Policies

Privacy Policy

The following statement explains our policy regarding the personal information we collect about you.

  1. Statement of intent
  2. Information on visitors
  3. What is a cookie?
  4. Submitting personal information
  5. Access to your personal information
  6. Users 16 and under
  7. How to find and control your cookies
  8. How do you know which sites use cookies?
  9. How to see your cookie code
  1. Statement of Intent

From time to time, you may be asked to submit personal information about yourself (e.g. name and email address etc) in order to receive or use services on our website. Such services include newsletters, competitions, “Alert Email”, live chats, message boards and membership (e.g. for support services).

By entering your details in the fields requested, you enable Wellbeing at Garon Park to provide you with the services you select. Whenever you provide such personal information, we will treat that information in accordance with this policy. Our services are designed to give you the information that you want to receive. Wellbeing at Garon Park will act in accordance with current legislation and aim to meet current Internet best practice.

  1. Information on Visitors

During the course of any visit to www.oldsouthendianassociation.org, the pages you see, along with something called a cookie, are downloaded to your computer (see point 3 for more on this). Most, if not all, websites do this, because cookies allow the website publisher to do useful things like find out whether the computer (and probably its user) has visited the site before. This is done on a repeat visit by checking to see, and finding, the cookie left there on the last visit.

Any information that is supplied by cookies can help us to provide you with a better service and assists us to analyse the profile of our visitors. For example: if on a previous visit you went to, say, the Search Engine pages, then we might find this out from your cookie and highlight Search Engine information on a second visit. We also use cookies to provide functions such as Shopping Carts and the information held in the shopping cart is held in a cookie on your PC.

We do not gather or use personal information from our website other than to use for despatching goods and invoices or for making contact with you as the result of an enquiry or support request. We do not pass on any personal information to other companies unless we are specifically instructed to do so by you.

We do not use cookies or spyware to gather information for use in marketing or any other activity from that stated above.

  1. What is a Cookie?

When you enter a site your computer will automatically be issued with a cookie. Cookies are text files that identify your computer to our server. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used. Many sites do this whenever a user visits their site in order to track traffic flows.

Cookies themselves only record those areas of the site that have been visited by the computer in question, and for how long. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these, of course, means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user.

NB: Even if you haven’t set your computer to reject cookies you can still browse our site anonymously until such time as you attempt to purchase products or register for services.

  1. Use and storage of your personal information

When you supply any personal information to Wellbeing at Garon Park (e.g. for purchase, services or support membership) we have legal obligations towards you in the way we deal with that data. We must collect the information fairly, that is, we must explain how we will use it (see the notices on particular webpages that let you know why we are requesting the information) and tell you if we want to pass the information on to anyone else. In general, any information you provide to us will only be used within Wellbeing at Garon Park and by its service providers. It will never be supplied to anyone outside Wellbeing at Garon Park without first obtaining your consent, unless we are obliged or permitted by law to disclose it. Also, if you post or send offensive or inappropriate content anywhere on or to www.wellbeingatgaronpark.comor otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on our website, and we consider such behaviour to be serious and/or repeated, we can use whatever information that is available to us about you to stop such behaviour. This may include informing relevant third parties such as your employer, school or e-mail provider about the content and your behaviour.

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you use the service you have requested, and remove it in the event that the purpose has been met, or, in the case of support membership you no longer wish to continue your registration as a member. For safety reasons, however, Wellbeing at Garon Park may store messaging transcript data (including message content, member names, times and dates) arising from the use of services such as our forum for a period of six months. Where personal information is held for people who are not yet registered but have taken part in other services (e.g. competitions), that information will be held only as long as necessary to ensure that the service is run smoothly. We will ensure that all personal information supplied is held securely, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

If you are notified on a Wellbeing at Garon Park site that your information may be used to allow us to contact you for “service administration purposes”, this means that we may contact you for a number of purposes related to the service you have signed up for. For example, we may wish to provide you with password reminders or notify you that the particular service has been suspended for maintenance. We will not contact you for promotional purposes, such as notifying you of improvements to the service or new services on our website unless you specifically agree to be contacted for such purposes at the time you submit your information on the site, or at a later time if you sign up specifically to receive such promotional information.

