Skipton Step Into Action
Information Collection and Use
Skipton Step Into Action is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. Skipton Step Into Action collects information from our users at a number of different points depending on how you use and interact with our website.
Log File Analytics
Our web server records IP addresses and writes these to log files that allow us to analyse visitor numbers on this website, track user’s movement around the website and from page to page, we use this information to see how visitors use and interact with our website. IP Addresses are used to distinguish visitor numbers to the website, we use this information see how visitors use and interact with our website.
Contact Form, Email Submissions & Phone
If you submit an enquiry through our contact form or via email or phone, that enquiry might be emailed to a mailbox monitored by volunteers of Skipton Step Into Action, the email is then stored securely on our email server which enables us to respond to your enquiry. Your enquiry may be forwarded to one or multiple mailboxes within Skipton Step Into Action to ensure it is dealt with and acted upon by the appropriate person. If you submit an enquiry through our contact form or via email a copy of that message will be stored on our web server and will be deleted after 14 days or once the enquiry is effectively dealt with.
This website utilises SSL encryption. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser, or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook). SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely.
This website is backed up on a regular basis for security and disaster recovery purposes. The backups are stored securely with Dropbox. Dropbox may store these backups outside of the European Union in line with its undertakings through the EU-US Privacy Shield Program. Further information can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/privacy Website backups will be stored for a maximum of 30 days before being deleted.
Links to other websites
This website contains links to other websites. Please be aware that Skipton Step Into Action is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other websites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this website.
Embedded content from other websites
Notification of Changes
Accessing & Updating Your Information
You have the right to access, update and delete your personal information. You retain all rights to your personal information and data and can access it at anytime. Skipton Step Into Action will take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete, or limit the use of your personal information.
If you would like to access your personal data or know what data Skipton Step Into Action holds about you, please contact us using the details below:
We aim to acknowledge data access requests within five working days of receipt. We aim to fully respond to access requests within 30 days.
Safeguarding Policy and Procedure
Skipton Step into Action Policy
Skipton Step into Action is a responsive and dynamic organisation; Our aim is to react to the changing needs of adults in our local community by supporting vulnerable and elderly people during and post COVID -19 pandemic; To enhance the wellbeing and life opportunities of people experiencing difficulties undertaking daily tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions. We offer befriending opportunities to support people getting back to the “New Normal” in a progressive way tailored to individuals needs.
Skipton Step into Action recognises the importance of ensuring individuals feel well supported and strives to ensure that all those who access our support, and the volunteers who work with them, can do so knowing that we consider safeguarding and their welfare of paramount importance. This is particularly important for Skipton Step into Action service users who are often isolated, fearful and distrustful of unfamiliar situations. It is imperative that Skipton Step into Action doesn’t just help keep these individuals safe but also ensures that they know what safeguarding measures are in place so that they have the trust and confidence to engage with the support that we offer.
This policy aims to set out what safeguarding means and explains the policies and procedures Skipton Step into Action has in place to ensure it is intrinsic to our day to day work. It is designed to be used as part of the 1-1 induction of all new service users, and the induction and training of all volunteers and staff.
This Policy and Procedure is informed by West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and York Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures April 2018, Save the Children’s Child Protection Policy (2003) and by North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership’s practice guidance on Working with Individuals Vulnerable to Extremism. This policy is intended to stand independently of these as a document designed to meet the specific needs of Skipton Step into Action and all those who engage with us.
What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is about promoting the welfare and wellbeing of vulnerable adults, young people and children and protecting them from harm, abuse and neglect. It is about working with people to help them make decisions about the risks they face in their own lives and supporting those who lack the mental capacity to make these.
Skipton Step into Action Management Committee has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the welfare and safeguarding of all its service users and volunteers and aims to ensure everyone involved with Skipton Step into Action remains safe at all times. In practice, this includes volunteers receiving appropriate training and support to prevent safeguarding issues arising and to be able to identify signs of abuse, robust procedures for reporting abuse in a timely and objective manner, and clear accountability structures including a named contact for any safeguarding issues. It also includes ensuring that all people involved with Skipton Step into Action, namely volunteers, service users and partners are aware that Skipton Step into Action strives to be a safe environment and that it has robust safeguarding measures in place to protect everyone involved.
