Gaia Innovation works with schools, colleges, universities and employers to provide young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential. We are committed to providing safe and supportive environments for everyone involved in our organisation and the people work we with. We believe that everyone, and specifically those who are in vulnerable circumstances and less able to protect themselves, has the right to be kept safe from harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Every Gaia Innovation representative has a personal responsibility for safeguarding children and adults. They do this by considering the safety and well-being of all those involved in our activities and by protecting children and adults from harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect, reporting concerns whenever this happens.

 

Our safeguarding commitment

We will –

  • promote the general safety and well-being of all.
  • take steps to minimise the possibility that harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect occur, which includes being drawn into terrorism and violent extremism.
  • develop trusting and respectful relationships with those we work with, recognising that they have rights as individuals and should be treated with dignity and respect and in doing so, provide them with a safe and supportive environment.
  • take steps to ensure those involved in our organisation and the work we do are not discriminated against, by us, through being a child, or on grounds of age, sex, gender, disability, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, appearance or cultural background, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.
  • act quickly and appropriately where there are safeguarding concerns.

To meet this commitment, we will ensure that:

  • every Gaia Innovation representative, and the schools, colleges, universities and employers we work with, has access to the safeguarding policy and understands their role and responsibilities, which includes what to do if they have a concern.
  • we actively create safe and supportive environments for everyone involved in our organisation – a place where people want to work, individuals want to engage, and organisations want to work with us.
  • we ensure that there are appropriate risk assessments in place for all our programmes and activities.
  • we encourage the active participation of children and adults in keeping themselves and others safe, encouraging them to voice their concerns and know where and how to seek help if needed.
  • effective procedures are in place for responding to safeguarding concerns.
  • we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of Gaia Innovation representatives, all staff have a Disclosure and Barring check to an enhanced level.
  • the safeguarding policy and guidance is consistent with local authority multi-agency procedures, safeguarding, social care and education legislation and guidance.
  • the organisation continues to monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy and guidance and take any measures required to strengthen and improve existing practice.

 

Identifying and Reporting Safeguarding Concerns

Our safeguarding duty of care

We promote a proactive response to keeping children and adults safe, encouraging their active participation in keeping themselves and others safe.

This means that Gaia Innovation representatives will:

  • always act in the best interests of individuals, respecting and involving those who use our services, providing them with safe and appropriate advice and signposting to services that meet their needs and supports their rights.
  • not knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results in harm to others.
  • if a volunteer is working in a school, college, university or with an employer, they will report to their Designated Safeguarding Officer in the first instance.
  • protect confidential information except where the wider duty of care might justify making it known.

What this means for the individuals we work with?

 Children, young people and adults will receive good quality services from people who have the skills and abilities to deliver them safely and to a high standard. This includes our duty to protect them from harm. Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect, included in and given a choice over decision making which impacts them, unless they lack the capacity to do so or it would put them at serious risk of harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

What this means for people in the communities where we work?

If we encounter individual cases of harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect in communities and places where we work, even if they are not directly related to our activities, we will refer them on to the appropriate persons or agencies. When the appropriate agencies fail to reasonably respond, we will escalate our concerns to the next appropriate authority.

What is a safeguarding concern?

A safeguarding concern is when you are worried about the safety or well-being of a child or adult because of something seen or heard, or information which has been given to you. A safeguarding concern can also involve a Gaia Innovation representative, or a representative from another organisation, endangering the safety or wellbeing of others.

If you have a safeguarding concern please advise the Gaia Innovation Safeguarding Officer (Wendy Trout – wendy@gaiainnovation.com) in the first instance. We will then liaise with the appropriate educational establishment to report the concern.

Alternatively, if you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child you should call the NSPCC adult helpline for confidential advice on 0808 800 5000.

If you are worried about the safety or welfare of an adult you should call the police (if they are in immediate need of help) or your local adult social care team.