Embers bushcraft is committed to safeguarding and promoting children and young people’s welfare through robust recruitment processes. We will achieve this by: 

  • identifying and rejecting applicants who are unsuitable to work with children and young people.
  • responding to concerns about the suitability of applicants during the recruitment process.
  • responding to concerns about the suitability of employees and volunteers once their role has commenced.

To support this process:

  • All employees and volunteers of Embers Bushcraft are subjected to a criminal records check by the Disclosures and Barring service before their position commences. All staff and volunteers have a duty to declare any existing or subsequent convictions, adverse child protection or care proceedings. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action or dismissal.
  • All employees are required to provide two references, which will be verified by Embers Bushcraft. 
  • All employees will receive safeguarding training relevant to their level of responsibility.
  • All employees will undergo regular performance reviews to continually assess their  suitability to work with young people and to identify any training requirements to support their role.

Mobile phone policy

Staff will not use personal mobile phones during activity sessions unless they are the lead instructor needing access to a phone for emergency and safety purposes. Where this is the case, the terms should be discussed and agreed upon by management prior to the session. Except in this case, all staff phones should be left in the staff members vehicle or can be locked into the document lockbox if preferred. If staff need to provide emergency contact details (for example to child care providers) they should provide the lead instructor’s number with their permission. Under no circumstances should photographs be taken of young people on staff members personal phones or devices

Safeguarding Policy

The on-site safeguarding officer: Ian Gosling 

The designated safeguarding lead: Rachel Gosling 


Embers Bushcraft is firmly committed to the fact that all children and young people have a fundamental right to be protected from harm, and fully recognises its responsibility for the protection of children and young people. The safety and protection of all children and young people that Embers Bushcraft provides services to is paramount and has priority over all other interests. 

This Safeguarding Policy will outline the practice expected of all staff and volunteers working under the company name of Embers Bushcraft, whether directly employed by the organisation or contracted externally.

This policy has been constructed in line with the Hampshire safeguarding children’s board guidance and will be amended with relevant updates where necessary.

The aim of this policy is to outline the practice for employees and volunteers so they can safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people (all service users up to the age of 18) within the service group. It also aims to provide parents and other service users with confidence and a greater understanding of the procedures in place to safeguard the young people that access services with Embers Bushcraft. It is aimed at protecting the young person as well as the individual delivering the service, recognising the risks and precautions involved in all areas of working with young people including lone working.

Where Embers Bushcraft is acting as a facilitator of activities for other organisations, all safeguarding issues should be handed to the designated safeguarding lead of the relevant organisation. This should be done in writing and a copy of the document should be signed by the organisation concerned to acknowledge receipt. Embers Bushcraft will cooperate fully should any further information be required.

The Child Protection policy overrides issues of confidentiality as stated in the Children Act 1989.

Identifying a safeguarding concern:

A disclosure or cause for concern may occur in a number of ways including a comment made by a child, physical evidence such as bruising, a change in behaviour or inappropriate behaviour or knowledge. It is important to keep up to date records of existing injuries that have occurred outside the hours that the young person has spent with Embers Bushcraft. Recurring incidents of this kind may raise the concern level to warrant a referral.

Reporting procedures:

  • Any suspicion, allegation or disclosure must be reported immediately to the lead instructor and recorded on a ‘Safeguarding Concern’ form. 
  • The lead instructor is responsible for informing the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately. (If the DSL is not on site, staff will make contact by phone). 
  • The DSL will take a full description of the situation and decide if it is necessary to visit the site to support the staff member.

The DSL along with the lead instructor will be responsible for making the decision as to whether further referral is necessary. If the decision is made to make a referral the following procedure will be followed:

For urgent advice or concerns where it is believed the child is at risk of significant harm, call ‘The Children’s Reception Team’ (CRT). 

(8.30-5.00)  01329 225 379

(Out of hours) 0300 555 1373

CRT will advise on what to do next. A referral made by phone must be followed up by an ‘Interagency Referral Form’ within 24 hours. This can be found on the ‘Hampshire Safeguarding Children’s Board’ website.

CRT will:

  1. Complete the relevant risk assessments
  2. Make a recommendation to the Team Manager for further enquiries to be completed in the ‘Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub’ (MASH)
  3. OR  transfer the case to a district social care team for an assessment
  4. OR refer to the family support service for ‘Early Help’
  5. ORclose the case

It is the responsibility of the DSL  to inform the Employee who reported the disclosure of any action taken and any outcome and to ensure that any partner agencies involved with the young person are made aware of the disclosure and the action is taken.

All stages of the reporting procedure must be documented, marked CONFIDENTIAL and stored securely following the procedures laid out in the Data Protection Policy.

Allegations Against Employees

If a complaint is made against an employee/ volunteer of EmbersBushcraft it will be taken seriously. Staff and volunteers should report safeguarding concerns regarding colleagues to the lead instructor immediately.

The lead instructor should:

  • Contact the DSL and pass the information on immediately. 
  • If a complaint is made against the lead instructor the staff member must report straight to the DSL.
  • The DSL will attend the site of the allegation to gain an initial account of what has occurred from all relevant parties, including the person against whom the allegation has been made. If this is not possible, contact will be made by telephone.
  • The Director will have the right to suspend from duty and /or the premises, any person who is a party to the allegation until a full investigation has been made.

This action does not imply in any way that the person suspended is responsible for, or is to blame for any action leading up to the complaint. The purpose of any such suspension is to enable a full and proper investigation to be carried out in a totally professional manner.

Any allegation made about a member of staff or volunteer should be reported to the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) on 01962 876364.