Who is at Risk at Skipton Step into Action?
Anyone can become a victim of abuse and we should always be vigilant, but in the context of Skipton Step into Action we regularly work with particularly vulnerable adults (18 and over) experiencing loneliness, poor mental health and additional complicating factors such as autism spectrum conditions, a learning or physical disability, the effects of old age, frailty and illness.
We define those at risk as follows:
Any person aged 18 years and over who is or maybe in need of additional support services by reason of mental health issues, learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him / herself or unable to protect him / herself. Skipton Step into Action works with a range of people from across our local community and it is likely that we may encounter people exhibiting any of these characteristics or in these situations.
Children and Young People
A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday, including those who are over 16 and living independently, being in the armed forces, in further education or living in a Young Offender’s unit. They are still classified as children and have the same entitlement to services and protection under the Children Act of 1989. Skipton Step into Action does not directly support children, however we do have a strong partnership with SELFA and North Yorkshire County Council where we can offer referrals (as appropriate) for children and young people.
Typical types of abuse we need to look out for in adults are:
- Physical: includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, the misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions
- Psychological: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, forced marriage, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks
- Sexual: including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting
- Financial or material: including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property
- Neglect or acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
- Discriminatory: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
- Institutional abuse: can be different from other forms because it is about who abuses and how that abuse comes about. Institutional abuse can take any of the other forms.
- Radicalisation: including influencing people to adopt extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations that are opposed to British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.
For children and young people we also need to be vigilant for:
- Child abuse: namely anything which individuals, institutions or processes do which harms children or damages their prospect of safe and healthy development into adulthood such as physical abuse (including hitting, shaking, burning, female genital mutilation and torture), emotional or psychological abuse (including name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation), neglect and negligent treatment, and sexual abuse or exploitation (including all sexual violence, incest, early and forced marriage, rape, involvement in pornography, sexual slavery, indecent touching or exposure, using sexually explicit language toward a child and showing children pornographic material).
- Sexual exploitation: any actual or attempted abuse of a child’s position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation. The sexual exploitation of a child who is under the age of consent (16 in the UK) is child sexual abuse and a criminal offence. An underage child cannot legally give informed consent to sexual activity.
Recruitment and selection of volunteers
Skipton Step into Action recruitment policy and procedure ensures that all volunteers are recruited by completion of a registration form (including 2 ID documents) and a telephone interview. The process aims to ensure we have confidence in our volunteers from a safeguarding perspective, both in their personal behaviour and attitude toward the support and safeguarding of others.
Training and induction
All volunteers are given a copy of the volunteer guidelines to read as part of their induction process – This details procedures to follow, for example PPE requirements, who to alert when you are visiting/leaving a service user. This safeguarding policy and procedure forms an integral part of the induction and is discussed in detail ensuring all staff and volunteers know how to: spot concerns; deal with safeguarding issues safely, sensitively and appropriately; record incidents; report incidents to the appropriate senior staff member; feel comfortable with their responsibilities and; who to get supervision and support from. We also ensure our befriending volunteers have a current enhanced DBS check, North Yorkshire County Council Safeguarding level 1 training and Motivational Interviewing training.
All volunteers are issued with a name badge for identification purposes which they must wear when volunteering on behalf of Skipton Step into Action and all service users are given a password when they contact Skipton Step into Action and request support. This password is changed on a weekly basis.
Training of staff and volunteers is recorded and reviewed with refresher training provided every two years.
All volunteers at Skipton Step into Action have a responsibility to safeguard those engaging with our organisation. There is a clear hierarchy of responsibility and reporting pathway with a named Management Committee member responsible for Safeguarding, a Safeguarding Lead, a number of senior volunteers (core management team) acting as Safeguarding Responders and the remaining staff and volunteer team acting as Safeguarding Alerters.