  1. Access to your personal information

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information held about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected. (We charge £10 for information requests.) Please address requests to: Chairman of Trustees, Wellbeing at Garon Park, The Pavilion, Garon Park, Eastern Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 4FA.

  1. Users 16 and under

If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent/guardian’s permission beforehand whenever you provide personal information to any of our websites. Users without this consent are not allowed to provide us with personal information.

  1. How to find and control your cookies

If you’re using Netscape 6.0
On your Task Bar, click:
Edit, then
Preferences
Click on Advanced
Click on Cookies

If you’re using Internet Explorer 6.0
Choose Tools, then
Internet Options
Click the Privacy Tab
Click on Custom Level
Click on the ‘Advanced’ button
Check the ‘override automatic cookie handing’ box and select Accept, Block or Prompt for action as appropriate.

If you’re using Internet Explorer 5.0 or 5.5
Choose Tools, then
Internet Options
Click the Security tab
Click on Custom Level
Scroll down to the sixth option to see how cookies are handled by IE5 and change to Accept, Disable, or Prompt for action as appropriate.

If you’re using Internet Explorer 4.0
Choose View, then
Internet Options
Click the Advanced tab
Scroll down to the yellow exclamation icon under Security and choose one of the three options to regulate your use of cookies.

In Internet Explorer 3.0
You can View, Options, Advanced, then click on the button that says Warn before Accepting Cookies.

If you’re using Netscape Communicator 4.0
On your Task Bar, click:
Edit, then
Preferences
Click on Advanced
Set your options in the box that says Cookies.

  1. How do you know which of the sites you’ve visited use cookies?

If you’re using Netscape 6.0
On your Task Bar, click:
Edit, then
Preferences
Click on Advanced
Click on Cookies
Click the View Cookies button

If you’re using Internet Explorer 5.0 or 6.0
Choose Tools, then
Internet Options
Click the General tab
Click Settings
View Files

If you’re using Internet Explorer 4.0
On your Task Bar, click:
View, then
Internet Options
Under the tab General (the default tab) click
Settings
View Files.

Internet Explorer 3.0
On your Task Bar, click:
View
Options
Advanced
View Files.

Netscape Communicator 4.0
Netscape bundles all cookies into one file on your hard drive. You’ll need to find the file, which it calls Cookie.txt on Windows machines.

  1. How do you see your cookie code?

Just click on a cookie to open it. You’ll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

Safeguarding Policy

Wellbeing at Garon Park
Safeguarding Policy

Approved by WB&GP Trustees February 2019
Next Review Date: May 2019

Purpose

Wellbeing at Garon Park are committed to ensuring all who organise, work at or visit our facilities and programmes are treated with respect and dignity and protected from abuse and exploitation. We recognise our duty of care to the beneficiaries of our work and those who come into contact with or are affected by the work of our organisation. We are committed to promoting a safeguarding culture within our organisation and ensuring that staff can work in a safe and secure environment. This policy lays out the measures we have put in place to ensure employees, trustees, contractors, volunteers, beneficiaries of our work (particularly children and vulnerable adults) and all those who come into contact with our organisation are protected from abuse and maltreatment and how we respond to concerns. The policy also informs employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. In doing so we aim to:

  • Create a healthy and safe environment for all.
  • Ensure all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities and are listened to, given a sense of belonging and kept safe from harm.
  • Support and encourage all parties to voice their opinions regarding their welfare and the welfare of others.
  • Ensure those who are involved in working with children and vulnerable adults are supported and protected.

Exclusions: This policy does not cover sexual harassment in the workplace, this is covered in our Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy. The policy does not cover safeguarding concerns in the wider community unrelated to the actions or activities of WB&GP and its employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers.

Defining Safeguarding

Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when concerns arise or harm does occur.

This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.

Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centered and also protect those accused until proven guilty.

Wellbeing at Garon Park is committed to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

Further Definitions

Beneficiaries                     are any person or group of people who participate / engage in one or more of Wellbeing at Garon Park’s activities / programmes.

Partners Organisation     relates specifically to User / Member Organisations and its employees, interns and volunteers.

