Staunton Harold Sailability Trust

Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy


For the purposes of this policy and as defined in the Children Act 1989, anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. The spirit and application of this policy also applies to vulnerable adults. Where the word child or children is used this equally applies to vulnerable adults.

SHST Child Protection Policy Statement

It is the policy of SHST to safeguard children and young people taking part in boating from physical, sexual or emotional harm. SHST will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures and training, children participating in boating activities do so in a safe environment. We recognise that the safety and Child Protection of the child is paramount and that all children, whatever their age, gender, disability, culture, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, social status or sexual identity, have a right to protection from abuse.

SHST actively seeks to:

·         Create a safe and welcoming environment, both on and off the water, where children can develop their social skills and confidence.

·         Recognise that safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work with children.

·         Ensure that SHST organised training and events are run to the highest possible safety standards.

·         Be prepared to review our ways of working to incorporate best practice.

We will:

·         Treat all children with respect and celebrate their achievements.

·         Carefully recruit and select all employees, contractors and volunteers.

·         Respond swiftly and appropriately to all complaints and concerns about poor practice or suspected or actual child abuse.

This policy relates to all employees, contractors and volunteers who work with children or vulnerable adults in the course of their SHST duties. It will be kept under periodic review. All relevant concerns, allegations, complaints and their outcome and will, as a recognised Royal Yachting Association training establishment, notify the RYA Child Protection Co-ordinator.


SHST Trustee Board

SHST Child Protection Officer.   (Telephone, e-mail, mobile etc)


Volunteer Recruitment


All SHST volunteers whose role brings them into contact with young people will be asked to provide references or to complete a self-disclosure form.  The SHST Child Protection Officer and those instructing, coaching or supervising young people will also be asked to apply for an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure.


Good Practice


All members of the SHST should follow the good practice guidelines see 4 below

Those working with young people should be aware of the guidance on recognising abuse (see Appendix A).


Adults are requested not to enter the showers and changing rooms at times when children are changing before or after junior/youth training or racing.  If this is unavoidable it is advised that another adult accompanies them.


The SHST will seek written consent from the child and their parents/carers before taking photos or video at an event or training session or publishing such images.  Parents and spectators should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state their purpose for photography/filming.  If the SHST publishes images of children, no identifying information other than names will be included.  Any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography or the inappropriate use of images should be reported to the SHST Child Protection Officer.




Anyone who is concerned about a young member’s Child Protection, either outside the sport or within the SHST, should inform the SHST Child Protection Officer immediately, in strict confidence.  The SHST Child Protection Officer will follow the procedures set out in Appendix D

Any member of the SHST failing to comply with the Child Protection policy may be subject to disciplinary action.


 Good Practice Guide for Instructors, Coaches and Volunteers –



This guide only covers the essential points of good practice when working with children and young people.  You should also read the organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures which are available for reference at all times.









You should never:








It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled.  These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child (where possible) and their parents/carers.  In an emergency situation, which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed.  In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the child and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.

Appendix A – What is child abuse?         



Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed, usually by adults and often by people they know and trust.  It refers to damage done to a child’s physical or mental health.  Child abuse can take many forms:


Physical abuse where adults or other children:



Neglect includes situations in which adults:



Sexual abuse.  Boys and girls are sexually abused when adults (of the same or opposite sex) or other young people use them to meet their own sexual needs.  This could include:



Emotional abuse can occur in a number of ways.  For example, where:



Bullying may be seen as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated or sustained over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.  The bully may often be another young person.  Although anyone can be the target of bullying, victims are typically shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure.  Sometimes they are singled out for physical reasons – being overweight, physically small, having a disability or belonging to a different race, faith or culture.




Recognising Abuse                                                                                  


It is not always easy, even for the most experienced carers, to spot when a child has been abused.  However, some of the more typical symptoms, which should trigger your suspicions, would include:



It is important to note that a child could be displaying some or all of these signs, or behaving in a way which is worrying, without this necessarily meaning that the child is being abused.  Similarly, there may not be any signs, but you may just feel that something is wrong.  If you have noticed a change in the child’s behaviour, first talk to the parents or carers.  It may be that something has happened, such as a bereavement, which has caused the child to be unhappy. 


If you are concerned


If there are concerns about sexual abuse or violence in the home, talking to the parents or carers might put the child at greater risk.  If you cannot talk to the parents/carers, consult your SHST’s designated Child Protection/Child Protection Officer or the person in charge of the session.  It is this person’s responsibility to make the decision to contact Children’s Social Care Services or the Police.  It is NOT their responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place, BUT it is their responsibility to act on your concerns.





