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Safeguarding everyone involved in the City of Sanctuary movement is essential, most especially volunteers and people seeking sanctuary who may be particularly vulnerable or at risk of exploitation because of their insecure immigration status and fear of detention and deportation. We advise that you take expert advice on safeguarding matters as appropriate to your context. Please see The Resource Centre and contact NCVO or local Voluntary Action organisation / service and ensure that you have Safeguarding in place for everybody.

As a minimum we recommend the following: 

  1. All groups to have a safeguarding policy in place which suits the type of activities/services you deliver (and takes into consideration anyone involved or who may come into contact with the group).
  2. Ensure the policy explains why some volunteers and people seeking sanctuary might be particularly vulnerable.
  3. Appoint a safeguarding lead and deputy who have received training in safeguarding/protection of vulnerable adults (leads should have a minimum of a basic DBS check and two references).
  4. Explain the policy to all volunteers and ensure they know that any concerns will be dealt with in accordance with the policy.
  5. Explain the policy to people seeking sanctuary involved in CoS activities and services and ensure they know and feel confident that any concerns will be dealt with in accordance with the policy.
  6. All volunteers and people seeking sanctuary involved in group activities  should  know who the safeguarding leads are and have their contact details.  (A business card with a safeguarding lead contact which is given to everyone is a useful idea). The name and contact details of the Safeguarding lead should also be displayed on your website so that is it is available to members of the public.
  7. The management committee/steering group/trustee board etc should all be aware of the policy and their responsibilities.

Officially an ‘adult at risk’ is someone who is 18 years or over who may be in need of community care due to a mental health problem, learning disability, physical disability, age or illness.  In the context of City of  Sanctuary, we recognise that many people we work with are experiencing trauma (often undiagnosed) as a result of what they have been through, both in their country of origin, on their journey to safety and finding themselves stuck in an unfair and ineffective asylum system.  They may be socially isolated, unsure of the UK protocols and norms, fearful of authority and therefore more likely to acquiesce or be submissive as a result. This increases their risk of abuse and manipulation, therefore making them a potential target for exploitation. They may also lack appropriate levels of English to communicate their needs clearly. As a consequence, they may find it difficult to protect themselves from abuse and/or radicalisation. This is why it is a particularly important for people seeking sanctuary to know about your safeguarding policy and have the confidence to talk to a safeguarding lead if they are experiencing anything which makes them uncomfortable.


We would like to provide examples and templates used by groups around the City of Sanctuary network. Please send us your safeguarding policies and procedures to share with the network.

Disclaimer: The information provided in these templates is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.

City of Sanctuary UK, Safeguarding (Child Protection & Vulnerable Adults) Policies (Feb 2021)

City of Sanctuary UK, Safeguarding Online Policy (Feb 2021)

Video: Presentation and Q&A Session on Safeguarding and DBS Checks, 20 October 2020

Presentation Slides: Safeguarding and DBS, Making Recruitment Safer – by Lyn Gavin, Senior Safeguarding Engagement Officer at DBS, 20 October 2020

Preston City of Sanctuary Safeguarding Policy

Handout on Safeguarding from Newcastle CVS (May 2018)

Workshop handout on Safeguarding from 2018 City of Sanctuary conference and AGM

Handout on DBS checks from Newcastle CVS (Nov 2017)

DBS: Contacts and Leaflets

Video: Presentation and Q&A Session on Safeguarding and DBS Checks, 20 October 2020

List of Regional Safeguarding Outreach Officers can be found on the DBS website.

DBS Partnership and Engagement Team, [email protected] – Twitter: @DBSgovuk

DBS Guidance Leaflets

DBS Check Process Explained – Video

DBS Eligibility Guidance

Eligibility guidance for enhanced DBS checks

Responsible Organisations

DBS Barring Referral Guidance

DBS Barring Referral Form and Guidance

How to make a Good Quality Barring Referral

DBS check application process for volunteers