The Avenue Lawn Tennis, Squash & Fitness club Safeguarding policy
1. Policy statement
The Avenue Lawn Tennis, Squash and Fitness club (the Club) is committed to prioritising the well-being of all children and adults at risk whenever they participate in any Club activities.
Overall, this policy aims to minimise risk and deliver a positive experience for all participants in Club activities and to ensure that there are appropriate responses to all safeguarding concerns/disclosures.
This policy is applicable to all staff, consultants, volunteers, committee members, coaches, instructors and club members. It is in line with national legislation and guidance.
Further advice, guidance and support on safeguarding is available from the LTA Safe and inclusive team and the England Squash National Welfare Officer.
3. Key terminology
The following definitions have been used to underpin the Club’s approach to safeguarding. These definitions are based on LTA Guidance.
Child: a person under the age of eighteen years.
Note that some legislation in Scotland defines a child as a person under sixteen years old. However, where there is any safeguarding concern, anyone under the age of 18 is regarded as a child unless advised otherwise by the LTA Safe and inclusive team or by the England Squash National Welfare officer.
Adult at risk of abuse or neglect: a person aged eighteen years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is, or may be, unable to take care of, or unable to protect him or herself against abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding children: protecting children from abuse and neglect, preventing the impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Safeguarding adults at risk: protecting adults from abuse and/or neglect. Enabling adults to maintain control over their lives and make informed choices without coercion. Empowering adults at risk, consulting them before taking action, unless someone lacks the capacity to make a decision, or their mental health poses a risk to their own or someone else’s safety, in which case, always acting in his or her best interests.
(See Appendix A for full glossary of terms).
4. Responsibility for the implementation of the Safeguarding policy and associated procedures
SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY: IGNORING A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN IS NOT AN OPTION
- The Club’s Management committee, the Tennis Committee, the Squash Committee and Fitness Committee have overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation
- The Club’s Management Committee and Welfare Officers Geoff Tarvin & Julia Baker will be responsible for updating this policy and associated documents in line with legislative and Club developments
- All individuals involved in/present at the club will be expected to adhere to this Safeguarding policy as well as the associated Safe and Inclusive standards and Code of conduct
- The LTA Safe and inclusive team, the Tennis Foundation safeguarding leads and the England Squash National Welfare Officer can offer support on safeguarding issues
5. Where there is a safeguarding concern/disclosure
- The individual who is told about, hears about, or is made aware of a concern/disclosure is responsible for following the Reporting a safeguarding concern procedure (See Section 6 flow chart)
- Unless someone is in immediate danger, the information about the concern should be swiftly passed on to the Club’s Welfare Officers or alternatively the LTA Safe and inclusive team or the England Squash National Welfare officer.
- The Club’s Welfare Officers are responsible for reporting safeguarding concerns, where appropriate, to the LTA Safe and inclusive team.
- The LTA Safe and inclusive team is responsible for assessing all safeguarding concerns/disclosures that are reported to them and for working with the Club’s Welfare Officers to follow up, as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis. There will always be a focus on prioritising the well-being of any child/ adult at risk
Depending on the concern/disclosure, a referral may be made to:
- The Clubs Welfare Officers
- The police in an emergency (999)
- Local Authority Children’s Services
- Local Authority Adult Services
- Disclosure and Barring Service for concerns/disclosures about a member of staff, consultant, coach, official or volunteer.
- LTA Safeguarding Team
6. Procedure for reporting a safeguarding concern
7. Breaches of the Safeguarding policy, Safe and inclusive Code of conduct, Safe and inclusive standards and Reporting procedure
In all cases reports of safeguarding concerns will be followed up. In most cases it is likely that the issues can be dealt with informally but in a case where a serious breach of this policy and/or associated procedures can be shown the Club reserves the right to:
- Take disciplinary action leading to possible exclusion from the Club, dismissal and legal action
- Terminate current roles within the Club and recommend against future roles in other clubs, the LTA, Tennis Wales, Tennis Scotland, the Tennis Foundation and England Squash.
