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This policy is written in accordance with, and to include, policy requirements as published by the CPGA.

This policy applies to all club members, as by definition any club member could be deemed a vulnerable person.  For the sake of completeness, where this policy refers to a child or young person specifically, it can, and is, applicable to any vulnerable person of any age.

The Children Acts 1989 and 2004 define a child as a person under the age of 18 (eighteen) years, i.e. a child who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently, or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital, in prison, or in a Young Offenders’ Institution does not change his/her/their entitlement to services or protection.


Every person who takes part in gig rowing has the right to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment, free from judgment and abuse.

The abuse of children, young people and the vulnerable can occur in any environment, e.g. home, school and sports clubs.  People the child knows and trusts commit the majority of child abuse. Children also disclose abuse to people they know and trust. This could be a member of our club.

This policy applies to all rowers, coaches, volunteers, and anyone involved in rowing within BGRC and the Cornish Pilot Gig Association.  All these people have a duty of care to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable persons and to prevent their abuse.

In accordance with CPGA policy, BGRC is committed to educating everyone in our gig rowing community to be aware of their responsibility to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable persons from harm and abuse, and to help them to do so.

As a CPGA club, BGRC follows the policies defined in the CPGA Policy for Safeguarding and Protecting Children.

Policy Statement

BGRC is committed to:

  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of all children, young people and vulnerable persons, and those responsible for their care within the club.
  • Making the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable persons paramount.
  • Respecting and actively promoting the inclusion of all people regardless of age, gender, sexuality, racial origin, or protected characteristics – while recognising that children and families from minority group backgrounds may face additional barriers to accessing help and reporting concerns in respect of safeguarding issues.
  • Taking all reasonable steps to protect all club members from discrimination, degrading treatment, harm, bullying or harassment of any form and to respect their differences, feelings, and rights.
  • Taking seriously all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse and responding swiftly and appropriately to them in accordance with current procedures.

How we aim to apply this policy

BGRC is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people within the club, and those responsible for their care, by:

  • Involving them in decisions which affect them.
  • Valuing, listening to, and respecting them.
  • Nominating a suitable person to be a Welfare & Safeguarding Officer, who is on the Administration Committee of BGRC, who will: 
    • Make sure our junior members and young people are aware of how and where help can be found within the club, by publicising contact details of the club Welfare & Safeguarding Officer and NSPCC ChildLine on posters, leaflets, and club website where relevant.
    • Recruit volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
    • Respond quickly and appropriately to any allegations/concerns of abuse or inappropriate behaviour by anyone including parents, club members and volunteers. 
    • Share information about concerns with agencies who need to know and involving children and their parents/carers appropriately.
  • Ensuring that the BGRC management: 
    • Provide all members involved in coaching and/or regular contact with children and young people support through induction, resources, and access to relevant training.
    • Provide ongoing support as needed from the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer.
    • Adopt Code of Conducts for all members. 
    • Monitor and adapt this Policy at regular intervals to ensure that procedures are up to date.

Those working directly with children should:

  • Respect the developmental stage of each rower and not risk sacrificing their welfare in a desire for club or personal achievement.
  • Ensure that the training intensity is appropriate to the physical, social, and emotional stage of the development of the rower.
  • Work with parents and children to develop training and competition schedules which are suited to the needs and the lifestyle of the rower, not the ambitions of the parents, coaches, team managers or club.
  • Build relationships based on mutual trust and respect, encouraging children to take responsibility for their own development and decision-making.
  • Always be publicly open when working with children:
    • avoid coaching sessions or meetings where a coach and an individual junior rower are completely unobserved.
    • we strongly recommend a ratio of 2 adult volunteers always working with a minimum of 2 juniors.
    • keep parents informed about the content and nature of any communications you have directly with our junior members, including emails and text messages.
  • Maintain an appropriate and open environment.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact with children.
  • Maintain a safe and appropriate relationship with junior rowers.  It is inappropriate for coaches and others in positions of trust to have an intimate relationship with a child under 18 years.  This could be a criminal offence, an ‘abuse of trust’ as defined by the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000.
  • Be an excellent role model by maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour at social events and competitions.
  • Gain written parental consent to act in loco parentis for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises.
  • Be aware of any medical conditions, existing injuries and medicines being taken.
  • Keep a written record of any injury or accident that occurs, together with details of any treatment given, and arrange that someone with appropriate training in and current knowledge of emergency first aid is available.
  • Gain written parental consent for travel arrangements.

