Policies

Equality and Diversity Policy

The Friends of Victoria Park is a group created to protect, conserve and enhance Victoria Park as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment for the long-term benefit of the people of Ashford and to protect and conserve the ecology and wildlife of the park.

The Committee and Members of The Friends of Victoria Park respect the diversity of all our members and others participating in its activities, taking into account the wide range of social, physical, intellectual and sensory requirements.

The Committee and Members of The Friends of Victoria Park are committed to the fair treatment of our Members and others involved in our activities, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background (as long as this does not pose risk to children, young people, or vulnerable adults). We aim to encourage diversity amongst our members to ensure that they are representative of all sections of society and our surrounding community. We endeavour to ensure that each member feels respected and valued.

We may partner with other organisations to arrange activities. We will ensure that the Equality and Diversity Policy of any such partners is compatible with this Group Equality and Diversity Policy.

Health and Safety Policy

The Friends of Victoria Park is a group created to protect, conserve and enhance Victoria Park as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment for the long-term benefit of the people of Ashford and to protect and conserve the ecology and wildlife of the park.

The Friends of Victoria Park is committed to ensuring, so far as reasonably possible, the health, safety and welfare of its volunteers and other people who may be affected by its activities.

The Friends of Victoria Park is not subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, but pledges itself to comply with the principles of the Act and any other relevant statutory provisions and will endeavour to provide the necessary resources to implement this pledge.

The successful implementation of this policy requires the commitment and co-operation of all volunteers. Each individual has an obligation to take reasonable care of his or her own health and safety and for the safety of other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions.

Each volunteer will be given such information, instruction or training as is necessary to enable the safe performance of the work activities.

The Committee will ensure that all procedures and methods of work are designed to take account of the health and safety issues and are properly supervised at all times.

Competent people will be at times appointed to assist the Group in meeting its duties including, where appropriate, outside specialists.

Adequate arrangements will be maintained to enable volunteers and their representatives to raise issues of concern with regards to health and safety in its activities.

We may partner with other organisations to arrange activities. We will ensure that the Health and Safety Policy of any such partners is compatible with this Group Health and Safety Policy.

The policy will be monitored to ensure that the objectives are achieved. It will be reviewed and, if necessary, be revised in the light of legislative or organisational changes.

Privacy Policy

The Friends of Victoria Park

The Friends of Victoria Park is a group created to protect, conserve and enhance Victoria Park as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment for the long-term benefit of the people of Ashford and to protect and conserve the ecology and wildlife of the park.

The Friends of Victoria Park respects your right to privacy and undertakes to keep personal data you share with us. We aim to be clear when we collect your data and only use what you would reasonably expect.

Personal data we collect.

Membership and subscription records

The Group has an open membership, that is, you can join the Group by asking to do so, subject to the terms of the Group’s Constitution. Membership is not time limited.

You can also subscribe to email notifications and newsletters that we send.

The Group collects personal data about its members and subscribers that may include, name, postal address, email address and, for those under the age of 18, their age.

Photographs and video recordings

We may take photographs or video recordings of activities that we organise, including people that participate in those activities, for use in publicity.

What we do with the data

We use the data to

  • contact members regarding their membership,
  • send notices and newsletters regarding their membership, the Group’s activities and other events and activities related to the Group and Victoria Park.
  • promote the Group, Victoria Park and activities taking place in the Park

Sharing Data

We will share data with third parties only as necessary for the functions for which the data was collected. This includes:

Email distribution service

The Group may use a third party email distribution service.

This:

  • ensures that personal data is kept in one location and that
  • email addresses of recipients are not divulged to other recipients and
  • allows us to identify when you are no longer reading our emails so that we can ask you whether you want to remain on our distribution list

We will ensure that the Privacy Policy of any provider is compatible with this Group Privacy Policy.

Activity Partners

We may partner with other organisations to arrange activities. We will share your personal data if you participate, or have asked to participate, in those activities only as is necessary for the organisation of those activities.

We will ensure that the Privacy Policy of any such partners is compatible with this Group Privacy Policy.

Media

The Group engages with various forms of media to broadcast news about, and to promote, the Group, Victoria Park and activities taking place in Victoria Park. We will obtain your prior consent before publishing photographs or video recordings in which your face is recognisable. We will not share any other personal data about you without first obtaining your written consent.

We will obtain prior written consent of parents or guardians before sharing photographs or any other personal data relating to children or young people under the age of 16.

Storage of Data

Data is stored securely in hard copy and electronically. Electronic storage may include storage on the secure server of a third party email distribution service provider. Access is restricted to members of the Group Committee.

Keeping Data

We will delete and destroy all data we hold about you, unless we need to retain it to for legal reasons, if:

  • you request that that it is deleted
  • you have not engaged with the group for one year or more (engaging with the Group includes opening emails sent by the Group)

Cookies on our website

Our website may use cookies to enhance your browsing experience. We do not collect or use the data contained in cookies.

Contact us about personal data

If you have concerns about or wish to confirm what data we keep about you,

Write to:

The Secretary

Friends of Victoria Park

We will:

  • confirm whether any personal data about you is being processed
  • give you a description of the data the reasons it is processed and who it is shared with
  • tell you how we obtained the data

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Policy Statement

The Friends of Victoria Park is a group created to protect, conserve and enhance Victoria Park as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment for the long-term benefit of the people of Ashford and to protect and conserve the ecology and wildlife of the park. As such the Friends of Victoria Park recognise the park and its activities as an important and engaging place for people of all ages and abilities. The Friends of Victoria Park recognise that we as an organisation have a legal and moral duty of care to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from harm.

We recognise that all people have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse. We will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.

The Friends of Victoria Park will implement procedures to enable us to:

  • follow the appropriate legislation, and external guidelines in regards to Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  • Implement the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.
  • Help our members and volunteers adhere to the procedures of our Safeguarding policy

The Friends of Victoria Park recognises that Kent County Council Social services has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse of a child or vulnerable adult.

The Friends of Victoria Park will refer any allegation of abuse of a child or vulnerable adult to KCC Social Services. Where an allegation or concern suggests that a criminal offence may have occurred or may be planned, or a person may be in immediate danger the police will be contacted as a matter of urgency

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All volunteers and members are expected to co-operate with policies and procedures in the Safeguarding Policy. The Friends of Victoria Park will engage in a range of activities. Due to the nature of the group, most activities are likely to take place in a public space. This may mean that even activities that do not have children in mind may attract the attention of children, vulnerable adults and their families. As such all members running events will be asked to read this policy prior to the event and comply with a code of behaviour.

Children at Friends of Victoria Park events

Whilst attending our events, children remain the responsibility of their Parent/Guardian and we ask that they are accompanied by their Parent/Guardian for the duration of the event.

When completing risk assessments for events (Please refer to Health and Safety Policy) risks to children should be included, and where appropriate to ensure safety for all, age restrictions may be placed on an event, and should be included in advertising.

Protecting Children and Vulnerable adults from harm

What is abuse?
Physical

Physical abuse includes and is not limited to: hitting with the hand or an object, shaking, throwing, kicking, over chastisement etc. It can cause physical injury, disability, neurological damage and even death. It may also occur as part of emotional abuse. Physical abuse includes fabricating or inducing symptoms of illness in a child/vulnerable adult and misuse of medicines. Physical abuse can be reactive or premeditated.

Emotional

Emotional abuse can include rejection, withholding love/affection, belittling, repeated insults or verbal threats, bullying or developmentally inappropriate expectations.

Sexual

Is the involvement of a child or vulnerable adult in sexual activities that s/he does not understand, cannot give consent to and which are not acceptable by in our society.  This includes: inappropriate touching, taking of obscene photographs, producing/trading in indecent images of children (including via the Internet), as well as attempted or actual sexual intercourse; adverse effects may endure into adulthood.  Sexual abuse can be carried out by women and other children as well as men.

Neglect

Neglect is failure to meet a child or vulnerable adult’s needs, for example not providing appropriate clothing or ignoring developmental and emotional needs. It can also include failure to supervise a child adequately. Neglect may occur through deliberate or accidental means.

Financial or material abuse

Financial abuse is only legally recognised for vulnerable adults, not for children. It is the misuse of a vulnerable adult’s finances or possessions. It can include theft, coercion, and exploitation.

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery can affect adults or children. It is the illegal exploitation of someone for personal or commercial gain, for example using children/vulnerable adults for pick pocketing, prostitution, and servitude.

