Safeguarding Policy

Last updated: 25 January 2024

1. Introduction

1.1 Packed with Smiles is a not-for-profit charity. Registered Charity No. 1182038 England & Wales.

1.2 Packed with Smiles is based at:

Imperial House
46-48 Towerfield Road
Southend on Sea, Essex
SS3 9QT      

1.3 Packed with Smiles is managed by a board of Trustees (the Board). One of the Trustees has particular responsibility for safeguarding children referred to as the Safeguarding Person hereafter. Escalated matters can be addressed to the Chair of Trustees.

1.4 The Board has adopted this safeguarding children policy and expects every adult working or helping at Packed with Smiles to support and comply with it. Consequently this policy shall apply to all staff, managers, Trustees, directors, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of Packed with Smiles.

1.5 Packed with Smiles’ operational structure, designed for maximum safeguarding, ensures that the charity will never ask for identifiable, sensitive and/or personal information or details relating to a child, their family or carer(s), outside of what is needed to purchase the correct clothing for their uniform parcel. This includes no names, dates of birth or contact details.

2. Purpose of the Policy

2.1 This policy is intended to protect children and young people who receive any service from us, including those who are the children of adults who may receive services from us.

2.2 As an organisation we believe that no child or young person should experience abuse or harm and are committed to the protection of children and young people and this policy is intended to provide guidance and overarching principles to those who represent us as volunteers or staff, to guide our approach to child protection and  safeguarding.

2.3 As a charity that supports the wellbeing of children and young people, our top priority is their protection, regardless that we rarely learn the identity of the children and young people we support nor meet them face to face.

2.4 We are not a statutory child care organisation – the Police, children’s social care and the NSPCC are the only agencies with statutory powers. However, our Trustees and volunteers have an obligation and responsibility to protect, safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people.

2.5 This policy will be shared and be available to anyone who comes into contact with Packed with Smiles, to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding children and young people.

3. The Risks to Children

Nearly every child grows up in a safe and happy environment and it is important not to exaggerate or overestimate the dangers. Nevertheless, there are situations where children need protection including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Grooming
  • Physical and emotional abuse and neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Inappropriate supervision by staff or volunteers
  • Bullying, cyber bullying, acts of violence and aggression within our schools and campuses
  • Victimisation
  • Self-harm
  • Unsafe environments and activities
  • Crime
  • Exploitation

4. Universality of Protection

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount
  • all children regardless of race, gender, religious belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or identity have a right to equal protection from harm.
  • some children are more vulnerable to harm as a result of their circumstances, prior experiences, communication needs or level of dependency.

5. Safeguarding children at events / activities associated with Packed with Smiles

5.1 There are three kinds of events/activities:

5.1.1 those open to adults and children of all ages,

5.1.2 those for children accompanied by a ‘parent’,

5.1.3 those for unaccompanied children, which are sometimes run alongside other events/activities.

5.2 At events and activities open to all ages, children under 16 must be accompanied throughout by an adult over the age of 18 who not only brings the child but also takes the child home again afterwards. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents.

5.3 At events and activities for children accompanied by a ‘parent’, children under 16 must be supervised throughout the event by an adult over the age of 18 who not only brings the child to the event but also takes the child home again afterwards. If a lone adult brings more than one child, then the children will have to stay together, so that the one adult can supervise them. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents.

5.4 At events and activities for unaccompanied children, children under the age of 16 must be enrolled by a responsible adult before being left with the event leader. The enrolment must record the child’s name, age and address and the names and addresses of the child’s parents, plus the parents’ mobile telephone numbers. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of one of their parents.

5.5 Both events and activities are to be defined broadly to include any occasions where Packed with Smiles will be providing a service.

6. Disclosure and Barring

6.1 Packed with Smiles offers the following activities for children:

  • The supply of school uniforms and other school essential items, funded through donations and various fundraising efforts.
  • Parcel allocation and donations are delivered via a partner school or other partner organisation to limit direct contact with children and young people and maintain their anonymity.

6.2 Some of our fundraising activities or visits may therefore require adult participants or adult leaders to undergo DBS and/or Police checks under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The required level of checking (if any) will broadly reflect the degree and frequency of unsupervised access given to other people’s children.

6.3 The Board will take very seriously any allegation of impropriety on the part of any member of Packed with Smiles. A member of Packed with Smiles who discovers anything amiss should get in touch immediately with the following:

Safeguarding Person Nominated: Jane Vernon Smith

6.4 The Board will review the allegation and the likely risk to children and, if appropriate, will consider banning the member from future events or revoking his or her membership or both, but only in full accordance with the rules and procedures of Packed with Smiles.

7. Health and Safety Aspects of Safeguarding Children

7.1 Before starting any event for unaccompanied children, the Board will carry out a risk assessment and then take steps to minimise all risks to health and safety. Parents and children will be made aware of any particular risks and of the steps to be taken to minimise those risks. The Board will keep a record of all risk assessments.

7.2 Sufficient adults must be present at any event for unaccompanied children to enable one adult to deal with any emergency while another adult supervises the children not directly affected by the emergency.

