Midland Sailing Club & Sail Birmingham Safeguarding Policy and Procedure

Revised September 2021


Midland Sailing Club & Sail Birmingham is committed to safeguarding children that are at risk taking part in its activities from physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial harm or neglect or bullying. We recognise that the safety, welfare and needs of the child are paramount and that any child, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual or gender identity or social status, has a right to protection from discrimination and abuse.

Sail Birmingham/Midland Sailing takes all reasonable steps to ensure that, through safe recruitment, appropriate operating procedures and training, it offers a safe and fun environment to children taking part in its events and activities.
For the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child.

All staff, members and volunteers should be aware of the policy.


Sail Birmingham/Midland Sailing is committed to safeguarding adults at risk taking part in its activities from physical, sexual, psychological, financial or discriminatory abuse or neglect. We recognise that everyone, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership or social status, has a right to protection from discrimination and abuse.
Sail Birmingham/Midland Sailing takes all reasonable steps to ensure that, through safe recruitment, appropriate operating procedures and training, it offers a safe environment to adults at risk participating in its activities. All participants will be treated with dignity and respect.

All staff, members and volunteers should be aware of the policy.

Club Welfare Officer

The Club Welfare Officer is: Mike Colles
Tel: 0121 472 4556
Mob: 07981 000483
E.mail: michael.colles@virgin.net


Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

Recruitment (Volunteers)

All applications will be subject to scrutiny by the Principal of the Training Centre. Either character references will be obtained or Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure (formerly CRB Declarations) checked for persons instructing or helping with children.

Prevention of abuse

All Instructors/volunteers will follow the good practice guidelines outlined in Annex 1 at all times. The Principal/Senior Instructor will obtain medical consent from the parent/guardian in case the child requires medication, treatment or hospitalisation in their absence (for the Parent Consent form, see Annex 2).

If abuse is suspected or alleged to have occurred

The Principal/Chief Instructor should follow the reporting procedure.

Information about the allegation should be collected taking care not to carry the process into beginning an investigation. It is important to take appropriate means to find out what the allegation is without “leading” the person.

Give careful consideration to the environment, try to ensure that you are in sight of another adult but that your conversation will not be overheard. The person may not want physical contact during the interview. Let the child initiate any actions and remain positive and supportive throughout. An incident referral form is provided.


It is the policy of Sail Birmingham & Midland Sailing Club that all participants, coaches, instructors, officials, parents/carers and volunteers show respect and understanding for each other, treat everyone equally within the context of the sport and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the organisation. The aim is for all participants to enjoy their sport and to improve performance.

Abusive language, swearing, intimidation, aggressive behaviour or lack of respect for others and their property will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action.

Participants – young sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters

  • Listen to and accept what you are asked to do to improve your performance and keep you safe
  • Respect other participants, coaches, instructors, officials and volunteers
  • Abide by the rules and play fairly
  • Do your best at all times
  • Never bully others either in person, by phone, by text or online
  • Take care of all property belonging to other participants, the club/organisation or its members

Carers / Parents

  • Accept that adult participants have a right to take risks and to take decisions about their welfare, unless they lack the capacity to do so as defined by the Mental Health Act 2005
  • Support the participant’s involvement and help them enjoy their sport
  • Help the participant to recognise good performance, not just results
  • Never force the participant to take part in sport
  • Never punish or belittle the participant for losing or making mistakes
  • Encourage and guide the participant to accept responsibility for their own conduct and performance
  • Respect and support the instructor/coach
  • Accept officials’ judgements and recognise good performance by all participants
  • Use established procedures where there is a genuine concern or dispute
  • Inform the club or event organisers of relevant medical information
  • Ensure that the participant wears suitable clothing and has appropriate food and drink
  • Provide contact details and be available when required
  • Take responsibility for the participant’s safety and conduct in and around the clubhouse/event venue

Coaches, Instructors, Officials and Volunteers

Consider the welfare and safety of participants before the development of performance
Encourage participants to value their performance and not just results
Promote fair play and never condone cheating
Ensure that all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part
Build relationships based on mutual trust and respect
Work in an open environment
Avoid unnecessary physical contact with young or vulnerable people
Be an excellent role model and display consistently high standards of behaviour and appearance
Do not drink alcohol or smoke when working directly with young people
Communicate clearly with participants and carers
Be aware of any relevant medical information
Follow RYA and club/class guidelines and policies
Holders of RYA Instructor and Coach qualifications must also comply with the RYA Code of Ethics and Conduct
Holders of RYA Race Official appointments must also comply with the RYA Race Officials Code of Conduct.

Anyone who is concerned about the welfare of a young member, an adult at risk or participant’s either outside the sport or within the Club, should inform the Club Welfare Officer immediately, in strict confidence.

Any member of the Club failing to comply with the Safeguarding Policy, or any relevant Codes of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action under item 7 of the Articles of Association of Midland Sailing Club.

Recognising abuse

Abuse describes ways in which people are harmed, usually by adults and often by those they know and trust. It refers to damage done to a person’s mental or physical health and can take many forms:

Physical abuse where adults or other children:

  • Physically hurt or injure children (e.g. by hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting or burning)
  • Give children alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison
  • Attempt to suffocate or drown children
  • In sports situations, it might also occur when the nature and intensity of training exceeds the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body

Neglect includes situations in which adults:

  • Fail to meet the basic physical needs (e.g. food, warm clothing, essential medication)
  • Consistently leave them alone and unsupervised
  • Fail or refuse to give love, affection or attention
  • Neglect in a sports situation might also occur if a teacher or coach fails to ensure people are safe or exposes them to undue cold or risk of injury

Sexual abuse:

Boys and girls are sexually abused when adults (male or female) or other young people use them to meet their own sexual needs.

  • Sports situations, which involve physical contact (e.g. supporting or guiding children), could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Abusive situations may also occur if adults misuse their power over young people

Emotional abuse:

where there is for example:

  • Persistent lack of love or affection
  • Constant overprotection that prevents the person from socialising
  • Emotional abuse in sport might also include situations where parents or coaches subject children to constant criticism, bullying or unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations

Typical symptoms

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries
  • Sexually explicit language or actions
  • A sudden change in behaviour (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper)
  • The person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving them
  • A change observed over a long period of time (e.g. weight loss, becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt)
  • A general distrust and avoidance of adults, especially those with whom a close relationship would be expected
  • An unreasonable reaction to normal physical contact
  • Difficulty in making friends or abnormal restrictions on socialising with others

It is important to note that a child may display some or all of these symptoms without being abused or there may be no signs, you may just feel that something is wrong.

If you are worried, it is NOT your responsibility to decide if it is abuse, BUT it is your responsibility to act on your concerns and do something about it.

  • For more information about RYA safeguarding policies and guidance click this link

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