Named Management Committee member responsible for Safeguarding – Charlotte McKeown
Whilst operational responsibility for implementing the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure is delegated by the Management Committee to the Safeguarding Lead, a named Member is responsible for:
- Reviewing the Policy and Procedure on an annual basis
- Providing support and clinical supervision to the Safeguarding Lead (and Responders when required)
- Providing support to the Responders in the absence of the Safeguarding Lead
- Liaising directly with Marion-Tweed Rycroft (North Yorkshire County Council, Stronger Communities) regarding any safeguarding concerns
Named Safeguarding Lead – Hannah Crabtree Overall operational responsibility for safeguarding lies with Hannah Crabtree. She is responsible for ensuring:
- the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure is adhered to at Skipton Step into Action
- all instances of alleged or reported abuse are recorded internally
- where appropriate incidents are referred to the Safeguarding Authorities (NYCC) in a timely fashion
- the victim of any abuse will be listened to and their allegations will be taken seriously and reported to the appropriate authority
- we will not put the victim in a situation where the abuse can reoccur
- the perpetrator of the abuse is dealt with where possible i.e. when the perpetrator is a volunteer, service user, external professional or known member of the public including report and referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service or Police
- members of staff involved in a safeguarding incident are provided with support
Safeguarding Responders (including the Safeguarding Lead)
Other senior volunteers are authorised to act as Safeguarding Responders. These currently include:
Jane Vincent – Management Committee Member
Sarah Donne – Management Committee Member
Sarah Wilson – Befriending team leader
These Responders are authorised and expected to:
- fully record and report all safeguarding incidents and concerns (including those witnessed by Alerters) to the Safeguarding Lead
- where appropriate, report incidents to the Safeguarding Authorities in the absence of the Safeguarding Lead
- in the absence of the Safeguarding Lead report incidents to the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding
- provide support to the victim and ensure they are safe
- where safe, deal appropriately with the perpetrator
- provide support to Alerters who have been involved in a safeguarding incident
Any safeguarding incident needs to be logged using the standard report forms provided by North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board or Children and Families Service which are available to access via our Admin team. This will ensure the correct level of detail (including time, date, location, nature of incident, details of the victim and the perpetrator) is recorded should the case need to be escalated to the relevant Safeguarding authority or discussed with senior staff and / or the Management Committee.
All other staff and volunteers are trained to act as Alerters. These are authorised and expected to:
- ensure a victim is safe and provide support and reassurance until a Responder can be alerted
- pass on any safeguarding concerns to the Safeguarding Lead or a Safeguarding Responder immediately including making notes of the date, time, location and nature of the incident and the names of those involved
Dealing with a Safeguarding Incident
When dealing with a safeguarding incident or concern the following points need to be followed:
- Take Immediate Action – all volunteers should respond to any instance of abuse that they witness as quickly as possible, ensuring that they and the person is safe and that the incident is reported to a Responder, the Safeguarding Lead or Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding in a timely fashion. If a person is in imminent danger, volunteers must contact the emergency services on 999 immediately.
- Stay with the Victim where possible – especially during or just after an incident, it is important that the victim is not left alone and that another member of the volunteer team deals with any existing problems concerning the perpetrator. However, if a volunteer is I danger they must remove themselves from the situation, even if this means leaving the victim. Whilst it is more appropriate for a senior volunteer to deal with both victim and perpetrator, should the volunteer situation not allow for this, it is appropriate for the Safeguarding Lead or Responder to leave the victim with a more junior member of the team for reassuance whilst any residual threat is dealt with, though they should return to support the victim as soon as possible.
- Deal with the Perpetrator – the Safeguarding Lead or Responder must ensure that appropriate action is taken to ensure that the perpetrator is not able to harm the victim by ensuring that they are removed from direct contact and / or the premises immediately. The Safeguarding Lead must also take appropriate action to ensure the victim’s future safety through reporting to the safeguarding authorities and / or exclusion from Skipton Step into Action.