Abuse                                is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture. It can take a number of forms, including the following: physical abuse; sexual abuse; sexual exploitation; emotional abuse; bullying; neglect and financial (or material) abuse. Please See Appendix A for greater detail and further definitions.

Child                                  is any person under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).

Vulnerable Adult              a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who is elderly and frail; has a mental illness including dementia; has a physical or sensory disability; has a learning disability; has a severe physical illness; has a substance misuser; is homeless or is in need through circumstances.

Survivor                             the person who has been abused or exploited. The term survivor is used in preference to victim recognising the strength, resilience and capacity to survive that those who have lived through abuse and/or exploitation have. However, we recognise survivors own right to define how they wish to identify themselves.

Safeguarding Lead           the person with responsibility for ensuring the safeguarding policy is properly enacted

WB&GP Staff                   includes all employees, Trustees, contractors, interns and volunteers.

Volunteers                        includes individuals or groups of individuals who elect to volunteer with WB&GP.

Prevention

WB&GP wants to ensure that all people who come into contact with us are protected and kept safe from harm whilst engaged in any activities organised by WB&GP and delivered by its staff and volunteers or otherwise engaging with our staff.

Disclosure and Baring Service Checks (DBS – Criminal Record Check)

All WB&GP staff, volunteers, trustee and representatives of member organisations attending WB&GP’s activities and programmes must have a been appropriately checked before being allowed on WB&GP site.

Wellbeing at Garon Park will:

  1. Ensure we practice safe recruitment by checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with and around children and vulnerable people. WB&GP has a separate Safe Recruitment Policy.
  2. Check that UK Partners practice safe recruitment by ensuring all their staff, with whom we work, are DBS checked and have 2 references that have been checked. Confirmation of this must be received prior to engagement.
  3. Check that our Local Partners undertake suitable safe recruitment checks including where available Police checks and character references.
  4. Ensure all WB&GP staff have access to, are familiar with and know their responsibilities within this policy
  5. Specifically cover safeguarding in the induction process for staff/volunteers. New staff/volunteers will be introduced to the safeguarding policy and procedures and provided with time to review it and ask any questions. Other relevant policies will also be discussed, and the new staff member/volunteer will be provided with the name of the Safeguarding Lead and with a blank copy of the safeguarding reporting form
  6. Provide annual internal refresher safeguarding training for WB&GP operational staff and Designated Safeguarding Leads and external safeguarding training to Designated Safeguarding Leads every 2 years (unless there are changes to either legislation or WB&GP activities) to ensure WB&GP staff are equipped to deal with issues if/as they arise.
  7. Ensure we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead
    • The Safeguarding Lead is, xxxxxxxxxx Trustee
  8. Ensure all WB&GP Staff, Partner Organisations and Volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated Safeguarding Lead.
  9. Ensure Partners Organisations have appropriate safeguarding policies in place.
  10. Ensure WB&GP staff, trustees, contractors and volunteers know the names of the designated senior person responsible for safeguarding within WB&GP.
  11. Ensure staff, volunteers, interns and beneficiaries know the name of the designated senior person responsible for safeguarding within our Partner Organisations.
  12. Ensure Partner Organisation staff, volunteers and Interns have appropriate DBS checks before attending
  13. Ensure staff know the name of the designated senior person responsible for safeguarding within Partners Organisations and what to do should a safeguarding concern arise relating to a Partner Organisation.
  14. Develop, implement and regularly reviewing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
  15. Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to the procedures laid out in our Procedures for Dealing with and Recording Safeguarding Reports.
  16. Notify the relevant authorities if there is an issue raised in connection with the welfare of a child or vulnerable person.
  17. Design and undertake all programmes and activities in a way that protects people from risks of harm that may arise from coming into contact with our organisations.
  18. Ensure all staff, trustees and volunteers review and sign the code of conduct.
  19. Ensure sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure the policy can be effectively implemented.

