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Leeds Vocal Movement – Policies and Procedures

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Safeguarding Policy Statement

Safeguarding Procedures

Introduction

Preventing abuse

Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse

Managing allegations made against member of staff or volunteer

Recording and managing confidential information

Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures

Data Protection and Retention Policy

Participant Conduct Agreement

Equality & Inclusion Policy

Policy Statement

Expectations

Participants

Committee & Trustees

How it will work in practice

How to raise a concern

Monitoring and Review

Health & Safety Policy

Policy Statement

Roles & Responsibilities

Trustees

Non-trustee committee members and staff

Choir participants

Consultation and Communication

Planning and risk control

Expenses Policy

Reserves Policy



Safeguarding Policy Statement

This policy will enable Leeds Vocal Movement to demonstrate its commitment to keeping safe the children and vulnerable adults with whom it works alongside. Leeds Vocal Movement acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.

It is important to have the policy and procedures in place so that staff, volunteers, service users and carers, and the management committee can work to prevent abuse and know what to do in the event of abuse.

The Policy Statement and Procedures have been drawn up in order to enable Leeds Vocal Movement to: 

  • promote good practice and work in a way that can prevent harm, abuse and coercion occurring. 
  • to ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately and the person experiencing abuse is supported. 
  • and to stop that abuse occurring.

The Policy and Procedures relate to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Vulnerable adults are defined as:

  • People aged 18 or over
  • Who are receiving or may need community care services because of learning, physical or mental disability, age, or illness
  • Who are or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, management committee members, trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, students and anyone working on behalf of Leeds Vocal Movement.

In order to implement the policy the Leeds Vocal Movement will work:

  • to promote the freedom and dignity of the person who has or is experiencing abuse
  • to promote the rights of all people to live free from abuse and coercion
  • to ensure the safety and well being of people who do not have the capacity to decide how they want to respond to abuse that they are experiencing
  • to manage services in a way which promotes safety and prevents abuse
  • recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training (where appropriate)

Leeds Vocal Movement

  • will ensure that all management committee members, trustees, staff, volunteers, service users, and carers/families are familiar with this policy and procedures
  • will nominate a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people
  • will adopt child protection and safeguarding practices through a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • will act within it’s confidentiality policy and will usually gain permission from service users before sharing information about them with another agency
  • will pass information to Adult and Culture Services when more than one person is at risk. For example: if the concern relates to a worker, volunteer or organisation who provides a service to vulnerable adults or children
  • will inform service users that where a person is in danger, a child is at risk or a crime has been committed then a decision may be taken to pass information to another agency without the service user’s consent
  • will ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Officer understands their responsibility to refer incidents of abuse to the relevant statutory agencies (Police/Adult and Culture Services Directorate)

The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) in Leeds Vocal Movement is Sally Stephens (Trustee)

Safeguarding Procedures 

  1. Introduction

Leeds Vocal Movement is a cultural arts organisation working with volunteer participants. These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any adult who accesses services provided by Leeds Vocal Movement. The procedures recognise that adult abuse can be a difficult subject for workers to deal with. Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable adults from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these procedures is to ensure that all managers, trustees of the organisation, management committee members, staff and volunteers act appropriately in response to any concern around adult abuse.

  1. Preventing abuse

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to putting in place safeguards and measures to reduce the likelihood of abuse taking place within the services it offers and that all those involved within Leeds Vocal Movement will be treated with respect. 

Therefore this policy needs to be read in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Volunteer Conduct Policy
  • Data Protection
  • Any other policies which are relevant that the organisation has in place 

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to safer recruitment policies and practices for paid staff, trustees and volunteers. This may include DBS disclosures for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up and adequate training on Safeguarding is provided where appropriate.

  1. Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse

Abuse includes: 

  • physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint
  • sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material
  • psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation
  • financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs
  • discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment

Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.

People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.

  1. Designated Safeguarding Officer

Leeds Vocal Movement has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding concerns. In their absence, a deputy will be available for workers to consult with. The Designated Safeguarding Officer within Leeds Vocal Movement is:

Designated Safeguarding Officer – Sally Stephens

Work Telephone number – 0113 3801 301

Mobile Number – 07503 910610

Emergency Contact Number – 07503 910610

Name of deputy person – Rosena Stevens

Work telephone number – 0113 343 7971 

Mobile number – 07722256374

Emergency contact number – 07722256374

The roles and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:

  • to ensure that all staff including volunteers and trustees are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a child or vulnerable adult is experiencing or has experienced abuse or neglect.
  • to ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to the appropriate support organisations as necessary
  1. Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse

Leeds Vocal Movement recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of adult abuse is never easy. 

