Print Friendly and PDF

Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Cardigan Bay Watersports

Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults

CBW’s Safeguarding Officer is Fiona Best 07771 710416

Vulnerable people:

A young person is defined as ‘a person under the age of 18’.

A vulnerable adult is ‘a person who is in need of community care services by reasons of mental health or other disability, age or illness’ and ‘is or may be unable to take care of him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’.

Please note that disability or age alone does not signify that an adult is vulnerable.

The welfare of children, and vulnerable adults, is paramount

All children and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in watersports in a fun and safe environment.

All reasonable steps must be taken to protect young people and vulnerable adults from harm, discrimination, and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings.

All suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to.

CBW volunteers and employees will be recruited with regard to their suitability and will be provided with guidance and/or training in good practice and safeguarding procedures

The policy is reviewed at least annually or whenever there is a major change in the organisation or in relevant legislation.


Good Practice

always work in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets

promote fairness

confront and deal with bullying

treat all young people and vulnerable adults equally and with respect and dignity

put the welfare of the vulnerable people first

maintain a safe and appropriate distance

physical support only provided openly and with consent

Involve parents / carers wherever possible to supervise

encourage parents to take responsibility for their own child

group supervision in changing rooms, ensure parents / carers work in pairs

mixed teams are accompanied by a male and female member of staff

at away events adults should not enter a young person’s room or invite young or vulnerable people to their rooms

be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young and vulnerable people

give enthusiastic and constructive feedback

recognise development needs do not sacrifice welfare over achievement

avoid excessive training or competition or pushing them against their will

written parental consent to administer first aid or other medical treatment

keep a written record of any injury and any treatment given

avoid private or unprofessional communication with vulnerable and young people by phone, text, social media or email and do not grant the vulnerable access to your personal social media profiles.

Poor Practice

excessive amounts of time alone with young people

taking young or vulnerable people alone in a car on journeys

taking young or vulnerable people to your home alone with you

sharing a room with a young or vulnerable person

rough, physical or sexually provocative games or horseplay

allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form

allowing use of inappropriate language unchallenged

making sexually suggestive comments

reducing a person to tears as a form of control

allow allegations to go unchallenged, unrecorded or acted upon

do personal things that the young person can do themselves


IF… you accidentally hurt a vulnerable person, the vulnerable person seems distressed in any manner, appears to be sexually aroused by your actions and/or if the vulnerable person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as possible to another colleague and make a written note of it.  Parents and carers should also be informed of the incident.

Four main types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect. 

Physical Abuse:

hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, suffocating, and drowning. 

Giving alcohol or inappropriate drugs.

Intense training without regard for the immature and growing body

Emotional Abuse: telling a person they are useless, worthless, unloved, and inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person. 

constant criticism, negative feedback, performance expectation at levels that are above their capability.

Bullying is deliberate hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time

It may be physical, hitting, kicking, slapping

Verbal, racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group

pushed too hard to achieve or succeed.


failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs

failure to provide adequate, drinks, food, shelter or clothing

failure to protect from physical harm or danger

denial of appropriate medical care or treatment.

refusal to give love, affection and attention

Sexual Abuse

full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and fondling. 

showing pornography

talking in a sexually explicit manner

Indicators of Abuse

unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns

an injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent

The person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving them

another person expresses concern about their welfare

unexplained changes in a behaviour, upset, quiet, withdrawn or outbursts of temper

inappropriate sexual awareness

engaging in sexually explicit behaviour

distrust of adults of whom a close relationship would normally be expected

difficulty in making friends

being prevented from socialising with others

displaying variations in eating patterns, over eating or loss of appetite

losing weight for no apparent reason

becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt

Signs of bullying include:

behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to go training or competitions

an unexplained drop off in performance

stomach aches, headaches, difficulty sleeping, bed wetting

scratches or bruising
damage to clothes or personal equipment
bingeing on food, alcohol or cigarettes

a shortage of money or frequents loss of possessions

The presence of one or more of the indications is not proof of abuse. 

Photography / Video Equipment

CBW may use video as a coaching aid or marketing

Responding to Suspicions and Allegations

It is not your responsibility to decide whether abuse has taken place. 

However, it is your responsibility to act on any concerns.

Advise the Centre manager.

This applies to allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within CBW or elsewhere.

Receiving Evidence of Possible Abuse

stay calm so as not to frighten the young person or vulnerable adult

reassure them that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
listen to them, show that you are take them seriously
keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. The law is very strict and an abuse case may be dismissed where it is felt that the vulnerable person has been led or words and ideas have been suggested during questioning.  Only ask questions to clarify
explain to the vulnerable person that you have to inform other people about what they have told you.  Tell them this is to help stop the abuse continuing.
safety is paramount.  If the vulnerable person needs urgent medical attention call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a safeguarding issue
record all information
report the incident to the Centre Manager


Help for adults concerned about a child    Call us on 0808 800 5000

Help for children and young people          Call ChildLine on 0800 1111

Recording Information

the person’s name, age and date of birth

the person’s home address and telephone number
whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s
the nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information
a description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. 
any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes
details of witnesses to the incidents
the person’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising/injuries occurred
have the parents/carers been contacted?  If so what has been said?
has anyone else been consulted?  If so record details
has anyone been alleged to be the abuser?  Record detail

Reporting the Concern

CBW expects its members and staff to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult immediately with the Centre Manager. Any suspicion that a person has been abused by an employee or a volunteer should be reported to CBW Manager.

CBW will refer to social services

The parent/carer will be contacted following advice from the social services
The Centre manager will deal with any media inquiries
The Centre manager will implement any disciplinary proceedings
The Centre manager should also notify the relevant sport governing body
If the Centre manager is the subject of the suspicion/allegation the report must be made to the Centre Principal

Concerns outside CBW (e.g. a parent or carer)

Report your concerns to the Centre manager

Social Services will decide how to inform the parents/carers 


Information should only be shared with...

The Centre manager

The parents or carers of the vulnerable person
The person making the allegation
Social Services
The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)

All information should be stored in line with data protection laws.

Inquiries and Suspension

Centre manager may suspend an individual accused of abuse pending social services inquiries

CBW Disciplinary Committee will decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated.

Recruiting and Selecting Personnel

Staff and volunteers complete a self-disclosure about any criminal record.

Consent should be obtained from the applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau. 

Obtain two references, one in regard to work with children.

Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)

Interview and Induction

A check should be made that the application form has been completed in full, including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures.

Their qualifications should be substantiated

The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified

Safeguarding Procedures are explained.

Analyse their own practice against good practice

report any concerns or suspicion of abuse

Respond to concerns expressed by a child or a vulnerable adult

Work safely and effectively with both children and vulnerable adults

Reviewed & Updated February 2022