The role of the LADO is to support employees to investigate Allegations Against Staff or Volunteers to ensure that the allegation is investigated thoroughly. The LADO will inform the police and/or children’s social care if required. 

Relationships and communication with service users:

Staff must maintain professional boundaries with young people appropriate to their position and must always consider whether their actions are warranted, proportionate, safe and applied equitably. Staff should act in an open and transparent way that would not lead any reasonable person to question their actions or intent. Staff should think carefully about their conduct so that misinterpretations are minimised.

Staff must not establish or seek to establish social contact with young people they have come into contact with through their role with Embers Bushcraft for the purpose of securing a friendship. If a young person or their parents seek to establish social contact you should exercise your professional judgement in making a response and be aware that such social contact could be misconstrued.

Staff must not accept friend invitations or become friends with any young person or parents/guardians on any social media platform unless they know them personally and not through their professional life with Embers Bushcraft. Staff should also refrain from following Twitter or other similar social media accounts of young people or their parents. 

Uncollected child policy

If a child has not been collected at the end of a session, where possible, two staff members should remain on site until the parent’s arrival.

Should a child not be collected by the agreed time staff should first try to contact the parent directly to ascertain their expected arrival time. If the parent is not contactable staff should try the given emergency numbers for that child. If a child remains uncollected after one hour and staff have not been able to make contact using all of the given numbers, they should contact the Designated safeguarding lead who will contact the ‘children’s Reception Team’ at Hampshire safeguarding who will advise on the next step. 

(8.30-5.00)  01329 225 379

(Out of hours) 0300 555 1373

Behaviour Management Policy

Embers Bushcraft uses effective behaviour management strategies to promote the welfare and enjoyment of the, young people accessing our services. Working in partnership with parents, we aim to manage behaviour using clear, consistent and positive strategies. 

Young people attending Embers Bushcraft activities are expected to:

  •  Use socially acceptable behaviour
  • Comply with the activity rules, which will be outlined at the start of the session
  • Respect one another, accepting differences of race, gender, ability, age and religion
  • Develop their independence by maintaining self-discipline
  •  Participate in a variety of activities
  •  Ask for help if needed
  •  Enjoy their time at Embers Activities

Staff will encourage positive behaviour by:

  •  Staff acting as positive role models
  •  Praising appropriate behaviour
  •  Sticker rewards
  •  Informing parents about individual achievements
  • Offering a variety of opportunities to meet the needs of the children attending the session

Looking for a trigger

It is inevitable that as children develop and learn, there are times when they need support and guidance to understand that their behaviour is not acceptable. Embers Staff will try to determine the cause or triggers of the inappropriate behaviour to prevent the situation from recurring.

Dealing with inappropriate behaviour

  •  Challenging behaviour will be addressed in a calm, firm and positive manner.
  •  In the first instance, the child will be temporarily removed from the activity.
  •  Staff will discuss why the behaviour displayed is deemed inappropriate.
  •  Staff will give the child an opportunity to explain their behaviour, to help prevent a recurrence.
  •  Staff will encourage conflict resolution through discussion and negotiation.
  •   Staff will consult with parents to inform clear strategies for dealing with persistent inappropriate behaviour.

If after consultation with parents and the implementation of behaviour management strategies, a child continues to display inappropriate behaviour, the Embers Bushcraft may decide to exclude the child. The reasons and processes involved will be clearly explained to the child and parent

Physical intervention

The physical intervention will only be used as a last resort when staff believe that action is necessary to prevent injury to the child or others, or to prevent significant damage to equipment or property. If a member of staff has to physically restrain a child, the manager will be notified and an Incident record will be completed. The incident will be discussed with the parent or carer as soon as possible.

If staff are not confident about their ability to contain a situation, they should call the manager or, in extreme cases, the police.

All serious incidents will be recorded on an Incident record and kept in the child’s file. This may be used to build a pattern of behaviour, which may indicate an underlying cause. If a pattern of incidents indicates possible abuse, we will implement child protection procedures in accordance with our Safeguarding policy.

Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment or the threat of corporal punishment will never be used at Embers Bushcraft.

Bullying Policy 

Embers Bushcraft is committed to providing a caring, friendly, stimulating and safe environment for all of the young people we work with. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable.  If bullying does occur, young people should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

Bullying can be described as deliberate hostility or aggression towards another with the specific intention of hurting that person. It usually takes place over a period of time and can result in physical and emotional distress to the victim. It is recognisable in many forms:

  • Physical – kicking, hitting, pushing or any other form of violence
  • Verbal – name calling, spreading rumours, teasing, racial abuse, making threats
  • Emotional – excluding, tormenting, humiliating
  • Sexual – unwanted physical or sexually abusive comments
  • Cyber – threatening or abusive phone calls, texts, e-mails

When responding to bullying staff should:

  • Ensure that the young people you are working with are aware that bullying will not be tolerated or ignored 
  • Ensure that young people know that they will be supported if they disclose an incident
  • Where appropriate, invite parents or carers of all young people involved to a meeting to discuss the problem, and if necessary and appropriate, inform the police
  • Ensure that all incidents are recorded appropriately and any agreed actions are followed through

Young people who are victims of bullying should be offered the following support:

  • An immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff
  • Reassure the young person that appropriate action will be taken
  • Support the young person in rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence

Supporting Young People who Bully

Young people who bully others must be supported in understanding that bullying is unacceptable and that there are consequences for this type of behaviour. They should be provided with support and encouragement to change their behaviour through discussion and support in trying to understand why they have resorted to bullying and why their behaviour needs to change.

Reviewed by Rachel Gosling January 2022 (Next Review Date January 2023)