Safeguarding Policy


Red Rose Road Runners are a friendly and sociable running club based in Preston and the South
Ribble areas. An important aspect of the club is encouraging children and young adults to participate in running, have fun, and enjoy themselves in a safe and supportive environment. The Children Act 1989 defines a child as anyone who has not reached their 18th Birthday.

Equality Statement

Red Rose Road Runners shall operate based on equal opportunities for all, ensuring no discrimination based on gender, race, age, culture, religion, sexual orientation, disability or financial means.

Red Rose Juniors

The Red Rose Juniors are currently supported by a team of volunteers committed to weekly fun coaching sessions for under 16s, and around 15 children attend each week.

Measures are already in place to minimise the risk to children who come along to training and to ensure that responsibility for their welfare remains with their parent or legal guardian at all times:

  • It is a requirement that to participate in these sessions, children must have a parent or legal guardian who is a member of Red Rose Road Runners.
  • The parent or legal guardian must remain at the coaching venue for the duration of the session.
  • If a parent or legal guardian is not able to attend, a designated adult must be present, who has written permission from the parent or legal guardian to take responsibility for the child under their supervision.
  • In addition, Red Rose Road Runners have a junior team that participates in events at different venues, including cross-country events, interclub events and road races. At all times, their welfare remains the responsibility of their own parent or legal guardian, or responsible adult accompanying them.
  • Red Rose Road Runners will ensure that the group leaders have an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service clearance certificate.

Child Safeguarding Policy

Red Rose Road Runners accepts that occasionally issues may arise and concerns may be raised regarding child safeguarding and welfare, both within and external to club activities. This document sets out guidelines for how such concerns will be dealt with.

This document aims to look at best practices in working with children and ensure that all those involved in coaching sessions can do so in an appropriate manner, whilst providing a fun and safe experience. This Child Safeguarding Policy (CSP) sets out a framework for protecting and safeguarding children to meet the required, and best practice, standards of care that the club is committed to achieving. It aims to:

  • Minimise the risk to participants and volunteers
  • Encourage the enjoyment of all involved
  • Maximise the opportunity for children to participate to the best of their ability

Red Rose Road Runners accept that there are moral obligations to provide a duty of care, to protect all children and to safeguard their welfare, irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, religion or belief, sex or gender and sexual orientation. Those volunteering with children must have the following principles in mind:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All children have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  • All individuals involved in athletics understand and accept their responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.
  • All children who take part in activities must have the opportunity to have fun and enjoy themselves in an environment that keeps them safe from harm.
  • The protection and safeguarding of all children is paramount and should be based on prevention and best practice.
  • Participation in physical activity is only part of a child’s development and should always be balanced alongside other academic and extra-curricular activities.
  • Confidentiality will be appropriately maintained at all times and the child’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration when making decisions on whether to share information about them.

To meet this obligation, Red Rose Road Runners will:

  • Ensure all children who take part in athletics can participate in a safe and fun environment.
  • Respect and uphold the rights, wishes and feelings of children.
  • Ensure that volunteers adopt best practices to safeguard and protect young people from abuse, and themselves from false allegations.
  • Respond to any allegations appropriately and implement the appropriate complaints and child protection procedures.
  • Ensure that the parents of children participating in coaching sessions remain present while the sessions take place. Facilities are in place to enable parents to observe and encourage their children to participate, and parents retain ultimate responsibility for the care of their children or delegate that care to another responsible adult.
  • Ensure that those volunteering at junior coaching sessions hold a valid Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate.

All adult volunteers should be aware of how to behave with children to minimise risk and protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common-sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Examples of best practice are:

  • Being open and conducting all interactions with children in a public place.
  • Avoid situations where you are alone with one child.
  • Maintaining an appropriate relationship with children; means treating people fairly, with respect and avoiding favouritism.
  • Being friendly and open and ensuring that relationships are appropriate for someone in a position of power and trust.
  • Respecting all athletes and helping them to take responsibility for their development and decision-making.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact. In certain circumstances, physical contact is perfectly acceptable and appropriate, as long as it is not intrusive or disturbing to the child.
  • Being qualified and insured for the activities you are coaching and ensuring that your licence remains valid and that your practice is appropriate for the age and development stage of each child.

Awareness of Abuse

Any person working with children must have an awareness of different types of abuse. A child who is experiencing some sort of abuse may disclose this information to a trusted adult, and any kind of disclosure must be dealt with
appropriately and sensitively.

Child abuse is any form of mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. Abuse can happen to a child regardless of their age, gender, race or ability. Abusers can be adults or other young people and are usually known to and trusted by the child and family. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person from harming that child.

Indicators of abuse

Most children find it difficult to disclose their concerns and some groups in society find it harder than others, specifically children from ethnic minority groups and children with disabilities. Abuse is not always easy to identify, however, some signs that may indicate that a child may be being abused are as follows:

Note that this is not an exhaustive list of indicators and alone cannot be seen to be definitive proof that a child or young person is being abused.