How to respond if you receive an allegation:

  • Reassure the person concerned
  • Listen to what they are saying
  • Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible
  • Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
  • Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
  • Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret

If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities will be:

  • To call an ambulance if required
  • To call the police if a crime has been committed
  • To preserve evidence
  • To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and service users safe
  • To inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer in your organisation
  • To record what happened in a Safeguarding Concerns log
  1. Managing allegations made against member of staff or volunteer

Leeds Vocal Movement will ensure that any allegations made against members or a member of staff will be dealt with swiftly.

Where a member of staff/volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.

  1. Recording and managing confidential information

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding issues should be shared only with those who need to know. For further information, please see Leeds Vocal Movement’s conduct policies.

All allegations/concerns should be recorded in the Safeguarding Concerns log. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.

The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.

  1. Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures

This Safeguarding Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to staff, trustees, volunteers, service users, parents and carers. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.

The Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by the board of trustees. It may be appropriate to involve service users in the review and service users and parents/carers need to be informed of any significant changes.

Data Protection and Retention Policy

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. 

Leeds Vocal Movement holds data for direct marketing purposes only, obtained by consent of the data subject. Leeds Vocal Movement does not share data with any third-party organisations.

Where data is held on participants, this is gathered on the lawful base of consent, and may be retained on the base of legitimate interest or vital interest throughout the course of a participant’s registration with Leeds Vocal Movement. Data held on participants will not be retained beyond the term of any project, and participants will be invited to subscribe for marketing contact should they wish to continue receiving information from Leeds Vocal Movement. 

Where data is held on prospective participants, this is gathered on the lawful base of consent and this data is used for direct marketing communications only. 

Data subject requests should be submitted in writing to committe@leedsvocalmovement.co.uk and will be complied with in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (2018). 

Participant Conduct Agreement

Leeds Vocal Movement values our participants and wants to work alongside them to create the best experience possible. To do this, we agree to:

  • to provide a full introduction to Leeds Vocal Movement rehearsal process and expectations
  • to treat participants in line with our policies and procedures
  • to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses (as appropriate, in line with the expenses policy)
  • to provide insurance cover for participants
  • to implement good health and safety practices

We ask that all participants agree to:

  • follow policies and procedures
  • meet mutually agreed expectations around rehearsal attendance
  • treat all participants with respect
  • promote Leeds Vocal Movement during their time participating in a Leeds Vocal Movement project or with Leeds Vocal Movement choir

Leeds Vocal Movement reserves the right to limit participation for individuals who are unable to adhere to the above conduct agreement. This limitation may include (but is not limited to) –

  • Removing a participant from Leeds Vocal Movement
  • Refusing entry to a Leeds Vocal Movement show or event
  • Refusing a participant the right to apply for further Leeds Vocal Movement roles

Equality & Inclusion Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to ensuring all our activity is accessible and inclusive of all our participants, staff, and other stakeholders. This policy details how we enact that in practice. Equality is fairness between all people. It means recognising and removing the barriers that prevent every member of a community from getting what they need and creating fair opportunity for everyone to get what they want.

LVM strives to ensure individuals are not discriminated against on any of the following grounds; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation. This list is not however exhaustive and LVM will take appropriate actions to address any claims of discrimination.

At LVM, this means proactively seeking to address all discrimination, recognising and removing any barriers our participants, staff, and other stakeholders may face to professional, personal and social opportunity. Inclusion is the idea that everyone has the opportunity to access and experience what we offer at LVM. Inclusion means feeling that you are a valued part of the LVM community and you are given the highest level of support so that you can achieve your best.

We recognise that our charitable objects require a focus towards people in the 18-35 age range, and we commit our activity towards that group. However, we use this policy to ensure that no age-based discriminatory activity takes place predicated upon our charitable objects.

