East Antrim Rambling Club



Policy statement


The East Antrim Rambling Club (EARC) is committed to following good practice and this includes having clear, consistent policies, procedures and processes for everyone to follow.


The EARC takes its responsibilities for safeguarding extremely seriously.  We have a duty of care to all our club members and members of the public.  We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and accept our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of anyone who attends and participates in our events and activities, in accordance with current legislation.



Aims and scope


This policy aims to provide everyone involved with the EARC Club with the fundamental values that guide our approach to safeguarding.  It also aims to be proportionate and appropriate to the level of risk involved. 


This policy applies to all individuals involved in the activities of the EARC. 




Why do we need safeguarding?


The EARC recognizes that though it does not work directly with children or vulnerable adults, nevertheless:


·                     Abuse, harassment and harm can happen to anyone – people we work with, staff or volunteers. It’s not always visible and often not spoken about.

·                     Abuse, harm and neglect are wrong. We have a duty to do something about it.

·                     When everyone understands safeguarding and their right to be safe, people who have nowhere else to turn are protected.

·                     An organisation that does safeguarding well is an organisation that is trusted.


The guidance given in the policy is based on the following principles:


·                     The welfare of children and adults is paramount in all the work, activities and programmes and events carried out as well as organized by or for the EARC.

·                     It is important to value, listen to and respect all views and opinions.

·                     All children and adults, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or gender status have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice and to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.

·                      The EARC will seek to ensure that in its own organisation, we are inclusive and make reasonable adjustments for any ability, disability or impairment, we will also commit to continuous development, monitoring and review.

·                     The rights, dignity and worth of all children and adults will always be respected.

·                     We recognise that ability and disability can change over time and that some children and adults may be additionally vulnerable to abuse, in particular those with care and support needs.

·                     We all have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all and will act appropriately and report concerns whether these concerns arise within the or in the wider community.

·                     All allegations will be taken seriously and responded to quickly in line with our Safeguarding policy and procedure documents. 

·                     The EARC recognises the role and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in safeguarding and is committed to complying with their procedures.




Good practice, poor practice and abuse


It can be difficult to distinguish poor practice from abuse, whether intentional or accidental.  It is not the responsibility of any individual involved to make judgements regarding whether or not abuse is taking place, but everyone is responsible for recognising and identifying poor practice and potential abuse, and to act on this, if they have concerns.




Concerns must be reported to the EARC designated safeguarding officer.


Teresa Malone










Everyone involved in the EARC will have access to the Safeguarding policy and Safeguarding procedure and is expected to help implement this across the club.  



Accessibility and inclusion

The EARC is built on the belief that everyone deserves the right to experience the joy of walking outdoors.  We strive to be diverse, inclusive and accessible in how we offer and promote our activities.







Safeguarding children means protecting children from abuse and maltreatment, preventing harm to children's health or development, and ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care


Safeguarding adults means protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.


Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons.


Children and young people: for this policy document and practice within the EARC, a child is defined as anyone under the age of 18.


Adult is anyone aged 18 or over.


Adult at risk is a person aged 18 or over who has care and support needs, is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from the risk of abuse or neglect.

Adult in need of care and support is determined by a range of factors including personal characteristics, factors associated with their situation or environment and social factors.


Capacity means having the ability to make a decision about your own life on your own and is sometimes referred to as ‘mental capacity’.  This can be affected either temporarily or permanently.  Some people have the capacity to make simple decisions but not major ones, for example financial. 


Further information



NSPCC Helpline

0808 800 5000

PSNI Public Protection Unit

028 9065 0222

Ask for your local Public Protection Unit


Freephone  0800 1111

Sport Northern Ireland.

028 9038 1222

Child Protection in Sport Unit

0203 222 4246


0808 808 8000




Practical guidance for walk leaders and event organisers


Walk leaders and others in authority should take time to familiarise themselves with this quick reference to good practice when in the company of under 18s as well older vulnerable adults, such as people over 18 with learning or physical disabilities).




·                    Plan activities for young people and vulnerable adults carefully to ensure that there is maximum protection at all times.

·                    Attend to health and safety requirements.

·                    Make sure that young people are accompanied by their own adult carers (e.g. parents, teachers or youth leaders) and that these adults are directly responsible for those in their care.

·                    Make sure you know which young people are in your charge, the extent of your responsibility, where they are and what they are doing.




·                    Arrange for an appropriate number of adults to be present, bearing in mind the activity, number, ages and any particular needs of the young people.

·                    Have a minimum of two adults when working with small groups and work in view of other colleagues if supporting an individual on your own.

·                    Have male and female helpers where practical.


Other practicalities


·                    Insist on relevant training or instruction if you are expected to oversee something that you aren’t confident about or don’t feel competent to carry out.


Do not

·                    Allow rough activities which could lead to inappropriate behaviour or injury.

·                    Permit abusive youth peer activities (e.g. ridiculing or bullying).




·                    Inform young people about the safety issues involved in their activity and how to cope (e.g. always tell someone where they are going).

·                    Be alert to potential harm or inappropriate behaviour by others to young people in your care.

·                    Provide access for young people to talk to another adult about any concerns they may have.

·                    Be alert to any evidence of drug or alcohol use by young people in your care.







·                    Remember you are a role model for young people and always provide an example you would wish them to follow.

·                    Bear in mind that some actions, no matter how well-intentioned, may easily be misinterpreted.

·                    Respect a young person’s right to privacy unless you feel they are at risk of harm.


Do not

·                    Show favouritism or get drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour (e.g. tantrums or crushes)

·                    Allow or engage in suggestive remarks, gestures or touching which could be misunderstood


Always remember


·                    Plan activities carefully and be alert to potential harm.

·                    Where possible ensure young people are accompanied by their own adult Carers and that they take direct supervisory responsibility.

·                    Arrange for an appropriate number of adults to be present – try to have at least two at all times.

·                    Avoid being left alone with young people if you can.

·                    When one-to-one contact is unavoidable, keep it short, be accessible and make sure someone is informed.

If you have a concern about the safety and well-being of a young person or vulnerable adult:

1.              Immediately tell the walk leader or event organiser

2.              Write careful notes of what you witnessed, heard or were told

3.              Sign, date and pass your notes to a designated child protection officer

4.              If possible, ensure that no further situation arises which could cause any further concern

Flowchart: Alternate Process: Ensure that no further situation arises which could cause any further concernIf a young person or vulnerable adult tells you about an incident of abuse that has just occurred:

1.              Allow that person to speak without interruption, accepting what is said

2.              Offer immediate understanding and reassurance, while passing no judgement

3.              Advise that you will try to offer support but that you must pass the information

4.              Assess whether there is any ongoing immediate danger

5.              If there is take immediate action to stop or minimise that danger

6.              Write careful notes of what you were told

7.              Sign, date and pass your notes to your designated child protection officer

8.              If possible, ensure that no further situation arises which could cause any further concern


Childline 0800 1111


In an emergency– call the Police on 999 or 112


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