  • Physical Abuse

Unexplained and unusual bruising, finger, strap and bite marks, cigarette burns, fractures, scalds, missing teeth. Fear of contact, aggression, temper, fear of going home, reluctance to change or uncover body, depression, withdrawal, cowering, bullying or abuse of others.

  • Emotional Abuse

Weight change, lack of growth/development, unexplained speech disorders, self-harm, clothing inappropriate for child’s age, gender or culture. Unable to play, fear of mistakes, fear of telling parents, withdrawn, unexplained speech and language difficulties, few friends.

  • Sexual Abuse

Genital pain, bleeding, bruising, discharge, stomach pains, discomfort, pregnancy, incontinence, urinary infections or STDs, thrush, anal pain on passing motions. Apparent fear of someone, nightmares, running away, age-inappropriate sexually explicit knowledge or behaviour, bed-wetting, eating problems, substance abuse, unexplained money or gifts, inappropriate masturbation, sexual approaches to others, sexual games with toys.

  • Neglect

Constant hunger, ill-fitting or inappropriate clothes, weight change, untreated conditions, continual minor infections, failure to supply hearing aids, glasses and/or inhalers. Always being tired, late, absent, having few friends, regularly left alone, seeking adult company or withdrawing from people, stealing, no money, parent or carer not attending or interested.

  • Bullying

Weight change, unexplained injuries and bruising, stomach and headaches, incontinence, disturbed sleep, hair pulled out. Difficulty making friends, anxiety over school, truancy, withdrawal, depression, anger, moodiness, suicide attempts, reduced performance, money or possessions reported as ‘lost’, stealing from the family, distress and anxiety on reading e-mails or texts.

Responding to a Disclosure

  1. React to any disclosure/concern/poor practice allegation made.
  2. Report to the relevant person or persons.
  3. Record the relevant information.

Stage 1: React

An adult may become aware of abuse/poor practice in several ways. A child may well tell you, a third party may report incidents or suspicions or you may have seen an incident or have strong suspicions.

If you have a concern regarding child safeguarding or abuse raised to you, you should:

  • Always stay calm and listen.
  • Not show you are either upset or disgusted or that you may disbelieve what you are hearing.

If a child reports a concern directly to you:

  • Ensure that they are in a safe environment.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Do not ask questions unless to clarify what is being said.
  • Do not make assumptions or judgments about what is being said.
  • Do not show shock or distaste.
  • Do not make comments about the person against whom the allegations have been made.
  • Always take the concerns raised seriously.
  • Never promise to keep the concern a secret.
  • Try to reassure them by explaining what action will be taken.
  • Request that another person listen if doing so does not stop the child from disclosing the concern.
  • Write down what has been said as soon as possible, with the child’s agreement.

If an adult reports a concern to you:

  • Listen to what they are reporting and consider what action you need to take.
  • Ask them if they have written down what they have observed in line with the information required in the “recording” below.
  • Ensure they understand the need for confidentiality.


  • Confront the alleged abuser.
  • Promise to keep a secret.
  • Take any action yourself until you have considered and shared the information appropriately.
  • Act alone. Instead, you should follow the guidance in this document on whom to share the information with appropriately and properly.

Stage 2: Report

All involved in Red Rose Road Runners have a responsibility to take action if they witness behaviour that they may deem to be inappropriate, and not think that they are overreacting or Red Rose Road Runners that it is not their problem. While it is not the responsibility of volunteers and club members to decide whether a concern constitutes abuse, it is their responsibility to report any concerns about the welfare of a child. However, it is for the professionals to consider and decide if abuse has taken place. Disclose information only to those who “need to know.” Ensure confidentiality is maintained at all times and ensure that others with whom information is shared understand this confidentiality.

There could be many reasons why it is necessary to report a concern including in response to:

  • Signs or concerns about potential abuse.
  • Something a child says.
  • A significant and unexplained change in the child’s demeanour or behaviour.
  • A concern raised by a third party e.g. another participant/volunteer/parent.
  • An observation of inappropriate behaviour.

Concerns should be reported to the designated person at the club with responsibility for safeguarding.

Stage 3: Record

  • As specified above, written details of all concerns and incidents that take place whilst at training sessions.
  • Records may be passed to external agencies, such as the Police or Children’s Social Care Team, and therefore it is important that all information is recorded as soon as possible and is factual (a search for the necessary information should not delay the reporting of the concern to the relevant agencies).

Further action

Any person with information of a disclosure, allegation or concern about the welfare of a child must immediately report this to Anneke Crosby & Gareth Bell.

All suspicions and disclosures must be reported appropriately.

It is acknowledged that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases of possible sexual abuse.

If the designated welfare officer is not available, an immediate referral to Children’s Social Care should be made. The contact details are:

Call Care Connect on 0300 123 6720 (8 am – 8 pm) or out of hours at 0300 123 6722 (8 pm – 8 am).

If you think a child is in immediate danger – don’t delay, call the police on 999.

Further information:

Lancashire County Council