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Blesma's commitment to safeguarding is a testament to the organisation's dedication to creating a secure and supportive environment for all associated individuals. The comprehensive safeguarding policy in place is a proactive measure to ensure that every person, irrespective of their background or circumstances, is afforded the protection they deserve. This policy is not just a static document but a living framework, actively overseen by the Board of Trustees, Chief Executive, and safeguarding leads, ensuring its principles are embedded across the organisation.

Our organisation is committed to rigorous procedures to confirm the suitability of individuals joining us, whether as employees or volunteers. We uphold a code of conduct that applies to all staff, volunteers, and members. Recognising the sensitivity of certain roles, especially those involving contact with vulnerable groups such as children and adults at risk, we implement Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. These checks are mandatory for positions where interaction with these groups is frequent, and for other roles as determined by our risk assessment protocols.

The systems and processes established to identify and mitigate risks demonstrate a thorough approach to safeguarding. It is not just about preventing harm but also about fostering an environment where safety and wellbeing are paramount. The training provided to staff, volunteers, trustees, and directors equips them with the knowledge to recognise and act upon any signs of abuse or neglect, which is crucial in maintaining a vigilant and responsive community.

Encouraging open communication and prompt action when concerns are raised is vital in maintaining trust within Blesma. It ensures that potential issues are addressed swiftly and effectively, minimising the risk of harm. The clear and consistent approach to handling incidents of harm or abuse, including reporting to authorities when necessary, underscores Blesma's unwavering stance on safeguarding and the welfare of its people.

In summary, Blesma's safeguarding policy and its implementation reflect an organisation deeply committed to the safety, dignity, and rights of its members and associates. It is a robust framework that not only protects but also promotes a culture of care and vigilance, ensuring that Blesma remains a safe haven for all. The organisation's efforts in this regard are commendable and serve as a model for others to emulate.

Who is responsible at Blesma for safeguarding?

At Blesma, safeguarding responsibilities are held by Colin Branch, the Head of Welfare Support, who serves as the Designated Safeguarding Lead. He can be reached via email at dsl@blesma.org. Additionally, Jess March, the Head of Activities, acts as the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and is also available at the same email address.

Should you need to report a safeguarding concern, it is crucial to act promptly. Begin by discussing the matter with the supervisor of the activity in question. They will then escalate the issue to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. If immediate communication with a supervisor is not possible, the safeguarding team can be contacted at dsl@blesma.org or through the previously mentioned contact information.

Upon receiving a report, the safeguarding team will evaluate the situation and provide guidance on the appropriate next steps. It is important to note that all concerns are managed with utmost discretion, and personal information is shared only when it is essential for the protection of vulnerable individuals.

For urgent concerns outside of regular hours, which include after 5 pm and on weekends, assistance can be sought from external helplines like the NSPCC. In situations where there is an immediate danger to personal safety or the safety of others, it is advised to call 999 and inform the police of the circumstances.

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