Safeguarding Policy October 2016

Thetford Singers Safeguarding Policy

Thetford Singers is a community choir, meeting weekly, during school terms, in the Methodist Church Rooms.
The choir is open to all and performs a number of public concerts each year usually in venues in Thetford and its environs.
The Choir has charitable status and is managed by a committee elected by its members. Thetford Singers employs a Musical Director and piano accompanist.
Thetford Singers often performs with groups of children from a local school and a community youth choral group. Thetford Singers is hoping to procure funding to introduce a new initiative to encourage and support young singers, to introduce them to choral singing and furnish them with a lifelong enjoyment of singing, with the added benefits of building confidence and adding to their CVs. This is under the direction of an experienced and energetic Musical Director.
Thetford Singers is committed to promoting the wellbeing of young people, and is fully aware of the central importance of implementing a Safeguarding Policy to ensure their protection. It is also aware that, being an open access community choir, it may at times have members who may be classed as vulnerable adults and the Policy is an active document for those members too.
Thetford Singers acknowledges the responsibility it holds for young people/vulnerable adults, including anything involving them during choir related activities, such as rehearsal and performance duration and standards of health and safety in the buildings used by Thetford Singers.

Thetford Singers accepts its duty of care and is committed to ensuring that all young people/vulnerable adults involved in the choir are protected from harm.
Thetford Singers undertakes that all suspicions or allegations of harm will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Thetford Singers will appoint and make known to all members a nominated and named member of the choir to be the contact for any concerns regarding safeguarding. (Safeguarding Officer)
Thetford Singers accepts that the Musical Director, Accompanist and all members have a duty to abide by this policy and to report concerns. All members and officers are required to familiarise themselves with this Safeguarding document.

Thetford Singers will ensure that the Musical Director and the Safeguarding Officer have a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Other choir members who are DBS checked will be recorded with their permission. All DBS checks will be inspected and approved by the committee of Thetford Singers.
All choir members will be treated with respect at all times, regardless of ethnicity or age. Young people and vulnerable adults will be afforded that same respect. Similarly, young people will be expected to demonstrate that same level of respect and good behaviour.
If choir members have any concerns regarding the welfare or the behaviour of any child, then these should be taken to the Safeguarding Officer or another Designated Person.
No member of Thetford Singers will be alone with a young person or vulnerable adult unless they have a DBS check that has been seen and approved by the committee.
Permission will be sought from all choir members and in the case of young people under 18 their parents/carers, before any photographs or visually recorded material is used in the press or on social media or YouTube or the like.
Permission will be sought from parents/carers before a young person is admitted to the choir.

Designated members from the committee and the Safeguarding Officer will undertake to implement Safeguarding procedures as detailed in this document.
Any expression of concern regarding either a young person, or adult choir member, will immediately be reported to the Safeguarding officer or other Designated Person. If the concern comes in the form of a disclosure then this must be reported to the Safeguarding Officer or other Designated Person and then not discussed with any other person.
The reported problem will immediately be logged. This log will be held by the Safeguarding Officer.
In the event of a concern being raised about a young person’s/vulnerable adult’s welfare or a disclosure being made by a young person the Safeguarding Officer or other Designated Person will contact:
Norfolk County Council Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0344 800 8020
OR in the case of an emergency 999
Any concerns regarding a young person’s behaviour will be addressed by the Safeguarding Officer to the parents.
Confidentiality for all parties will be maintained at every stage of such an event.

Thetford Singers notes the importance of being alert to signals of abuse, to the difficulty children or vulnerable adults may have in reporting it, and to responding appropriately to a young person/vulnerable adult making a disclosure. With this in mind a Safeguarding Officer will be appointed and made known to all choir members including the young people.
In the event of a young person or vulnerable adult expressing concern to the Safeguarding Officer or another choir member the following procedure will be adhered to:
Listen carefully.
Reassure the young person/vulnerable adult that this matter will be disclosed only to those who need to know about it, but that it must be passed on.
Reassure the young person/vulnerable adult that they are doing the right thing in telling you.
Avoid leading questions or closed questions.
Tell the young person/vulnerable adult what you are going to do next.
Write down what has been said, with date and time and any names mentioned.

1. Fiona Barnett/ Lansley Hough (Safeguarding Officers)
2. Sue Garland (Chairperson)
Norfolk County Council Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0344 800 8020
OR in the case of an emergency 999
Thetford Singers will review this policy at least annually, and will seek views on how it may be improved from appropriate sources. Copies will be distributed to all choir members and to the parents/carers of young people. The Safeguarding Policy can also be found on the Thetford Singers website.