- Be Reassuring and Sensitive – victims of abuse will often be scared, upset, confused and might even blame themselves for an incident. It is important that all volunteers dealing with an incident find a space in which the individual feels safe and can be supported with consideration given to privacy and whenever possible by someone they feel comfortable (i.e. with regards to gender or other personal preferences / needs). This is important both when dealing with a witnessed incident or when approaching an individual about concerns. Victims or potential victims should always be dealt with in a calm, reassuring manner that emphasises that they are safe, that they are not to blame and that all efforts are being made to ensure that any abuse will not be repeated.
- Be Vigilant and Report Concerns – all volunteers should watch out for any concerning behaviour or visual signs that suggest a person maybe the victim of abuse. These could be physical signs such as cuts, marks or bruising on the skin, signs of malnutrition, poor personal hygiene or uncharacteristic tiredness, they could be behavioural such as uncharacteristic low mood or nervousness, or they could be verbal, such as repeatedly expressing worry about specific issues. Anything out of the ordinary could be a sign of abuse and should be reported to a Responder or the Safeguarding Lead immediately.
- Act on Concerns – the Safeguarding Lead and Responders have a responsibility to speak to anyone they consider might be victim of abuse and ensure that any potential signs are explainable and take appropriate safeguarding action if not.
- No Secrets Here – within Skipton Step into Action we operate a ‘No Secrets’ approach to all matters relating to safeguarding. All staff and volunteers are aware that any safeguarding concerns have to be shared with an appropriate senior volunteer and that any person disclosing concerns or information about abuse must be informed that this is the case. They should also be reassured that at this stage the information will only be shared internally and only with appropriate members of the team on a “need to know” basis.
- Seek Adult Consent – Skipton Step into Action respects the right and ability of adults to make informed decisions about their own life including around safeguarding. Any referral of a case to external Safeguarding authorities by a Responder or the Safeguarding Lead should, where possible, be done with the individuals understanding and consent unless there is an imminent risk of the person coming to harm and emergency services need to be contacted. Such consent can be overridden in certain circumstances but more detailed guidance should be considered first (from the West and North Yorkshire and York Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policy and Procedure and from the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board). Example circumstances could be where: non-disclosure would lead to the harm of a third party; the adult lacks the mental capacity to give consent and a disclosure is in their best interests; it is in the adult’s vital interests to save them for harm; they are under undue coercion to not consent to a disclosure.
Addressing Alleged Abuse
- Allegations of abuse by Staff and Volunteers – there may be incidences where a service user makes an allegation of abuse against a volunteer. These should be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Lead and upward to the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding. If the allegation was against the Safeguarding Lead then it should be reported to a Responder who would refer it to the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding. Any volunteer accused of abuse will be suspended from duties pending an immediate investigation of the alleged abuse which should take place within 5 days and be led by The Safeguarding Lead and / or the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding. Should the allegation be proven, then the volunteer would be dismissed and a referral made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
- False Allegations against Volunteers – if the allegation was not proven, the Safeguarding Lead and / or the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding would conduct a separate investigation into the individual making the allegation. If the allegation was proven to be made with malicious intent Skipton Step into Action reserve the right to exclude the person from support. Skipton Step into Action respects that many of its service users experience significant issues around mental health and that in some cases situations can be misread, and that relationships with particular volunteers may prove problematic without actual abuse occurring. In these cases, efforts will be made to ensure a service user is supported to understand the situation, and mediate an agreed solution that resolves any misunderstanding and / or provides alternative support. To ensure fairness and transparency, Skipton Step into Action seeks to ensure a service user under investigation can access external advocacy and support during this process.
- Safeguarding Volunteers from False Accusations – where an allegation of abuse has been made volunteers have a right to support until an investigation is completed, including reassurance that the investigation will be fair, impartial and without assumption of guilt. Should an allegation be unproven, any service user supported to remain in receipt of services will be obligated to not repeat or disseminate the allegation. This should not debar the individual from making legitimate future allegations and any such new allegations should be treated individually and on merit.