WB&GP employee, trustee, contractor and volunteer responsibilities

WB&GP employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers will not:

  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18.
  • Sexually abuse or exploit children, vulnerable adults or any person who comes into contact with the organisation.
  • Subject a child, vulnerable adult or any person who comes into contact with the organisation to physical, emotional or psychological abuse or neglect.
  • Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children, vulnerable adults or those who come into contact with our programmes or activities as an organisation, including child labour or trafficking.
  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to our beneficiaries.
  • Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.

All employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers will be expected to review and sign the WB&GP code of conduct.

Wellbeing at Garon Park expects their employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers to contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the safeguarding policy. WB&GP employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers are also expected to report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by a fellow representative of WB&GP or members of Partner Organisations to the designated Safeguarding Lead.

Reporting

Whilst different cultures may have different levels of tolerance, WB&GP will not tolerate what it considers to be abuse or exploitation in any form, which goes against the values and aims of the organisation. It is the responsibility of all who represent WB&GP, in whatever capacity, to raise their concerns regarding possible abuse or exploitation.

Enabling reports

Wellbeing at Garon Park will ensure that safe, appropriate and accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to individuals and the communities we work with.

Staff and volunteers should follow the procedures outlined below and in our ‘Procedures for dealing with and recording safeguarding reports’

Any staff reporting concerns will be protected from any negative repercussions as per the Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace (Whistleblowing) Policy.

Wellbeing at Garon Park will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners organisations and official bodies. Our Safeguarding Policy is available on our website providing the public with information about who to contact if they have a safeguarding concern related to the activities of WB&GP.

Employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers must report their concerns if;

  • They witness an incident where beneficiaries are abused or mistreated whilst taking part in one of our programmes.
  • They witness abuse or mistreatment perpetrated by someone associated with WB&GP (employee, trustee, contractors or volunteer).
  • An incident occurs where someone is abused or mistreated, and this is connected with the activities of WB&GP
  • An allegation is made that an incident has occurred, regardless of when the alleged abuse or mistreatment occurred.
  • They receive a direct disclosure from a community member, child or vulnerable adult

If in doubt it’s always best to talk to the Safeguarding Lead.

How to report a safeguarding concern

WB&GP employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to the appropriate Safeguarding Lead. Contact details for the safeguarding leads and alternate contact are below.

If the staff member/member of the public does not feel comfortable reporting to the Safeguarding Lead (for example if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to any other member of the trustee board.

  Safeguarding Lead
Name: Clive Shiret
Job/Role: Trustee
Contact email clive@igotemail.co.uk

 

Stuart Routledge, has overall responsibility for safeguarding and can be contact through the details below.

  Chairman of WB&GP
Name: Stuart Routledge
Job/Role: Chair of Trustees
Address:  
Contact email r.stuartr@yahoo.co.uk

 

Responding to safeguarding concerns

If you have a safeguarding concern, witness an incident where you suspect abuse, or a person has made a direct disclosure to you it is not your responsibility to decide whether or not abuse has occurred but it is your responsibility to report the incident to the appropriate parties. Wellbeing at Garon Park is committed to following up on safeguarding reports and concerns according to our policy and procedure and legal and statutory obligations.

You must ensure that information on suspected or alleged incidents of abuse are recorded, reported and followed up.

Wellbeing at Garon Park will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found to be in breach of this policy.

Wellbeing at Garon Park will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, regardless of whether formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor and taken under the guidance of appropriate parties as necessary.

Please see our “Procedures for dealing with and recording safeguarding reports” for further information on reporting procedures.

Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared only on a ‘need-to-know’ basis and records should be kept securely at all times. The legal principle that “the welfare of the individual is paramount” means that confidentiality should not override the right of the individual to be protected from harm.

Associated Policies

  • Procedures for dealing with and recording safeguarding reports
  • Code of Conduct for employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers
  • Complaints Procedure
  • Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Safe Recruitment Policy
  • Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace (Whistle-blower) Policy
  • E-Safety Policy

WB&GP Statement of Commitment

Safeguarding is a key value of the charity. We aim to ensure the highest standards of safety and ethical behaviour to protect all those who come into contact with our work. Consistent with this value, our philosophy, detailed in induction materials for employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers, is to ensure the safety and well-being of every individual in, or associated with, our programmes. This means that the environment is friendly and that clear procedures are in place for reporting concerns.