8. Policy on the Prevention of Bullying

We will not tolerate the bullying of children either by adults or by other children. If any incident of child-on-child bullying should arise at a Packed with Smiles event, those involved will be separated immediately and the parents of the children involved will be asked to deal with the matter. The Board will review all incidents of child-on-child bullying and assess the likely future risk to children. If appropriate, the Board will consider banning a child from future events, but only in full accordance with the rules and procedures of Packed with Smiles. Allegations of adults bullying children will be dealt with under paragraph 6.3 above.

If any incident arises within a school visit or school-based event and a member of the teaching staff is not present, the Packed with Smiles representative will inform a member of staff immediately.

9. Photographing Children

No photos will be taken or published of any child attending an event or activity unless prior written permission is sought from a person with parental responsibility. If any person has any concerns regarding any person taking photos at an event or activity, that person should contact Packed with Smiles immediately.

10. Managing Behaviour, Discipline and Acceptable Restraint

10.1 Adults supervising children at Packed with Smiles events must never use any form of corporal punishment. If physical restraint is absolutely necessary to prevent injury to any person or to prevent serious damage to property, then the minimum necessary restraint may be used — but for that purpose only.

10.2 Unacceptable behaviour at Packed with Smiles events for unaccompanied children will generally be stopped by separating the children from each other and from the group. The miscreants will be suitably supervised and will be returned as soon as possible to the care of their parents.

10.3 Packed with Smiles may apply a further disciplinary sanction; namely the banning of the child from one or more future events over the following 18 months. Any such sanction would be determined and applied by the following officer:

Safeguarding Person Nominated: Jane Vernon Smith

10.4 A parent who is aggrieved by this ban may appeal to Packed with Smiles who will hear the views of all relevant persons. The decision of Packed with Smiles is then final.  Any such appeals should be made to, and will be determined by the following officer:

Anna Baker, Chair of Board of Trustees

11. What to do if you have concerns about a child regardless of location:

11.1 If you have concerns about a child because of something you have seen or heard, or a child may choose to disclose something to you. If a child discloses information to you, you should:

  • Not promise confidentiality, you have a duty to share this information and refer to Children’s Social Care Services.
  • Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief.
  • Accept what is said.
  • Reassure the child, but only as far as is honest, don’t make promises you may not be able to keep eg: ‘Everything will be alright now’, ‘You’ll never have to see that person again’.
  • Do reassure and alleviate guilt, if the child refers to it.   For example, you could say, ‘You’re not to blame’.
  • Do not interrogate the child; it is not your responsibility to investigate.
  • Do not ask leading questions (eg: Did he touch your private parts?), ask open questions such as ‘Anything else to tell me?’
  • Do not ask the child to repeat the information for another member of staff.
  • Explain what you have to do next and who you have to talk to.
  • Take notes if possible or write up your conversation as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Record the date, time, place any non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child (do not paraphrase).
  • Record statements and observable things rather than interpretations or assumptions.

11.2 Whatever the nature of your concerns, discuss them immediately with the nominated Safeguarding Person or Chair of Trustees. If the concern is outside of a Packed with Smiles event or visit, you can still speak with those mentioned above or speak directly to the local authority social services.

12. Allegations Involving a Volunteer or Trustee

12.1 Packed with Smiles is committed to having effective recruitment and human resources procedures, including checking all staff and volunteers to make sure they are safe to work with children and young people, even though we do not directly interact with children and young people as part of our work and follow a Safe Recruitment Procedure.  

12.2 There may be a rare occasion where our charity and its members come into direct contact with children and young people. As best practice we acknowledge that there is some risk, no matter how small, that allegations could be made about a volunteer or charity member.

12.3 All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children or care for them must be taken seriously.   All reports of allegations must be submitted within one working day to the Safeguarding Person or Chair of Trustees.

12.4 The following procedure should be applied in all situations where it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  1. Behaved in a way which has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  2. Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  3. Behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates that he/she is unsuitable to work with children.

12.5 The allegations may relate to the person’s behaviour at work, at home or in another setting.

12.6 The Safeguarding Person or Chair of Trustees will discuss the matter, to determine what steps should be taken and where necessary obtain further details of the allegation and the circumstances in which it was made.  

12.7 Discussion will also consider whether there is evidence/information that establishes that the allegation is false or unfounded, whether a referral to the school connected with the child or young person is required and/or whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

12.8 Some allegations could be so serious as to require immediate referral to Social Services and the Police, but common sense and judgement must be applied in reaching a decision about what action to take.

12.9 If the allegation is not blatantly false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the Safeguarding Person or Chair will immediately refer the matter to the appropriate bodies and ask for a Discussion/Meeting to be convened straight away.

12.10 Some allegations may be less serious and at first sight might not seem to warrant consideration of a Police investigation or enquiries by the local authority. However, it is important to ensure that even apparently less serious allegations are followed up and examined objectively by someone independent of the charity. Consequently, the Safeguarding Person or Chair should be informed of all allegations that come to the charity’s attention and appear to come within the scope of this procedure so that he or she can consult Police and social care colleagues as appropriate.

Where such allegations are made, consideration must be given to the following three strands:

1) The Police investigation of a possible criminal offence;

2) Enquiries and assessment by Children’s Social Care Services as to whether the child is need of protection or in need of services;

3) Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.

13. Other Policies

This safeguarding policy should be read together with the following policies and resources: Packed with Smiles School & Partner Handbook

14. Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up in accordance with the following:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice – Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014
  • Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services or Working together to safeguard children (2017)

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Safeguarding Policy, please contact us at