An appeal may be lodged against any action proposed by the Club where it decides that a breach of the safeguarding policy or associated procedures has been proven.
Where an appeal is lodged in response to a safeguarding concern decision made by the Club, the individual should adhere to the Club’s Appeals procedure. (See separate Appeals procedure).
Safeguarding children and adults at risk requires everyone to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. The Club is committed to encouraging and maintaining a culture where people feel able to raise a genuine safeguarding concern and are confident that it will be taken seriously.
What is whistle blowing?
In the context of safeguarding, “whistle blowing” is when someone raises a concern about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk.
A whistle blower may be:
- a player
- a volunteer
- a coach
- a member of staff
- an official
- a parent
- a member of the public
How to raise a concern about a child or an adult at risk at the Club
If a child or an adult at risk is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, the police should be contacted by calling 999.
Where a child or an adult at risk is not in immediate danger, any concerns about their well-being should be made without delay to the Club’s Welfare Officers. The Club’s Welfare Officers will, where necessary, pass the details of the concern on to the LTA Safe and inclusive team or the England Squash National Welfare Officer at the earliest opportunity. Where appropriate the relevant local authority and the police will also be contacted.
If, however, the whistle blower does not feel comfortable raising a concern with the Club’s Welfare Officers, the whistle blower should contact the LTA Safe and inclusive team directly or the England Squash National Welfare Officer
Information to include when raising a concern
The whistle blower should provide as much information as possible regarding the incident or circumstance which has given rise to the concern, including:
- their name and contact details (unless they wish to remain anonymous)
- names of individuals involved
- date, time and location of incident/circumstance and
- whether any witnesses were present.
What happens next?
All concerns raised by a whistle blower about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk will be taken seriously and every effort will be made to deal with each concern fairly, quickly and proportionately.
If the whistle blower does not believe that the concern has been dealt with appropriately and wishes to speak to someone outside the Club, the LTA Safe and inclusive team, the England Squash National Welfare Officer or the NSPCC Whistleblowing advice line should be contacted.
The Club will not tolerate any harassment, victimisation or unfair treatment of at-risk children or adults and will take appropriate action to protect, whistle blowers when they raise a concern in good faith.
9. Safe and inclusive Code of conduct
The Avenue Lawn Tennis, Squash and Fitness club (the Club) recognises its duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk. The Club is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance, best practice and LTA and England Squash requirements.
However, providing a safe and inclusive environment for all the Club’s activities is dependent on everyone, whether a member of staff, consultant, volunteer, committee member, coach, instructor or member “playing their part”. This will involve:
- Prioritising the well-being of children and adults at risk at all times
- Being a positive role model and always acting with integrity
- Helping to create a safe and inclusive environment both on and off court and promoting the Fair Play values: enjoy and respect
- Valuing and celebrating diversity and making all reasonable efforts to meet individual needs
- Keeping clear boundaries between professional and personal life, including on social media
- Checking that there is relevant consent from parents/carers, children and adults before taking or using photos and videos
- Ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined and everyone has the information, training and support to carry them out
- Where possible, avoiding being alone with a child or adult at risk
- Never abusing, neglecting, harming or discriminating against anyone; or acting in a way that may be
interpreted as such*
- Doing nothing is NOT an option: all concerns and disclosures should be reported as soon as possible, following the Reporting a safeguarding concern procedure. If someone is in immediate danger, call the police, dial 999
*It is illegal to have a relationship with someone who is under 18 years old if you are in a position of trust; it is illegal to have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 16 whether they give consent or not.
This Code of Conduct should be interpreted in a spirit of integrity, transparency and common sense, with the best interests of children and adults at risk as the primary consideration.
Click the icon to download a PDF of this policy
Click the icon to download a Reporting a Safeguarding Concern Form
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023 9248 2750
The Avenue LTS&FC, Southleigh Rd, Havant, PO9 2RS
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