ACRE Logo

Safeguarding in Village Halls and Community Buildings

Community First oversees the Wiltshire Village Halls Association service in Wiltshire and Swindon. Community First is a registered charity and member of the Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) network which has been awarded over £100k from the National Lottery Community Fund to promote good safeguarding practice to village and community halls throughout England. Community First is working with ACRE to promote safeguarding in village halls across the county and you can find useful information about safeguarding below:

On this page you can find useful resources and best practice, for more information about safeguarding in village halls please contact Village Halls and Community Buildings Advisor Helen Akiyama: hakiyama@communityfirst.org.uk

Background Information: acre.org.uk/our-work/safeguarding

Safeguarding Resources

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has also published a tool which contains a step-by-step guide to help charities in England with safeguarding concern.

For more information please visit: safeguarding.culture.gov.uk

ACRE produce the following information sheets that can assist Village and Community Hall committees to consider their safeguarding responsibilities. Members of WVHA can receive a copy of the information sheets as part of their membership, please contact Helen Akiyama: akiyama@communityfirst.org.uk

  • Information Sheet 5: Village Halls, Children and Young People
  • Information Sheet 17: Trustees – Roles and Responsibilities
  • Information Sheet 21: Overnight Accommodation in Village Halls
  • Information Sheet 22: Managing Employees and Volunteers

Local Safeguarding

Whether you are part of a coordinated community response or an established voluntary, or community organisation, you have a duty of care to members of your community, as well as keeping yourself safe if you are involved as a volunteer.

Safeguarding Yourself:

If you are volunteering to support your community, you should take steps to safeguard yourself.

If you will be carrying out your volunteer duties alone, you should follow a lone working policy wherever possible. Always make sure someone knows where you are going and when they can expect you to return and/or report back that you are safe. For more information about safety and lone working, please see the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

When volunteering, avoid giving out personal information about yourself or someone else. It is ok to say no if you feel uncomfortable sharing information.

Safeguarding Others:

Have safeguarding in your mind for yourself and others. Be vigilant and be observant and if you suspect an issue, see contact numbers at the bottom of this page to report any safeguarding concerns you might have. If you suspect a child or adult is being abused, you should always speak up. By identifying and reporting abuse, everyone can be kept safe. Even if you’re not certain, you must report your concern.

Please see below for contacts to report a safeguarding concern. The contacts are listed by local authority area and child/adult safeguarding concern:

Wiltshire Safeguarding Contacts

Safeguarding Children:

If you think a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Integrated Front Door (IFD) on 0300 4560108, 8.45am-5pm, Monday-Thursday and 8.45am-4pm Friday; Out of Hours 0300 456 0100.

For less urgent enquiries, email mash@wiltshire.gov.uk

Safeguarding Adults:

If you think a vulnerable adult is at risk of significant harm, or is injured, contact the Wiltshire Adult Social Care Advice and Contact Team on 0300 4560111, 8.30am-5.20pm, Monday-Thursday and 8.30am-4.20pm Friday; Out of Hours 0300 456 0100.

For less urgent enquiries, you can report a safeguarding concern on the Wiltshire Council website

If you think a child or an adult is in immediate danger, phone the police or emergency services on 999.

Swindon Safeguarding Contacts

Safeguarding Children:

If you suspect that any child or young person is being subjected to abuse, or you are otherwise concerned about their welfare or well-being, telephone: 01793 466903 (during normal office hours, 8.30am to 4.40pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.00pm Friday). Or email: swindonmash@swindon.gov.uk

The service is available for anyone, professionals or members of the public, to report any concerns in respect of children and young people up to the age of 18 years, or 25 years if they have a disability.

For non-emergencies out of hours call 101.

Safeguarding Adults:

The adult safeguarding team supports and protects adults who have needs for care and support, adults who are experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect and adults who are unable to protect themselves against the abuse, neglect or risk of it. If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult, please the Adult Safeguarding Team

Tel: 01793 463555. E-mail: adultsafeguarding@swindon.gov.uk (During office hours – Monday to Friday inclusive, 8.30am to 5.00pm).

For safeguarding concerns that require urgent action out of normal working hours, please contact the Out of Ours Emergency Duty Service: 01793 436699

For non-emergencies out of hours call 101.

If you think a child or an adult is in immediate danger, phone the police or emergency services on 999.