Equality and inclusion shall be manifest within all we do, including:

·   Rehearsals & core choir activities

·   Social events

·   Our events, products, communications and services

Equality and inclusion will be maintained in our:

·   Employment practices

·   Governance

·   Management and planning

Expectations

We are all responsible for ensuring that our commitment to equality and inclusion becomes a reality.

Participants

·   Your voice will be heard, listened to and respected

·   You will have full access to our rehearsals, events, and social activity

·   Respect all other participants and staff

·   Act if something’s not right; reporting incidents and getting support

Committee & Trustees

·   Lead a positive culture

·   Be open and responsive to participant and staff concerns

·   Respect all other participants and staff

How it will work in practice

It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to ensure this policy is enacted and regularly monitored. Relevant action plans will be created where appropriate to underpin this policy and ensure it is embedded; these will be maintained by the relevant trustees.

This policy will be communicated clearly on the LVM website.

How to raise a concern

LVM is committed to ensuring the principles of this policy are upheld, and that no participant or staff member should face discrimination, harassment or victimisation. If you see or experience actions or behaviour clearly not in line with this policy please report them to a member of the committee. 

Monitoring and Review

The Board of Trustees are responsible for ensuring this policy is kept up-to-date.

Health & Safety Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to ensuring that all participants in our activity, including our members, volunteers, paid staff and event attendees are kept safe and supported by our structures. 

We work with organisations we are confident can provide the safety standards we expect for our staff and beneficiaries, and we are invested in ensuring that everything we do puts the health & safety of those involved first. 

As an organisation, we understand that for this policy to be effective it requires commitment from all staff, volunteers and members. We believe that everyone can play an active role in ensuring that health & safety is at the highest possible standard, and we aim to integrate our commitment to health & safety into all of our activities, regardless of participants, location, or activity type. 

Roles & Responsibilities

Trustees

  • Maintain the health & safety policy
  • Ensure all activity complies with required health & safety standards and legislation
  • Record and report any health & safety incidents appropriately
  • Work with related organisations including venues to adhere to local health & safety requirements
  • Risk assess all key activity to ensure health & safety risks are mitigated

Non-trustee committee members and staff

  • Support the trustee board in maintaining health & safety through effective risk assessment and collaboration with related organisations
  • Role-model best practice in health & safety 
  • Record and report any health & safety incidents appropriately

Choir participants

  • Adhere to the health & safety policy
  • Adhere to any health & safety policies or regulations shared by related organisations
  • Report any health & safety incidents to a member of the committee

Consultation and Communication

This policy shall be made available on the LVM website.

Participants are encouraged to share best practice for inclusion in this policy and any associated procedures to ensure that Leeds Vocal Movement maintains the highest standards in health & safety. 

Planning and risk control

Events and activity shall be risk assessed, taking into account relevant health & safety legislation and guidelines, and in line with any policies and procedures held by related organisations, most commonly performance and rehearsal venues, and workshop venues. All paid staff and service providers will be expected to adhere to risk assessments, and provide their own where necessary and reasonable.

Expenses Policy

Leeds Vocal Movement will pay reasonable expenses to participants, staff, and other individuals associated with the group for activity which supports or benefits Leeds Vocal Movement operations. 

Expenses must be accompanied by a completed ‘Expense Reclaim’ form, detailing the date of expenditure, reason for expenditure, and with supporting receipts. Expenses must all have prior authorisation by a Trustee, and no exceptions will be made to this rule. Expenses will be issued to the claimant within 5 working days of receipt of a completed and authorised form, and will be issued by bank transfer from the Leeds Vocal Movement account.

Reserves Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement will hold sufficient reserves to enable the long-term sustainability of the charity. The reserves held will cover one term of standard operating costs, to enable the choir to continue in the event of a loss of external funding or other major financial event impacting on the ability of participants to contribute their fees.  

This policy will be reviewed annually in line with the budgeting and planning process to ensure that the reserves policy does not restrict the ability of Leeds Vocal Movement to grow or to enhance operations. 

Current reserve levels

LVM will maintain the following level of funds in reserve – 

  • 15 weeks of wages for paid leaders of the choir
  • 15 weeks of venue hire costs

Reserves will not include provision for performance opportunities. Performance opportunities should be arranged with a view to creating sufficient income as to cover the costs of the opportunity.
On the basis of current operating costs, Leeds Vocal Movement will maintain a reserve of £2,500 to be used for the purposes outlined above.

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