The trustees are committed to;

  • Ensuing safe recruitment practices are being followed, including DBS checks and references for new staff
  • Ensuring that a register is kept of training undertaken by employees, trustees, contractors and volunteers on child/adult protection and safeguarding
  • Reviewing safeguarding reports that arise and ensuring appropriate actions were taken and lessons learnt incorporated into WB&GPs practice going forward
  • Monitoring the reporting of serious incidents to the relevant authorities
  • Reviewing WB&GPs safeguarding policies and procedures annually
  • Ensuring that the designated Safeguarding Lead is in post and operating effectively

WB&GP Trustees will review this policy annually at the AGM and update it as required.

Safeguarding Policy Approved by WB&GP Trustees February 2019

Next Review Date: June 2019

Confirmation of reading

I confirm that I have been made fully aware of, and understand the contents of, the Safeguarding

Policy and Associated Policies for Wellbeing at Garon Park.

Please complete the below and return a scan of this page to Clive Shiret @ clive@igotemail.co.uk

Name: ___________________________________________

Signature: ________________________________________

Date: __________________

Appendix A

Abuse is a term used to describe ways in which people are harmed, usually by adults and often by people they know and trust.  It refers to the damage done to a person’s physical or mental health. People can be abused within or outside their family, at school in the sports environment and elsewhere. Abuse can take many forms:

Physical Abuse – where people:

  • Physically hurt or injure an individual (such as hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting, scolding or otherwise causing physical harm to a child).
  • Give children, vulnerable adults alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison.
  • Attempt to suffocate or drown an individual.

Sexual Abuse – sexual abuse means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. This could include:

  • Full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, fondling.
  • Showing pornographic books, photographs or videos, and sexual exploitation including taking pictures of individuals for pornographic purposes.
  • Grooming people for sexual purposes and/or making inappropriate sexual comments.

Sexual exploitation – sexual exploitation means any actual of attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially, professionally or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This includes human trafficking and modern slavery.

Emotional Abuse and Psychological Harm – persistent emotional or psychological harm to a person that causes a severe long-lasting impact on their emotional development this can occur in a number of ways.  For example, where:

  • There is constant overprotection that prevents an individual from socialising.
  • People being frequently shouted at or taunted, including name calling
  • There is neglect, physical or sexual abuse.
  • Witnessing or hearing domestic violence.
  • Humiliating or degrading treatment
  • Constant criticism
  • Persistent shaming
  • Isolation

Neglect – where parents or guardians persistently fail to meet a person’s basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter.

           

People with Disabilities

People with disabilities may be more vulnerable because:

  • They may have greater difficulty in communicating.
  • They may have less mobility than individuals without disabilities.
  • They often receive as part of their daily life, intimate physical care, which may provide greater opportunity for potential abusers.
  • They may have a greater number of providers of care than individuals without disabilities.
  • Their behaviour may be more challenging, which may put them at greater risk.

WB&GP have documented reporting procedures, approved by the Board of Trustees. These must be included in pre-employment training for staff, delivery partners and volunteers and in written orientation/handover materials.

Wherever possible, the child’s family is to be informed if their child is reported to state authorities as a suspected child at risk.

Equality Policy

Introduction

Wellbeing at Garon Park hereinafter referred to as the Organisation, strives for high standards both as an employer, volunteer coordinator and as a provider of services. In so doing, we recognise the need for encouraging diversity and wholeheartedly support a policy of equal opportunities in all areas of our work and responsibilities.

This policy provides guidance to enable all who work with or for the Organisation to comply with anti-discrimination legislation. The policy will also address anti-discrimination issues involving areas that currently fall outside any legislation. Failure to follow the procedures in the policy may lead to disciplinary or other appropriate action.

The Organisation’s aims and objectives will be achieved through action planning, effective monitoring and a willingness to tackle problems where they arise. The Organisation is committed to reviewing this policy on an annual basis.  Through our training, publications, interaction with members and other activities, the Organisation will ensure those we work with know our statements of policy.

