As defined by the Children Act 1989, for the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. In this document and in day to day communications the terms ‘children’ and ‘young people’ are both used, recognising that older teenagers may prefer not to be referred to as ‘children’ although they are still children in the eyes of the law.
The policy applies to all RLUK members, crew and elected.
The Rebel Legion UK is committed to safeguarding, from physical, sexual or emotional harm, neglect or bullying, children taking part in its activities. We recognise that the safety, welfare and needs of the child are paramount and that all children, irrespective of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual or gender identity or social status, have a right to protection from discrimination and abuse. The RLUK takes all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures, children participating in activities organised by the RLUK do so in a safe and enjoyable environment.
All members of the Club should be aware of the policy.
The RLUK actively seeks to:
- Create a safe and welcoming environment.
- Treat all children with respect and celebrate their achievements.
- Recognises that safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work with children.
- Responds swiftly and appropriately to all complaints and concerns about poor practice or suspected or actual child abuse.
- Regularly reviews safeguarding procedures and practices in the light of experience or to take account of legislative, social or technological changes.
- Communicates changes and shares good practice with its members.
This policy will be reviewed by the RLUK safeguarding officer annually and by the RLUK Base team at least every four years.
The RLUK Safeguarding Officer should be notified of all relevant concerns, allegations or complaints.
Club Safeguarding Officer
The Club Safeguarding Officer is: Lesley Strong (Lele Ewok)
The designated person’s role description could include:
- Maintaining up-to-date policy and procedures, compatible with there relevant statutory legislation.
- Ensuring that members, crew and elected officials have access to the policy.
- Advising the base team on safeguarding and child protection issues.
- Maintaining contact details for local Children’s Services and Police.
If there is a concern, the designated person would:
- Be the first point of contact for any concerns or allegations, from children or adults, ensuring that confidentiality is maintained in all cases.
- Decide on the appropriate action to be taken, in line with the organisation’s procedures and in conjunction with the person in charge (Commanding Officer and/or Base Team)
Everyone in the organisation should know who the Safeguarding Officer is and how to contact them.
Code of Conduct
All Club members and officials should follow the Elstree Base Code of Conduct
Elstree Base Code of Conduct and also The Rebel Legion Club Code of Conduct .
Photograph and the media
Rebel Legion's current policy is
While it is inevitable due to the nature of the events we attend that children may appear on photographs taken by crew at events, the Club will not publish these images in any format without the permission of the parents. The club cannot accept any responsibility for photographs or images taken my members of the public.RL members will be allowed to take pictures in dressing areas as long as there are no persons in ANY phase of dressing or undressing in the picture. All in the photograph must be fully in their costume or “civilian” clothing. Minors ARE NOT to be photographed period in dressing rooms regardless of what phase of dress they are in.
RL members who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action if proven guilty of the violation. Further, RL members are only subject to this policy and can only be held accountable to its restrictions while attending a troop or event while directly representing the Rebel Legion either in costume as a handler or in any other capacity.
If you have any questions or require clarification on this policy or this amendment, please contact the Captain of the Guard for further information.
Any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography or the inappropriate use of images should be reported to the Club Safeguarding Officer.
General Guidelines for children at events
The Rebel Legion requires a person to be at least 18 years old in order to join and qualify as a member.
The following conditions will apply for a member to attend with family members who wish to attend an event that is indicated as being “Galactic Academy” (GA) friendly:
- A child under the age of 18 years will be required to have adult supervision at all times from a responsible Parent/guardian.
- As invited guests at an event, children will be expected to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and respect the costumers and crew at the event. It is the parents/guardians responsibility to ensure this is adhered to and other members should not be expected to take on a supervisory role.
- Adults and children are not to share the same changing rooms and it is reasonable for the club to request separate facilities from the event organiser if costumers under the age of 18 are attending and require changing facilities.If this is unavoidable it is essential that children are accompanied by a parent and are at no time left unsupervised, in certain circumstances they will be permitted into the general changing area for example during the event briefing, lunch break etc. Any members who feel uncomfortable about this should raise their concerns with a member of the Base / events team. Please be aware that at most events, refreshments provided by our event hosts are for the cleared membership only unless otherwise stated therefore provisions for children should be provided by the parent/guardian.
- These conditions will only apply if express permission for the attendance of children has been granted by the event host, and it has been agreed by the event coordinator responsible for the event. Members should not be approaching the events directly to seek this permission.
- Children being granted permission to attend event does not guarantee that the entry fee to the event would be included, please be prepared to pay an entry free for children if requested.
- This arrangement may be revoked from any member at the discretion of the RLUK Base team and events staff. In certain circumstances this may result in the parent and child being asked to leave the event.