Youth Racing Anti-Bullying Policy                          




It is the Policy of the SHST to safeguard children taking part in boating from physical, sexual and emotional harm.  SHST consider bullying of any kind unacceptable within youth race training and racing activities under its direct remit and control. A child is defined as being any person under the age of 18. 

This document sets out what the SHST means by bullying, how you can recognise it and what to do about it if you think it might be happening.


The objective of this Policy is to prevent bullying occurring, but if it does, to provide a mechanism where it can be quickly brought to the attention of the Child Protection Officer who can investigate the situation and work with both the victim and the bully in order to resolve the problem.



Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person.
The three key bullying behaviours are:

It does not just happen once; it is ongoing over time.

It is deliberate and intentional- it is not accidentally hurting someone.

It is unfair/there is an unequal power balance (imbalance of power). The person/people doing the bullying is/are stronger, or there are more of them or they have ‘influence’ (higher status or power).

Bullying can be:

·         Emotional            being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (eg. hiding possessions gear or equipment, threatening gestures)

·         Physical   pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

·         Racist       racial taunts, graffiti, gestures

·         Sexual      unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments

·         Homophobic       because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality

·         Verbal      name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.


Why is it important to Challenge Bullying?

Bullying hurts and no one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.

Bullying is often a call for help by the person showing bullying behaviours. They need help both to learn different ways of behaving and to understand the reason that it is unacceptable. It is often symptomatic of other issues which they may need help with. Therefore promptly informing an appropriate person about these behaviours helps everyone.

Signs and Symptoms of Bullying

A child’s behaviour may be indicative that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

·         Is frightened of being left alone with other children.

·         Changes their usual routine.

·         Suddenly doesn’t wish to attend training or events.

·         Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence.

·         Starts stammering.

·         Has cuts or bruises that cannot adequately be explained.

·         Attempts or threatens suicide.

·         Attempts or threatens to run away.

·         Cries themselves to sleep or has nightmares.

·         Feels ill in the mornings.

·         Begins to perform poorly without good reason.

·         Comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged.

·         Has possessions suddenly start go missing.

·         Asks for money or starts stealing money (e.g. to give to the bully)

·         Continually ‘loses’ money.

·         Become aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.

·         Is bullying other children or siblings.

·         Stops eating.

·         Is frightened to say what is wrong.

·         Gives improbable excuses or reasons for any of the above.


These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.



If anyone, either sailor or adult, suspects that bullying is taking place it is expected of them that they inform an appropriate person. This can be a Volunteer Parent, Coach, Instructor, or Child Protection Officer. If abuse is thought to be endemic in the organisation the RYA Child Protection Co-ordinator may be contacted.

This person will then follow the procedure laid down in the Child Protection Policy and Guidelines.

Informing an appropriate person that you suspect bullying when you have genuine grounds will not result in disciplinary action against you and the suspected will not be informed of your identity without your consent.

Being found to know of bullying without reporting it is not acceptable and you may find action will be taken against yourself in addition to the perpetrator . 


·         All interviews will be conducted under Best Practice Guidelines, which includes all children being accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

·         The child who is bullying will be asked to explain his or her behaviour and consider the consequences of it both to themselves and others. They may be asked to genuinely apologise. If possible the children will be reconciled.

·         It may be recommended that the child seek the help of Professional Health Counsellors to deal with their behaviour.

·         If incidents take place at sailing events hearings under Rule 2 or Rule 69 may take place.

·         Depending on the severity of the case suspension or exclusion of the bully(ies), from events and/or squads, might be necessary.

·         After the incident or incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

·         All incidents will be reported to the RYA Child Protection Co-ordinator and kept on record to monitor any future reports.


This Policy has been adopted by RYA Youth Steering Group and is available to all as a reference via the website.

·         The RYA will run a session on the effects and consequences of bullying and how to prevent them at one of the first of any new squad’s training camps. This will include a session for parents where possible.

·         The Anti-Bullying Policy will be addressed in the Sailor Supervision Guidelines and the squad paperwork and training provided for house parents.

·         The effects and consequences of bullying and how to prevent them will be added to Coach training and CPD.


Monitoring and Review


The RYA Principal and Child Protection Co-ordinator will monitor the Policy.

The Policy will be reviewed annually by the SHST committee and Child Protection Officer and the RYA On Board Manager will be sent a copy of the draft for comment.