Lightbox Theatre Safeguarding Policy

1. PURPOSE
Lightbox Theatre is committed to safeguarding the welfare of the children and vulnerable people we
work with, as well as that of staff and volunteers. The aim of this policy is to ensure the safety of all by
outlining clear procedures and ensuring that all staff members and volunteers understand their
responsibilities.

2. INTRODUCTION
Lightbox Theatre is a professional theatre company whose activities sometimes involve working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Lightbox Theatre believes that:
∙ No-one engaging with Lightbox in any capacity should experience abuse of any kind.
∙ We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, and to keep them safe.

This is best achieved by working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers
and relevant institutions.

This policy is informed by:
● KCSIE 2020
● Children Act 1989
● United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
● Data Protection Act 1998
● Sexual Offences Act 2003
● Children Act 2004
● Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
● Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children

3. DEFINITIONS
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It can take a number of forms:
∙ Physical abuse, including hitting, pushing, shaking, inappropriate restraint, force-feeding,
harassment, forcible administration of medication
∙ Sexual abuse, including involvement in any sexual activity, exposure to pornography, voyeurism and exhibitionism
∙ Emotional/psychological abuse, including threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks, failure to ensure privacy or dignity
∙ Neglect or acts of omission, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide
access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
∙ Discriminatory abuse, including harassment that is racist, sexist, religiously-motivated or based on a person’s disability
∙ Personal exploitation, including denying a child or young person his/her rights or forcing him/her to perform tasks that are against his/her will

5. RESPONSIBILITIES
Staff and volunteers have a responsibility to be alert to signs that all is not well with a child or young person. However, they are not responsible for diagnosing, investigating or providing a therapeutic response to abuse. In addition, not all concerns relate to abuse, there may well be other explanations. It is important to keep an open mind and consider what is known about the child or young person and his or her circumstances. No action should be taken without discussion with a member of the Lightbox Theatre management team or, if appropriate, with the Lightbox Theatre trustees.

Lightbox Theatre is committed to ensuring that all volunteers or staff who might be required to work with children, young people or vulnerable adults are properly selected, screened and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checked where required.
∙ All new volunteers or staff who might work with children or young people are required to complete an application form and attend an interview with the Artistic Director or General Manager.
∙ Volunteers or staff will be asked to provide references which must be taken up before any
appointment can be made. Where relevant to the post, the volunteer or staff member will also be
asked to agree to an appropriate disclosure, in the form of a DBS check, prior to provisional
appointment or commencing any work with children or young people.

Lightbox Theatre will ensure that all those working with children or young people are aware of this policy, are able and willing to work to these guidelines, and are given appropriate training to identify and report abuse. Lightbox Theatre will make it clear to all staff and volunteers that the safety and protection of a child or young person must be the priority in any decision that is made.
Lightbox Theatre will maintain records of all disclosures or suspected abuse, and the actions taken subsequently.

Lightbox Theatre will follow working practices that minimise the risk to children and young people:

∙ Staff and volunteers will be given clear roles for their outreach and work with children or young
people.
∙ Staff and volunteers will work in teams of at least two people, unless a relationship is already
established with a group, in which case an individual may work alone with adults.
∙ Children or young people will be supervised at all times during projects, including travel to and from the venue if applicable. Any adults working alone with children must have the relevant DBS checks.
∙ Staff will be responsible for ensuring health and safety requirements are met in the working
environment.
∙ Staff will find out about special needs of participants before any activity commences, and will carry out specific risk assessments in advance of individual projects. These will take account of participant groups, specific working spaces and the content of sessions.
∙ Full evaluations will be carried out after all activities to ensure that any problems are aired and are addressed in the future.

Prevent Policy: as a charity in receipt of public as well as private funding, Lightbox Theatre takes
seriously the responsibility to be aware of, and act on, any concerns regarding extremist views or
behaviour. Should such a concern occur, a referral will be made to the local Council Prevent Officer for the area in which the concern is raised.

6. REPORTING
There may be circumstances where a volunteer or member of staff suspects that a child or young
person is being abused or neglected. There may also be circumstances where a child or young
person discloses that they are being abused. In both cases, Lightbox Theatre requires that its staff
and volunteers:
∙ Never delay emergency action to protect the child or young person
∙ Make written records of any incidents or concerns as soon as possible including, if appropriate,
sketches of sites and sizes of injuries. Record in writing any conversations with the child or young
person, using the same language that they used, especially for body parts or sexual acts.
∙ Consult urgently with a member of the Lightbox Theatre management team or, if appropriate, with the Lightbox Theatre trustees, before taking any action.