Part 2 - Handling Concerns Reports and Allegations
This section is primarily for the organisation’s designated Safeguarding Officer, but everyone should be aware of the procedures to follow if there are concerns.
A complaint, concern or allegation may come from a number of sources: the child, their parents, someone else within the club. It may involve the behaviour of one of the members, or something that has happened to the child outside the event, perhaps at home or at school.
Children may confide in adults they trust, in a place where they feel at ease.
An allegation may range from mild verbal bullying to physical or sexual abuse.
If you are concerned that a child may be being abused, it is NOT your responsibility to investigate further BUT it is your responsibility to act on your concerns and report them to the appropriate statutory authorities.
When handling an allegation from a child always:
- stay calm – ensure that the child is safe and feels safe
- show and tell the child that you are taking what he/she says seriously
- reassure the child and stress that he/she is not to blame
- be careful about physical contact, it may not be what the child wants
- be honest, explain that you will have to tell someone else to help stop the alleged abuse
- make a record of what the child has said as soon as possible after the event, using the child’s own words
- follow the clubs child protection procedures.
- rush into actions that may be inappropriate
- make promises you cannot keep (eg. you won’t tell anyone)
- ask leading questions (see ‘Recording and handling information’ below)
- take sole responsibility – consult someone else (ideally the Safeguarding Officer or the person in charge or someone you can trust) so that you can begin to protect the child and gain support for yourself. You may be upset about what the child has said or you may worry about the consequences of your actions. Sometimes people worry about children being removed from their families as a result of abuse, but in reality this rarely happens. However, one thing is certain – you cannot ignore it.
Recording and handling information
If you suspect that a child may have been the subject of any form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect, the allegation must be referred as soon as possible to Children’s Social Care or the Police who have trained experts to handle such cases. Do not start asking leading questions which may jeopardise any formal investigation.
A leading question is where you suggest an answer or provide options that only need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, instead of allowing the child to explain things in their own words. An example would be asking ‘did X hit you?’ instead of ‘how did you get that bruise?’. Use open questions such as ‘what happened next?’. Only ask questions to confirm that you need to refer the matter to someone else. Listen to and keep a record of anything the child tells you or that you have observed and pass the information on to the statutory authorities. All information must be treated as confidential and only shared with those who need to know. If the allegation or suspicion concerns someone within the club, only the child’s parents/carers, the person in charge of the organisation (unless they are the subject of the allegation), the relevant authorities and the Safeguarding Officer should be informed. If the alleged abuse took place outside the club, the Police or Children’s Social Care will decide who else needs to be informed, including the child’s parents/carers. It should not be discussed by anyone within the organisation other than the person who received or initiated the allegation and, if different, the person in charge. Confidential information must be stored securely. It is recommended that it should be retained for at least 3 years and destroyed by secure means, eg. by shredding or burning.
If the club is contacted by the Police or Children’s Services concerning information received or a complaint made by or about a member, you are advised to contact the Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible for guidance and support. Co-operate fully with official requests for factual information, but do not express any personal opinions on the person’s conduct.
Handling the media
If there is an incident at an event which attracts media interest, or if you are contacted by the media with an allegation concerning one of the members, do not give any response until you have had an opportunity to check the facts and seek advice. You should bring this to the attention of the Base Commanding Officer and if relevant the Safeguarding Officer.
If someone raises a child protection concern relating to incidents that took place some time ago, follow the same procedure as you would for a new concern, even if the person about whom the allegation is being made is no longer active within the organisation. If the concern appears to relate to a criminal offence, encourage the individual to contact the Police on 101.
If you are uncertain what to do at any stage, contact the Safeguarding Officer or the NSPCC free 24-hour helpline 0808 800 5000.
Details of Children’s Social Care departments and emergency duty teams are listed on local authority websites and in local phone books. If you are unable to find the appropriate contact number, contact the Safeguarding Officer for guidance or, if a child is at immediate risk, the Police.
Part 3 – Additional Information
NSPCC 24 hour free helpline 0808 800 5000
Children 1st (Scotland) free helpline (9.00 am – 9.00 pm Mon – Fri) 08000 28 22 33
Childline 24 hour free helpline 0800 1111
Social Care Services
Your local phone book or the website for your County Council or unitary local authority will list numbers for the Children and Families Services, generally with separate numbers for Children’s Social Care and for the Emergency Duty Team (out of hours service).
This Policy will be reviewed on 31.01.2019
Any queries about the safe guarding policy should first be directed to LEsley and subsequently the Base Commanding Officer or Base Executive Officer.