Safeguarding Policy


The purpose of this safeguarding policy is to protect people, particularly at risk adults and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Borderline Support UK.  This includes harm arising from:

  • The conduct of volunteers associated with Borderline Support UK
  • The design and implementation of Borderline Support UK’s programmes and activities

The policy lays out the commitments made by Borderline Support UK, and informs volunteers of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

What is safeguarding?

In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

The Care Act statutory guidance defines adult safeguarding as:

Protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.

In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our volunteers or programmes. Further definitions relating to safeguarding are provided in the glossary below.


  • All trustees and volunteers engaged by Borderline Support UK
  • Associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to Borderline Support UK, including but not limited to the following: consultants; volunteers; programme visitors including journalists, celebrities and politicians 

Policy Statement

Borderline Support UK believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.  Borderline Support UK will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by volunteers or associated persons.

This policy will address adult safeguarding. Borderline Support UK commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.


Borderline Support UK CIC’s responsibilities

Borderline Support UK CIC will:

  • Ensure all volunteers have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Borderline Support UK. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying volunteers and associated persons.
  • Ensure all trustees and volunteers receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization.
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.

Volunteer responsibilities

Adult safeguarding

Borderline Support UK CIC volunteers and associated persons must not:

  • Sexually abuse or exploit at risk adults
  • Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse

Borderline Support UK volunteers and associated persons must not:

  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance.
  • Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.

Additionally, Borderline Support UK volunteers and associated personnel are obliged to:

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy.
  • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by an Borderline Support UK volunteer, trustee or associated person(s) to the appropriate staff member

Enabling reports

Borderline Support UK will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities we work with.

Borderline Support UK will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.

How to report a safeguarding concern

Volunteers and trustees who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to the Safeguarding Lead.  If the volunteer does not feel comfortable reporting to their Safeguarding Lead (for example if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to a trustee.


Borderline Support UK CIC will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations.

Borderline Support UK will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to volunteers, trustees or associated persons who are found in breach of policy.

Borderline Support UK will offer support to survivors of harm caused by volunteers, trustees or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation).  Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.


It is essential that confidentiality in maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns.  Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.

Glossary of Terms

Beneficiary of Assistance

Someone who directly receives goods or services from Borderline Support UK’s programme.  Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that Borderline Support Uk serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.


Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights

Psychological harm

Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel.  The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)


In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes.  One donor definition is as follows:

Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.

This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.

Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty.

Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.

Sexual abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Sexual exploitation

The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.  This definition incudes human trafficking and modern slavery.


The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.

At risk adult

Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult.  A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.