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Staying safe

Staying safe is an important part of ensuring our young people get the most out of their Woodcraft Folk experience. Anything we do to ensure the safety of the people in our care can be considered safeguarding. Its important that we see safeguarding as something we do day to day, rather than a process that kicks in when something goes seriously wrong. All the safeguarding guidance is available in our safeguarding section of the website. 

Write a local safeguarding plan

A safeguarding plan outlines the steps everyone needs to take to ensure the young people in your care are safe from harm. Find a template to adapt here .Writing the plan will usually be led by the safeguarding officer but everyone should help and at the very least know what it says, and be putting it into practice.

The most important piece in the safeguarding jigsaw is making sure that everyone knows who to talk to if they are worried about a young person’s safety. By everyone we mean volunteers, parents and guardians, and also children and young people. Give everyone the contact details of your Group safeguarding officer, and make sure that person is available to respond to concerns in a timely manner. We’ve put together the Safeguarding Pocket Guide which outlines our main safeguarding principles for all Woodcraft Folk members, it is a really helpful resource to hand out to all volunteers and parents.

In your safeguarding plan you will need to prepare for providing first aid provision. You will need to carry a first aid kit whenever your group meets, and report all accidents using a first aid log book and our incident reporting forms where appropriate. It is  advisable that some leaders in your group are confident in first aid or attend training. 

Accident Report Form

Writing a risk assessment 

Assessing risk is an important part of safeguarding against preventable accidents. Write a risk assessment that covers the activities you do on group nights, and update it if you do an activity where a new risk is introduced – such as using a different space, going on a trip or cooking. Make sure that all adults and young people are aware of the risks that have been identified, and how you will minimise them. Woodcraft Folk guidance on how and when to write risk assessments is available here:  

Risk Assessment Guidance

Adult to child ratios

Once you start running sessions, you will need at least one adult leader or helper to every:

  • 3 Woodchips,
  • 5 Elfins,
  • 8 Pioneers
  • 10 Venturers to be present at each session.

Key points to getting started:

  • Identify four or five core volunteers
  • Allocate roles among core volunteers
  • Ensure you have enough adult leaders/helpers to provide the recommended ratios for each group night
  • Read our Safeguarding policy 
  • Write a safeguarding plan
  • Identify your Group Safeguarding Lead and make sure they attend training 
  • Make sure everyone knows who to talk to if they are worried
  • Induct all new volunteers so that they know their responsibility in implementing the safeguarding plan and other policies. 
  • Write risk assessments for a typical group night, and any other activities that fall outside that.
  • Get a first aid kit, and plan for how you will provide first aid.
  • Review safeguarding arrangements termly 

Continue on your new group journey

The New Group Journey is organised into seven broad subject areas:
1. People you need 
2. Working together
3. Publicity and outreach
4. Finance
5. Programme planning 
6. Being part of the Folk
7. Staying safe


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