The Organisation will regularly review the implementation of its Equality and Diversity Policy and strategy.  Where evidence is found of ineffectiveness, immediate remedial action will be taken to ensure implementation.

The Organisation urges staff, volunteers, trustees, management committee to be aware of the less obvious types of discrimination which result from general assumptions and pre-conceptions about the capabilities, interests and characteristics of individuals.

Definitions

Equal Opportunitiesensures that policies, procedures and practice within the Organisation do not discriminate against its employees, volunteers and stakeholders.  It is about treating people fairly and equally regardless of whom they are, their background or their lifestyle.

Diversityensures that all people are valued as individuals and are able to maximise their potential and contribution to the Organisation and to the community.  It recognises that people from different backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and a different approach, which can make the way we work and learn more fun, more creative, more efficient and more innovative.

Direct Discrimination, as defined in law, occurs when an individual is dealt with less favourably than other people on the grounds of race, ethnic or national origin, disability, sex, actual or perceived religion or belief or sexual orientation. However, in terms of this policy the definition is taken to be wider and includes, for example, colour, nationality, marital status or caring responsibility, age, mental health, political, class, HIV status, employment status, unrelated criminal convictions, union activities.

Indirect Discriminationoccurs when a provision, criterion or practice puts people of a group at a disadvantage and is not justified in relation to the job, for example a rule about clothing that disproportionately disadvantages a racial group cannot be justified.

Victimisationmeans that if a person has made or is making an accusation of discrimination in good faith, it is unlawful to discriminate against them for having done so, or because they intend to do so or it is suspected that they intend to do so. People must be able to act against unlawful discrimination without fear of reprisals.

Harassmentmeans unwanted conduct based on race, sex or age etc. which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. Harassment can be sexual, racial, directed against people with disabilities or indeed related to any characteristic exhibited by the individual.

Positive Actionrefers to measures taken to assist employees, or learners who have been under-represented in specific areas, to reach a level of workplace knowledge and competencies that is comparable with ‘representative’ employees. These measures could take the form of additional training or providing the job application form in other languages to encourage applicants from these communities. ‘Positive discrimination’ at the point of selection for work is not permissible.

Policy Statements

Diversity

The Organisation will actively encourage diversity to maximise achievement, creativity and good practice and to bring benefit to individuals and communities. The Organisation encourages all people it works with, and for, to contribute to an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing how they feel and what they need, knowing they will be treated with respect and that their contribution will be valued.

The way we work, train and learn within the Organisation reflects both the Mission and Objectives of the Organisation and the spirit and intentions of legislation that outlaw’s discrimination and promotes equality and diversity.

The Organisation will make reasonable adjustments to working practices, equipment and premises and offer, where appropriate, additional support to trustees, staff and volunteers to ensure they are able to take a full and active part in the Organisation’s work.

The Organisation will endeavour to deliver services in a way that genuinely recognises the importance of an inclusive society that brings opportunities and access, not barriers to individuals.

Equal Opportunities

The Organisation is an equal opportunities employer and provider of services.  No job applicant, employee, volunteer, trustee, member or service user should receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex; marital status or caring responsibility; sexual orientation; age; physical, sensory or learning disability; mental health; political or religious beliefs; class; HIV status; employment status; unrelated criminal convictions; union activities. Nor will such person’s sex, disability, race, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin, age, trade union membership or non-membership, be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

This principle applies to all aspects of the Organisation’s activities as an employer and provider of services, including recruitment, promotion, transfer, training, benefits, facilities, procedures and all terms and conditions of employment.

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the Equality and Diversity Policy are:

  • To encourage, promote and celebrate diversity in all our activities and services
  • To ensure equal access to jobs, volunteer opportunities
  • To ensure compliance with legislation on discrimination and equality including Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Rights Act 1996, Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Employment Act 2002, Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003, Religion or Belief Regulations 2003, Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003 and Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
  • To promote equal opportunities in other areas not currently covered by legislation.
  • To create environments free from harassment and discrimination.
  • To maximise the use of resources in the best interests of staff, volunteers and service users.
  • To confront and challenge discrimination where and whenever it arises, whether it be between colleagues, or in any other area relating to the Organisation’s work.
  • To make a willingness to accept and implement this policy to be a necessary qualification for any position in the Organisation.
  • To ensure, through positive action and so far as is practicable, that all the Organisation premises and services are accessible to all people.
  • To ensure that employment and advancement within the Organisation is determined by objective criteria and personal merit.