Online Safety

Friends of Victoria Park recognise that the use of modern technologies can introduce additional risk to the safety of children and vulnerable adults. Any internet enabled device owned by the group will be set up to include appropriate control measures to reduce the risks posed.

Any social media content used by the group will be regularly monitored to ensure material remains suitable for all.

Radicalisation

Radicalisation can be defined as the action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues. Radicalisation is inherently a secretive practice, and it can be hard to recognise when an adult or young person is subject to this hidden threat. Radicalisation can present itself in a number of different ways. However, irrespective of the mechanism used, or the ideologies followed, it can pose serious risks to a person's safety.  Friends of Victoria Park may be legally required to share concerns with appropriate statutory agencies.

Confidentiality and information sharing

Friends of Victoria Park recognise and respect every person’s right to confidentiality; however we also recognise that our duty to safeguard children and vulnerable adults may require us to share information with other organisations.

Where a child or vulnerable person may be experiencing or at risk of harm, Friends of Victoria Park are required to share information with statutory authorities such as Social Services and the Police. Friends of Victoria Park will work with these agencies to ensure that the information shared is appropriate and accurate.

Dealing with allegations or concerns

If you have concerns about a child or vulnerable adult then

  • Record your concern with date and time.
  • Contact Kent Social Services, telephone numbers below

If a child or vulnerable adult discloses information related to abuse of themselves or another person then:

  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing.
  • Do NOT promise not to tell anyone else; explain that you have to make sure the child or vulnerable adult is safe and may need to ask other adults to help you to do this
  • Do not question the child or vulnerable adult, this needs to be done by trained professionals. Where necessary confirm the child’s full name and school/nursery (the authorities will be able to use this information to trace a child, and it is more discreet than asking the child’s home address). If it is a vulnerable adult then confirm appropriate details which enable the person to be traced, this may be their home address, respite or day centre attended.
  • Reassure the child and explain what you are going to do next
  • Write down detailed notes, including the time and date the child approached you, try to record the child’s words not your interpretation. Include as much as you can remember. Sign your notes once completed
  • Contact Kent Social Services, telephone numbers below

 

Contact number for Kent Children’s Social Services 03000 41 11 11

Contact number for Kent Adult Social Services  03000 41 61 61

Out of Hours contact number for Kent Social Services   03000 41 91 91.

Contact number for NSPCC 0808 800 5000

Whistle-blowing

Friends of Victoria Park is a small organisation and we recognise that this may affect people’s willingness to discuss concerns within the organisation. Where a person has concerns about the practises of a person within the group they may approach any member of the Committee.  If they do not feel confident in doing so then any person is able to contact Social Services or the Police if appropriate.

Photography

Friends of Victoria Park will seek parent or guardians written permission before publishing in any form photos containing a child. Where an event is bookable, parents will be asked to refrain from sharing pictures of any child, other than their own, via social media.

Recruitment

Friends of Victoria Park take safeguarding seriously. The current opportunities available for volunteering do not entitle us to apply for enhanced DBS disclosures for volunteers. However, if roles or regulations were to change in the future then where appropriate this will be revised.

Members running events will be asked to read this policy and comply with the code of behaviour.  Where members do not comply with the code of behaviour the Committee will discuss the issues with them, suggest alternative roles that may be more suitable or prohibit them from volunteering with the group. Where the committee have concerns that an offence may have been committed this will be referred to the Police, DBS or Social Services as appropriate.

Code of behaviour for Members

Members must remain respectful of all people at all times

Members must use respectful language and refrain from using derogatory terms towards others.

Members must respect the confidentiality of information they possess or collect in their position with Friends of Victoria Park.

Members should maintain minimal physical contact with a child or vulnerable adult unless it is necessary to keep the person safe. There may be times where a child or vulnerable person initiates physical activity, for example hugs to say goodbye or when receiving a competition prize, in these situations try to keep the contact as brief as possible.

Members should avoid situations where they are alone with a vulnerable person or child. When running an event try to stay insight of another member or in an open public space.

Activity Partners

We may partner with other organisations to arrange activities. We will ensure that the Safeguarding Policy of any such partners is compatible with this Group Safeguarding Policy.