Skip to main content


July 2015

Safeguarding means protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm (Care Quality Commission website). Those most in need of protection are:

  • children
  • young people
  • adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable.

Safeguarding policies

View section
Hide section

If, during the course of its work with Big Local, a locally trusted organisation has contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults, or has access to information about them, it is responsible for safeguarding those people.

Each locally trusted organisation has signed terms and conditions of funding with Local Trust, which state:

If the activities you are planning involve working with children, young people, or vulnerable adults (such as elderly people or people with disabilities), you need to be sure that they will be safe. As a minimum, you must have a policy and explain how you will put this into practice. It is your responsibility to have acceptable protection policies and procedures for children, young people, and vulnerable adults in place. Local Trust may ask to inspect these at any time.

We do not expect Big Local partnerships to run activities independent of their locally trusted organisation which involve working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. However, all people involved in Big Local should be aware of and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Warning signs:

  • if a child or vulnerable adult tells you about something that has upset or harmed them
  • if someone else tells you that a child or vulnerable adult has told them, or that they believe that a child or vulnerable adult has been/is being harmed
  • if a child or vulnerable adult show signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no explanation
  • if a child’s or vulnerable adult’s behaviour suggests he or she is being abused
  • if the behaviour or attitude of another adult towards a child or vulnerable adult worries you
  • if you witness worrying behaviour from one child to another.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

View section
Hide section

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). (

Whether a Big Local volunteer needs a DBS check or not depends on the nature of the volunteer's role. Organisations only need to carry out checks if a volunteer is in a position where they are working with children or vulnerable adults. 

Members of a Big Local partnership will probably not be required to have DBS checks unless they are working directly with children, young people or vulnerable adults. You can’t ask for a DBS check unless there is an appropriate reason for doing so.
There are very specific rules on what types of roles require a DBS check. You can find out more here:

What to do if you are concerned

View section
Hide section

If it is an emergency, you should contact your local emergency service by dialling 999 and:

  • if you are seeking medical attention, ask for the ambulance service
  • if the child or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, ask for the police.

If you are worried about a child or vulnerable adult but it isn’t an emergency, don’t wait until you're certain. If you have any concerns about a child, contact the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) free helpline service to speak to a counsellor (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) on 0808 800 5000 or email:

You can contact the NSPCC at any time to discuss concerns about a child, whether it's your own, a family member, a neighbour or a child in the community.

If you have concerns about a vulnerable adult, contact the Safeguarding Adults Board at your local authority.

If you are concerned about how children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected during Big Local activities, speak to your locally trusted organisation.

Download guidance

Our phones are down

2 Jan 2019: Our office is open but our phones are not working. Please email us at while we fix them and we will respond to messages as soon as we can.

Got it

We’re making changes to the website. Your feedback will help us improve the site. Your feedback: