Small, volunteer-led organisations and those working in communities facing numerous challenges are amongst the targets for the second phase of a country-wide safeguarding initiative.
The opportunity is part of a programme joint-funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK.
Phase two of the £1.14 million Safeguarding Training Fund opens to Expressions of Interest, with England-based voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations being invited to apply for grants to share safeguarding resources and to cultivate a culture within the sector which puts safeguarding at its heart.
The Safeguarding Training Fund, announced by DCMS last year, is part of a wider Government strategy to improve safeguarding practice across the voluntary sector in England. Phase one of the fund is currently supporting the ‘Safer Social Sector Partnership’ led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to design a national and generic online safeguarding training package - suitable for all charities big and small - to improve safeguarding/safe culture practice.
The ambitions for phase two are to make all charities and voluntary organisations in England aware of the importance of safeguarding/safe culture and to ensure they have access to the phase one materials. Once Expressions of Interest have been submitted, 20-25 organisations will be invited to submit full applications. It is expected that between five and ten of those organisations will receive a share of £570,000 to distribute the materials, promote and champion safeguarding/safe culture, and enable local networking and self-support.
In particular, Expressions of Interest are being sought from VCSEs with the reach to support organisations less likely to have an awareness of safeguarding. This includes small, volunteer-led organisations, organisations in remote and rural areas, organisations not primarily working with vulnerable adults or children and organisations working in communities with multiple levels of deprivation.
Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies, said: “The recent safeguarding failings of some larger charities have shone a concerning spotlight on how vital having good safeguarding practice is to protect staff and volunteers, as well as vitally maintaining the public's trust.
"I am truly delighted by working together to address this alongside The National Lottery Community Fund, we have invested over £1 million to develop a national online training package to strengthen safeguarding and make sure all charities, big or small, make getting it right an absolute priority.
"We want to make sure this training reaches those organisations who need it most, and this latest phase will ensure we build long lasting local networks that promote and champion the importance of safeguarding for all."
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Nine in ten of our grants are for under £10,000, going to grassroots groups and smaller organisations, helping their communities to thrive. We are delighted to announce the second phase of the Safeguarding Training Fund, which will ultimately mean all of those organisations have access to resources and support, strengthening safeguarding practice across the sector.”
Find out more about the Safeguarding Training Fund, including how to submit an expression of interest for phase two.