Disclosure, indications, suspicions of abuse


The following section outlines how all BGRC coaches, volunteers or those associated with the club should respond to disclosure, indications, or suspicions of abuse.

  • It is essential that all disclosures are taken seriously, and appropriate action is taken.
  • It is not your responsibility to decide if child abuse is taking place.
  • It is your responsibility to report your concerns to the appropriate agencies (see flow chart in Appendix 2).
  • Not acting is not an option.

Disclosure, indications, or suspicions may take on any of the following formats:

  • A child/parent or other person who says either they or another child is/are being abused.
  • An allegation against a member of the club/volunteer or another young person.
  • A concern about a child’s welfare where no specific allegation or disclosure has taken place.


Action required in response to disclosure, indications or suspicions of abuse

In the event of a disclosure, indication or suspicion of abuse all members, coaches or volunteers should contact the BGRC Welfare Officer to complete a reporting form as fully as possible.  If sections of the form are not relevant, they should be clearly marked N/A.


The following steps should also be taken:

  • Listen to that person – give them time to talk.
  • Reassure them.
  • Record the facts.
  • Refer immediately to the BGRC Welfare Officer.
  • If a child requires immediate medical attention or is in danger, call ambulance/police and inform them that there is a child protection concern.


In the event of a disclosure, indication or suspicion of abuse by a child or young person staff should NOT:

  • Promise the child/young person you will keep it a secret.
  • Ask leading questions.
  • Talk to anyone but the BGRC Welfare Officer or the police.
  • Discuss with parents/carer.
  • Re-question the child/young person.


If the disclosure, indications, or suspicions of abuse is against a member of BGRC, coach, volunteer or other young person then the following procedures should be followed:

  • DO NOT discuss with the alleged perpetrator.
  • If the allegation is not against the BGRC Welfare Officer, then pass the information to them.
  • Ensure maximum confidentiality.
  • If the allegation is against the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer contact the designated BGRC Safeguarding Director (Karen Buchanan-Harlow).
  • If the information is passed to the designated BGRC Welfare Officer, keep a record of your own conversation with the person/child to whom the disclosures were made.
  • Do not speak to parents before seeking advice.
  • Should any other concern relating to Child Protection arise then seek advice, support, and guidance in all situations.


If the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer, or BGRC Safeguarding Director are not available, and the matter is urgent:

  1. Contact a statutory agency directly for advice, and
  2. Complete the report form (appendix 3) and return to the Leading Safeguarding Officer at the CPGA, who is Natasha Howard (email: and/or telephone 07966 892284).

Recruiting volunteers to work with children, young people or vulnerable persons

The following recruitment procedures set out the minimum standards you must apply to recruitment at a CPGA member club or event.  These procedures apply equally to paid or unpaid persons within a club or event.

All persons who will have significant access to children, or who hold a position of trust with the children with whom they come into contact, must first be vetted to establish whether they have any criminal convictions or other past behaviour that suggests they are unsuitable to work with children, or may present a risk to children.

Existing volunteers or employees who change their role must also complete the same vetting process.


  1. Complete an application form. This will help assess the applicant’s suitability to work with children, based on their skills and competencies as well as eliciting information about an applicant’s past.
  2. Provide a self-disclosure about any matter that might influence their suitability to work with children.
  3. Provide two referees.
  4. Provide details of previous volunteering experience or relevant employment.
  5. Provide evidence of their identity (such as a driving licence with photo or passport).
  6. Complete a criminal records check at the enhanced level for the specific role.


In addition, anyone working over a sustained period with children, young people or vulnerable persons must complete a DBS check.

DBS certifications must be renewed at least every three years if a person remains in post or more regularly if, for example, there is a concern raised, if the person changes their role or moves to a new club, or if the person has been absent from the club for a significant period.


Formal training will help people to work safely and effectively with children, young people or vulnerable persons by:

  • Comparing their own practice against what is regarded as good practice and identifying ways to improve.
  • Ensuring that they are not placing themselves at risk from allegations.
  • Recognising their responsibilities and reporting any concerns about suspected poor practice or abuse.
  • Understanding the recruitment and selection procedures described.