Policy Implementation: Expectations

The Organisation recognises that passive policies do not provide equality and encourage diversity in employment/training/services. The Organisation will seek to promote equality and diversity within the following framework of responsibilities.

Responsibility for implementing and developing the policy rests with the Trustees. The overall co-ordinating responsibility for equal opportunities and management of diversity is delegated to the Operations Manager

However, the Organisation believes that all who work with or for the organisation have an individual responsibility: to accept the policy and ensure a personal involvement in its application; to co-operate actively to ensure that the environment we desire is a reality. Therefore, the Organisation requires individuals:

  • To implement measures introduced by the Organisation to ensure equality of opportunity, diversity and non-discrimination.
  • Not to harass, abuse or intimidate any other employee or participant on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex; marital or civil partnership status or caring responsibility; sexual orientation; age; physical, sensory or learning disability; mental health; political or religious beliefs; class; HIV status; employment status; unrelated criminal convictions; union activities.
  • To inform management if they suspect discrimination is taking place.

The Organisation requires its Line Managers:

  • To ensure that proper records of employment decisions are maintained and regular reviews of employment practices are carried out.
  • To ensure that grievances are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner and in line with the Organisation’s Grievance Policy and Procedure.
  • To ensure that individuals within their area are aware of their legal responsibilities, and the organisation’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • To promote actively the benefits of employee and participant diversity, in employment, services and training.

The Organisation will take equality and diversity advice:

  • To support Line Managers, offer advice and make recommendations in relation to Equal Opportunities and Diversity and implementing relevant policies and procedures.
  • To ensure that the highest standards of Equality Opportunities practice are observed in the delivery of the Organisation’s services and to undertake training and development opportunities to ensure that competence is maintained.
  • To collate and discuss relevant organisational information and make recommendations to the Operations Manager
  • To offer advice and guidance to members of staff, volunteers and organisations in the Organisation’s Equality and Diversity Policy and Procedures.
  • To seek the views and opinions of employees, volunteers, customers and clients on the operation of the policy in his/ her locality/ area of responsibility, in particular to meet the diverse needs of the users.
  • To facilitate training and discussion on Equal Opportunities and Diversity issues as appropriate.

The person with overall responsibility for Equality and Diversity will:

  • Ensure that Managers and Equality and Diversity Advisers are supported in their roles in regard to the Equality and Diversity Policy and Procedures.
  • Ensure Trustees and Managers are appraised regularly on the state of equal opportunities and diversity within the Organisation.
  • Ensure that the Equality and Diversity Policy and associated documents are reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Review and approve policies, procedures and practices that impact on equal opportunities and diversity practice.
  • Co-ordinate the delivery of an equality and diversity strategy and action plan.

Policy Implementation:  Recruitment and Promotion

The Organisation strives to ensure that our trustees, staff and volunteers reflect the wider community.

Clear and accurate information on vacant posts should be available through advertisement, job descriptions, person specifications and interview.  Vacancies should be advertised sufficiently widely to reach the widest possible range of candidates, either internal and/or external.

All recruitment material should not imply any preferred group, unless a genuine occupational qualification exists limiting a post to a particular group.

Applicants will be informed, through all recruitment material of the Organisation’s commitment to Equal Opportunities and Diversity.

Person specifications may include ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ requirements that are necessary and justifiable. Care, and advice where necessary, is needed to ensure these are not discriminatory.

Staff and volunteers should be encouraged to discuss their development and training needs through a process of regular support and annual appraisals.

Job titles that are discriminatory must be avoided.

Policy Implementation:  Interviews and Selection

In line with the intentions of this policy, efforts must be made to select a recruitment panel, which is inclusive in terms of gender, disability and ethnicity.

The shortlisting panel will select candidates on the basis of an objective assessment of their match with the requirements as described in the job description and person specification; this will not take into account the gender, name, race, religion or belief, possible disability or age of the candidate.