Any serious safeguarding concerns should be reported directly to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO).

In the event that the concern relates to Emma Faulkner, it should be raised instead without delay to an independent trustee.

If any individual is at immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999.

DSO: Tom Biddle – 07818 040601 – tombiddlehome@gmail.com
Independent Trustee Safeguarding Contact: Aruna Gunawardena – 07850 843370 – arunagunawardana@hotmail.com

● If a safeguarding concern relating to a child or vulnerable adult is urgent and the DSO and
named trustee above are unavailable, it should be raised without delay with the council’s
safeguarding team.
● Vulnerable adults: Care Direct – 0117 922 2700
● Children: First Response – 0117 903 6444
● Discussions about a child, young person or vulnerable adult’s welfare should always reach clear
and explicit recorded agreement about who will be taking what action, or that no further action
will be taken.

∙ Consider, in any discussions, whether issues relevant to different cultures and lifestyles have any bearing on the matter. Lightbox Theatre welcomes diversity, and strives not to make judgements about the lifestyle of others. However, it is important that this philosophy does not stand in the way of the organisation’s responsibility to protect children and young people from harm.
∙ Report a suspicion of abuse to social services irrespective of the opinion of other staff, if they
themselves believe that such a report is justified.
∙ Remind any disclosing party that Lightbox Theatre cannot guarantee confidentiality where a child or young person is at risk of abuse or further abuse.
∙ Report the alleged abuse without the agreement of the informant, in circumstances where that person declines to give consent, giving due consideration to the scale of the abuse, the risk of harm to others and the capacity of the informant to understand the issues of abuse and consent. In this case the informant must be notified in advance of the decision to report to another agency.
∙ Report an issue to Social Services if there is any doubt about whether it should be reported.
∙ Contact the emergency services in situations where immediate action is needed to safeguard the
health or safety of the individual or anyone else who may be at risk.
∙ Contact the police immediately, in cases where a crime is taking place, has just occurred or is
suspected.
∙ Maintain records of all suspected abuse, disclosures and subsequent actions.

Social services departments have been designated as the lead agencies with responsibility for co
ordinating a response to allegations or concerns of abuse. Lightbox Theatre managers will work within the following timescales for reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse:
∙ Immediately, if the child or young person is at risk of serious physical harm, or a serious criminal act has taken place, and evidence will need to be kept safe
∙ Within 24 hours, if it relates to a specific incident which is, or may be still going on, or may happen again
∙ Within 7 days if it is a more general concern which does not indicate immediate harm.
Lightbox Theatre will support staff and volunteers through any referral of suspected abuse. If the social services need further involvement from staff or volunteers following a report of abuse, a member of the Lightbox Theatre management team will discuss with the social services department the nature of their needs and how these might be met.
Staff and volunteers may themselves be subject to abuse allegations. Lightbox Theatre will offer support in these circumstances, but will also assist the social services department in their investigation and will implement disciplinary procedures if appropriate.

7. CONTACTS
Management Team
Emma Faulkner, Artistic Director: emma@lightboxtheatre.co.uk 07966 613367
Emma Sampson – General Manager: lightboxproducer@lightboxtheatre.co.uk
Trustees
Clare Annamalai: clare_annamalai@hotmail.com
Aruna Gunawardena: arunagunawardana@hotmail.com
Tom Biddle: tombiddlehome@gmail.com
Emma Faulkner: emma@lightboxtheatre.co.uk

APPENDIX
COVID 19
The situation and relevant government guidance is changing week by week. Lightbox is committed to ensuring that all government guidelines are adhered to and all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its staff and participants.
All activity must take account of the up-to-date government guidance nationally, and restrictions and guidance issued locally.
All staff and participants shall have account taken of any personal circumstances which may render them at greater risk.

 

Title Safeguarding Policy number: 003
Authors: Clare Annamalai – 2016
Tom Biddle – 2020
Trustee approval: Emma Faulkner
Effective date: 10.12.20

Review cycle: Annual1

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