The BGRC Welfare Officer should maintain a written record of training and relevant qualifications of those working with children within the club. Within the club environment everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy, understand what good and poor practice are and know what to do if they have a concern.  All club members and volunteers should have access to the policy document at the club or be made aware that it can be accessed.

All club members should read and have an awareness of this policy.

The BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer, Junior Coordinator and all junior coaches/coordinators should attend a minimum 3 hours Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop.

Full guidance can be found at the CPGA website by accessing the CPGA Policy for Safeguarding and Protecting Children (current issue: draft, dated January 2016).


BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer

Sue Skillend


Cornish Pilot Gig Association Leading Safeguarding Officer

Natasha Howard


Telephone: 07966 892284

Dorset Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

(No specific name listed as officers change roles frequently)

Telephone: 01305 221122

Dorset Children’s Advice and Duty Service (ChAD)

All questions and queries to:

Emma Pleece, Service Manager


Telephone: 01305 228558

NSPCC ChildLine

A service for children and young people who need support, or are facing problems, or dangers, they want to talk about. No problem is too big or too small. Phone calls are not recorded and they will not show up on a parent/carer phone bill.

Telephone:  0800 1111

Accurate information as at March 2024

Form for reporting a concern

  • Please complete all relevant sections as soon as possible after the disclosure.
  • For any sections that do not apply, please mark clearly as ‘not applicable’.
  • The form should be given as soon as possible to the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer, CPGA Leading Safeguarding Officer, or the statutory agency involved within 24 hours.


Date and time of the disclosure: 

Context: detail the circumstances leading up to the disclosure:

Names of any witnesses present at the disclosure, their positions, and the role they played:

Give a verbatim account of the allegation or suspicion (continue overleaf if required):

Any additional comments?

Has the child made the allegation about a particular individual?

(If so please record details)

Describe any visible signs of physical injury evident on the child or young person:

NB; DO NOT remove any clothing.  If possible draw a diagram

If you have known the child for a period of time, have you noticed any changes in behaviour?

Received by BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer To be signed by the person reporting the concern

Name: Name:


Signed: Signed:


Date: Date:



BGRC Safeguarding Policy and Practice


BGRC will always act swiftly and sensitively to a safeguarding scenario that we become aware of.


A number of actions may be taken, in compliance with our own guidelines, and to comply to the requirements of our governing bodies and/or local authority.


In some scenarios, a club member (or members) may be asked to attend a meeting with club officials, usually this will be the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer and the BGRC Director who liaises with the club Welfare Officer on welfare & safeguarding matters.


Any such meeting will be advised to the club member (the responder) in writing, in advance of the proposed meeting date.  A brief explanation as to why the meeting has been called will be given to the responder.  The responder will be advised that the meeting will be minuted, with notes kept confidentially by the BGRC Welfare & Safeguarding Officer.


If such a meeting is requested of a BGRC member, this person will be offered the opportunity to be accompanied by a supporter, or advocate, to attend the said meeting with them.  The responder does not have to be accompanied by anyone, but BGRC strongly recommends that any responder should be accompanied by a supporter of their choice.


The meeting will usually be attended by the two BGRC officers named above (Welfare & Safeguarding Officer and Welfare & Safeguarding Director), but it is possible that an additional Director may attend (although unusual).


The nature of the meeting will be to explain BGRC policy, to inform the responder of an incident that took place which had raised a concern, and to explain that BGRC have a duty to follow up reported incidents to be compliant with our own, and CPGA/British Rowing, safeguarding policies.


The responder will be advised that the meeting is taking place to ensure that BGRC is adhering to due process and also to give the responder an opportunity to comment on events.


We will also advise the responder about our intention to undertake transparent communication, in a swift and timely manner, and ensure that BGRC officers, members and volunteers having a sound understanding of our safeguarding procedures, which may include an outcome of a recommendation for additional safeguarding training, if it was felt to be helpful, or required.


This is an example of one of a number of processes that may be initiated by BGRC in a safeguarding situation.  It is not the only process, and a different decision to uphold good safeguarding practice may be made in a different circumstance.

BGRC Directors and Welfare & Safeguarding Officer – March 2024