to:
- Formally welcome any Client Group on their arrival and provide advice on using the Camp’s facilities
- Assess damage, running repair and cleaning needs and/or read utility meters
- When it is deemed necessary by an Officer of the Charity, secure the Camp at the time of a Client Group’s departure
- Accompany an authorised visitor or visitors including the supervision of contracted maintenance or emergency repairs personnel. Again, such visits will be agreed with the Client Group in advance and Trustees will conduct themselves as an Authorised Visitor as detailed in this CPP.
Additional services provided by Trustees
When a Trustee is invited by a Client Group to provide an additional service such as helping to guide a walk, the Client Group must provide that Trustee with a copy of their own CPP, so the Trustee can subscribe to it. This enables the Trustee to familiarise themselves with all the requisite safeguarding requirements and offer their full compliance. The Trustee will also inform the Charity’s Secretary in writing of the services to be provided and confirm that they have signed up to the Client Group’s CPP.
Open or Community Days
The Charity occasionally runs Open Days at the Camp to build awareness of the facilties among the local community and other prospective Client Groups. All children must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian who is responsible at all times for their child/charges welfare. No unaccompanied children will be admitted to such events. At these events Trustees will work in pairs as Stewards and will remain vigilant with regard to Child Abuse issues.
Alcohol: good practice
All persons staffing or visiting the Camp are reminded that they are role models for young people at all times and should therefore refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages whilst within Camp bounds, whether on or off duty.
Smoking: legal requirements
From summer 2007 it became illegal to smoke in any enclosed public premises. There is no minimum age limit for smoking, although those under 18 are not permitted to buy tobacco products. Smoking in any Camp building or under canvas within the Camp boundary is not permitted due to fire risk.
Illegal Drugs: consequences
The Charity requires that anyone, adult or child, caught in possession of or taking illegal drugs is immediately sent home by their Client Group.
Malicious damage or destruction of Camp property
The Trustees are aware that the facilities will be exposed to general rough and tumble treatment as a matter of course. They are also aware that wanton damage or destruction of property can be symptomatic of a lack of guardian/carer control. Client Groups are required not to bring any child to the Camp that they cannot reasonably exercise effective behavioural control over. Serious damage impairs or denies the enjoyment of Camp facilties to other Client Groups and/or renders it into a dangerous condition. In the extreme, the Camp may have to be temporarily closed and bookings cancelled at short notice whilst urgent repairs are made to make the camp safe again.
Photographing and/or videoing and/or filming children
From time to time the Charity might seek the necessary consent(s) to photograph children using the Camp for publicity purposes (LMAC website, local press etc.) In this regard the Charity will always act in full compliance with the relevant Client Group’s CPP.
Allegations of Child Abuse against an LMAC Authorised Visitor/Trustee
Any allegation made against a LMAC Authorised Visitor, including Trustees of the Charity, will be dealt with under the Client Group’s CPP. It is the Charity’s policy that anyone connected with Charity who is the subject of child abuse allegations will be temporarily suspended from serving the Charity in any capacity. They will also be temporally barred from entering the Camp. For this reason, a Client Group Child Protection Officer must give the name of affected Authorised Visitor to the Charity’s Secretary (or Chairperson if the Secretary is unavailable or is the subject of the complaint/allegation). It’s important that anyone subject to an allegation is treated fairly at all times. Once the outcome of any subsequent investigation and/or formal disciplinary hearing and/or criminal prosecution is known the Charity will determine at its next regular Committee Meeting whether to rescind, extend or make permanent the above temporary measures. The Chairperson will abstain from voting at this stage. In the event that a LMAC Authorised Visitor is convicted of a child abuse crime and/or required to sign the Sex Offenders Register, a lifetime ban from giving service to the Charity is mandatory.
Right of Appeal
Any Trustee suspended or barred from giving service to the Charity may appeal directly to the Charity’s Chairperson.
Reporting suspected or alleged Child Abuse events
The Charity’s Officers and other Trustees are aware and accordingly alert to the many forms of Child Abuse and their symptomatic indicators. If a member of the Client Group’s staff or a child under its care and control is suspected of child abuse by an Officer of the Charity or other Trustee, either by observation or third party report they will:
- Immediately summon appropriate medical services In cases where any child has sustained a serious injury or been subject to a sexual assault
- Inform the Client Group’s Group Leader (or their deputy if the Group Leader is absent or is the subject of the allegation)
- Take directions from the Group Leader or their deputy with regard to moving any child or children out of any real or perceived immediate danger,
- Inform one of the Charity’s Officers who will in turn inform the other two Officers
- At the earliest opportunity, make a written statement recording all the details of the incident and any actions taken immediately afterwards.
In situations of serious, potentially criminal allegations the Charity’s Officers will inform the police and the Shropshire Child Protection Unit Duty Officer if the Group Leader or their Deputy is perceived not to be taking an appropriate course of action. The Charity expects the Client Group’s Child Protection Officer to conduct any subsequent investigation to which the Charity will give is full co-operation.
Recruitment of LMAC Trustees
In addition to formal interview, all prospective new Trustees must agree to be Criminal Record Bureau checked prior to their formal appointment and routinely checked thereafter. They must disclose any criminal convictions, either current or spent. Two character references will be taken up (ideally from professional persons who have know the applicant for five or more years) and an employer reference if the applicant is employed. Proof of identity must be provided too. LMAC Trustees are under a strict moral duty to disclose to the LMAC Chairperson, or if absent the Charity’s Secretary, any grounds or circumstances, they know or believe, might permanently or temporarily disqualify them from engaging with children. All joining Trustees will be issued with Child Abuse education literature to help them become familiar with the differing types of child abuse and their related symptomatic indicators. The literature will also help them avoid situations where they are exposed to the risk of false accusations.
Child Abuse Awareness & Education for Trustees
The Charity’s Secretary will source useful Child Abuse educational literature for distribution to all the Trustees as part of a continuing Trustee education programme. He or she will also routinely monitor any relevant training courses for the voluntary sector, the attendance of which by Trustees will be discussed and considered at regular Committee Meetings (bi-monthly).
CPP Review Points
This CPP will be reviewed every two years, or more frequently if events and circumstances so dictate.
- LMAC Chairman:
Peter Jenkins, The Manor, Hope Bowdler, Church Stretton, SY6 7DD
- Church Stretton Medical Centre:
- OS Grid Reference for the Camp: SO 423896
- Shropshire Council Social Services:
If you think a child or young person is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed then you must contact Children Services and tell them your concerns. Ring Children Services via Shropshire County Council's Customer Service Centre and ask to speak to the Stay Safe Team - the number to call is: 0345 678 9021
After 5pm or at the weekends please phone the Emergency Social Work Duty Team:
- You can also speak to:
Public Protection Unit (West Mercia Police) 08457 444888
NSPCC 0800 800 5000
Childline 0800 1111
- Emergency 999 calls
There is a pay phone in the Camp’s Staff Room – emergency calls are free. For mobile phones please note that even if your phone indicates no signal being received all 999 calls are routed across a multi carrier channel – your phone will automatically search across all the carriers for a viable signal when you press the ‘dial’ button.