Staying Safe - New Group Guidance Sheet

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Our new lockdown website has hundreds of activities and games to do at home, weekly challenges to try and a regular programme of live workshops and events online, as well as information on how our groups can operate during the COVID-19 outbreak.


This guidance forms part of the New Group Journey resource.

You can download the information as a word document in the attachment below, or download the whole pack from the new group journey summary page. 

Staying safe is an important part of ensuring our everyone gets the most out of their Woodcraft Folk experience. Anything we do to ensure the safety of the people in our care can be considered safeguarding. It’s important that we see safeguarding as something we do day to day, rather than a process that kicks in when something goes seriously wrong. All the safeguarding guidance is available through the safeguarding portal on the website:

Write a local safeguarding plan

A safeguarding plan outlines the steps everyone needs to take to ensure the young people in your care are safe from harm. Find example plans to adapt here:  

Writing the plan will usually be led by the safeguarding officer but everyone should help and at the very least know what it says, and be putting it into practice. All adult volunteers need to be aware of and implementing Woodcraft Folk policies. This makes sure everyone is on the same page and your group is covered by our public liability insurance. For this reason it’s important that all volunteers get a proper induction which familiarises them with the policies and procedures you have in place.

The most important piece in the safeguarding jigsaw is making sure that everyone knows who to talk to if they are worried about a young person’s safety. By everyone we mean volunteers, parents and guardians, and also children and young people. Give everyone the contact details of your safeguarding officer, and make sure that person is available to respond to concerns in a timely manner.

Assessing risk is an important part of safeguarding against preventable accidents. Write a risk assessment that covers the activities you do on group nights, and update it if you do an activity where a new risk is introduced - such as using a different space, going on a trip or cooking. Make sure that all adults and young people are aware of the risks that have been identified, and how you will minimise them. Don’t forget that involving young people in assessing risk is important for their development too. Check out the The Play Safety Forum for in depth and common sense guidance on this: 

Woodcraft Folk guidance on how and when to write risk assessments is available here:

In your safeguarding plan you will need to prepare for providing first aid provision. You will need to carry a first aid kit whenever your group meets, and report all accidents using a first aid log book and our incident reporting forms where appropriate. It is not a requirement that all members are trained in First Aid. It is however advisable that some members are confident in first aid, especially when attending a camp off the beaten track. Your group and members are covered by Woodcraft’s insurance (if you are registered and comply with policies and procedure) should there be any legal liability in connection with your activities.

  • Write a safeguarding plan

  • Make sure everyone knows who to talk to if they are worried

  • Induct all new volunteers so that they know their responsibility in implementing the safeguarding plan and other policies.

  • Write risk assessments for a typical group night, and any other activities that fall outside that.

  • Get a first aid kit, and plan for how you will provide first aid.

  • Review safeguarding arrangements termly

Keep safeguarding in mind

If you have achieved any of the other steps in the new group journey, you will have already considered safeguarding measures - maybe even without realising it.

  • When looking for a venue, you will have chosen one which is safe to play in and is accessible to those who will attend.

  • When working out how your group will communicate with each other, you will have set up a process and culture that enables adults to easily contact each other if an issue arises. There are specific communication procedures you will need to work out as part of the safeguarding plan, but a good communication strategy will have prepared the ground for this well.

  • When you become members as individuals you will have gone through Woodcraft Folk’s screening policy - provided references and had a DBS/PVG check. You will be making sure that you have enough adult members at each group night and non-members are supervised. If you have been on an overnight stay all adults who came along will be members.

  • When you register children to join your group, you will have taken emergency contact details and asked for details of any relevant health issues. You’ll make sure that information is easily available to the adults responsible for ensuring young people’s safety - and no-one else. Read through the data protection policy here:

  • During group nights you will keep a register so that you know exactly who you are responsible for, and that you know where they are. Here’s an example register for you to use and adapt:

  • You will have thought about what training you might need. This might involve finding someone from another group who can deliver a safeguarding session, contacting your Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, who can deliver general safeguarding training, or sending some of your group on a first aid course.

  • When planning your programme, you will have made sure that all the activities you plan are appropriate for the group, and you will have come up with ideas about how to manage behaviour during activities so that no-one gets hurt.

For example documents relating to group safety go to:

7-StayingSafe.docx797.28 KB