- Allegations of Abuse by a Service User Against Another Service User – there may be incidences where a service user makes an allegation of abuse against another service user. Given the complications inherent in mental health, Skipton Step into Action recognises that these incidents require careful handling and should be dealt with by the Safeguarding Lead and Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding, seeking external advice and support from the Safeguarding Authorities when appropriate. The alleged victim needs to be taken seriously and offered appropriate support and reassurance that they are safe and will be kept safe whilst an investigation is initiated within 5 days of the issue being raised. Whilst the investigation proceeds, if there is the potential of continuing abuse, it may be necessary to suspend support to the alleged perpetrator. Skipton Step into Action also has a duty to protect service users from unfounded allegations and the alleged perpetrator needs to be reassured that the investigation will be fair and transparent and that there is no presumption of guilt and that they may wish to be supported by an external advocate during the process. Should the allegation be proved, the individual would be excluded from Skipton Step into Action services and the incident referred to the safeguarding authorities.
- False Allegations Against Service Users – if an allegation was not proven, the Safeguarding Lead and / or the Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding would conduct a separate investigation into the individual making the allegation. If the allegation was proven to be made with malicious intent Skipton Step into Action reserve the right to exclude the person from support. Skipton Step into Action respects that many of its service users may experience significant issues around mental health and that in some cases situations can be misread, and that relationships with other service users may prove problematic without actual abuse occurring. In these cases, efforts will be made to ensure a service user is supported to understand the situation, and mediate an agreed solution that resolves any misunderstanding and / or provides alternative support. To ensure fairness and transparency, Skipton Step into Action seeks to ensure a service user under investigation can access external advocacy and support during this process. Any service user supported to stay in receipt of support in these circumstances would be obligated to not repeat or disseminate the false allegation. Any new allegations would still need to be treated individually and on merit.
Reporting Procedures and Contacts
- If an individual is in immediate danger, all staff/volunteers should contact the emergency services on 999 immediately.
- Any volunteer who witnesses abuse, hears disclosures or allegations of abuse or has concerns about potential abuse or neglect, has a duty to report these to one of Skipton Step into Action Responders or the Safeguarding Lead as soon as the victim is safe and provide written notes on the date, time, location, nature of and people involved in the incident.
- If there is no imminent danger, or when imminent danger has passed, the Safeguarding Lead or Responder will make detailed notes of the incident using the forms provided by the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Authorities, including when and where the incident occurred, who was involved and the nature of the abuse or concern.
- Should the Safeguarding Lead or Responder and / or Management Committee Member Responsible for Safeguarding decide it is necessary to contact the safeguarding authorities this should be done as soon as possible via the following channels:
North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board
By calling the North Yorkshire County Council’s Customer Services centre on 01609 780780 who will route the call to the Safeguarding Adults Board and through completion and submission of a North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board Inter-Agency Safeguarding Adults concern form to be sent to the address on the form.
By contacting the North Yorkshire County Council Customer Service Centre on 01609 780780 who will route the call to the appropriate team depending on the nature of concern and through completion and submission of the Universal Referral Form which needs to be sent to the Children and Families Service at the address on the form.
Where is Safeguarding Information Kept?
Information about Safeguarding, the names of the Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Responders and contact details for the relevant Safeguarding authorities are on public display on our website.
Full copies of the following documents are available from the admin team:
- West and North Yorkshire and York Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures April 2018.
- Save the Children’s Child Protection Policy 2003.
- North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership’s practice guidance on Working with Individuals Vulnerable to Extremism.
- North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board Inter-Agency Safeguarding Adults Concern Form.
- North Yorkshire Children and Families’ Service Universal Referral Form.
- Skipton Step into Action Volunteer Guidelines
Adoption of Policy
This policy and procedure were adopted in September 2020 and is reviewed annually by the named Management Committee Member responsible for Safeguarding and as and when new legislation is introduced, best practice changes or specific incidents inform a need for change.