The interview panel must take extreme care not to ask discriminatory questions which do not comply with the Organisation’s Equality and Diversity Policy Statements, e.g. questions relating to race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex; marital or civil partnership status or caring responsibility, sexual orientation, age, physical, sensory or learning disability, mental health, political or religious beliefs, class, HIV status, employment status, unrelated criminal convictions, union activities.

Policy Implementation: Training

In line with the intentions of this policy, the Organisation will not discriminate in the provision of training courses/ opportunities wherever possible.

Appropriate training will be provided to enable trustees, staff, volunteers and committee members to perform their jobs effectively. The training offered will take into account the needs of all people.

Briefing on this policy will form part of the Induction Procedure for trustees, staff, volunteers and committee members

Enforcement

The Organisation recognises the need for a continuing commitment to genuine equal opportunities and diversity within the organisation.  The effectiveness of the policy’s aims and objectives can only be judged by how the policy operates in practice.

Policy Enforcement – Grievances

  • Any staff member or volunteer who feels they have been a victim of discrimination or unfairly treated in a way contrary to the intention of this policy should raise the issue through the Organisation’s established Grievance Procedure.
  • Any service user who feels he/she has been unfairly treated in a way contrary to the intention of this policy should make a complaint through the Organisation’s Manager who must report any such complaint to the management chair. If the complaint is about the manager this should be made through the Secretary of the management committee
  • Any job applicant who believes that he/she has been treated unfairly and contrary to the intention of this policy should raise the issue with the Operations Manager.
  • Incidents of victimisation or harassment will be dealt with in accordance with the Organisation’s Harassment Procedure. Where incidents of victimisation and harassment are proven, the issue will be dealt with under the Organisation’s Disciplinary Procedure.
  • The Organisation will not treat lightly or ignore grievances from members of disadvantaged groups on the assumption that they are over-sensitive about discrimination.

Policy Enforcement – Disciplinary Procedure

  • Any member of staff found to be in breach of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action in line with the Standard Terms of Employment.
  • All incidents of direct discriminationare disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.
  • Incidents of indirect discriminationwill be investigated to determine whether they should be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.
  • Incidents of victimisationor harassmentwill be dealt with in accordance with the Organisation’s Harassment Procedure.  Where incidents of victimisation and harassment are proven, the issue will be dealt with under the Organisation’s Disciplinary Procedure.
  • Any volunteer, including Trustees or members of any committee, found to be in breach of this policy will be counselled on his/her actions and may, where necessary, be removed from the Organisation’s volunteer register.
  • Any member of any Committee or working group of the Organisation found in breach of this policy will be counselled on his/her actions and may, where necessary, be asked to leave the Organisation.
  • Any service user found in breach of this policy will, where appropriate, be counselled on his/her actions and may, where necessary, be referred back to their organisation or refused future services from the Organisation.

Monitoring

The Organisation regards the collection/analysis of data as vital in informing change and improving performance.  Where appropriate, statistics on the Organisation’s services will be collected and analysed in relation to equality and diversity matters. We will review employee turnover and seek information on reasons for leaving. Local and national data or statistics will be used to benchmark our performance.

The Trustees will review annually equality of opportunity relating to the Organisation services. Recruitment and selection procedures will be monitored and reviewed annually by the Operations Manager. All aspects of personnel policies and procedures shall be kept under review to ensure that they do not operate against the Equal and Diversity Policy.

In order to determine the impact of this policy it is important that a monitoring system be developed which will measure commitment, progress and effectiveness. The Diversity and Equality Policy will be monitored and reviewed as follows:

  • The equality and diversity will be an annual agenda item at the Organisation Trustee meetings.
  • The Trustees will undertake an annual policy review. All relevant parties will be encouraged to submit comments for consideration.
  • The review recommendations will be presented to the next Trustee meeting for their comments and ratification.

Where it appears that there may have been or there is a breach of the policy, the Operations Managerwill investigate the circumstances and action will be taken to counter any proven breach of policy.

If it is found that the policy is excluding or discouraging the development of trustees, staff or volunteers or restricting service users, the Board of Trustees should take positive action to re-adjust the policy.