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Protection and welfare

Our Child/Vulnerable Adult Protection and Harassment Policy

All members should show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of others, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Club.

The Pirates Canoe Club is committed to ensuring that all members taking part in canoeing are able to do so protected and kept safe from harm while they are with coaches, volunteers and /or peers. This is particularly true in respect of vulnerable adults and junior members.

All club members have a duty with respect to Safeguarding and Protecting Vulnerable Adults and juniors under 18 years’ of age to ensure they can participate and enjoy our sport with the highest possible standards of care. All club coaches and volunteers will:

  • Have a clear understanding of operating within BC code of ethics,
  • Are aware of what their ‘duty of care’; and
  • How this relates to their position in providing activities and being responsible for others.

The Pirates Canoe Club will ensure all reasonable steps are taken to protect the safety of any vulnerable person taking part in any activity organised by the club.

The Club has appointed a Safeguarding Officer and a Welfare Officer. Their whose role it is to deal with any issues concerning Vulnerable Persons harassment. Anyone having concerns with respect to Abuse or Harassment should contact that person by emailing If that person is unavailable they can contact the Club Chairman or the BC Child Protection/Vulnerable Adults Harassment Officer

The club believes that taking part in Paddlesport should be a positive and enjoyable part of children and vulnerable adult’s lives and to achieve this have the following aims:

  • Club coaches and helpers should follow the BC Code of Ethics.
  • All Club coaches, helpers and officials working with young people and vulnerable adults should:
    • Read and adhere to the BC Child/Vulnerable Adults Protection and Harassment Policy.
    • Undertake the BC online training as advised by the club Welfare Officer.
  • The Club will ensure that anyone working with young people undertake a screening procedure through the DBS. This is coordinated by the Club Welfare Officer.
  • All Club members are made aware of the Club Code/s of conduct.
  • The Club will obtain written medical details of paddlers which will be made known to coaches, where deemed appropriate and/or necessary.
  • Any paddler who coaches for the Club should be a member of the BC. The club will encourage and support helpers to gain qualifications and assist coaches to stay up-dated.
  • The Club will identify a person whose role it is to deal with any issues concerning Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Harassment and notify this person to all members. Anyone with concerns with respect to Child Abuse or Harassment should contact that person. If that person is unavailable they can contact the Club Chairman or the BC Child Protection/Vulnerable Adults Harassment Officer.
  • The Club will adopt and regularly review a Health and Safety Policy.
  • The Club will review this Policy annually.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) previously

Previously the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB).

Where club members are identified as responsible for children and vulnerable adults these members shall undergo a DBS check. This may include senior members of the club where spending significant time with such members and the coaching group. A record of DBS certification shall be retained by the Child Protection and Welfare Officer.

The PADDLESAFE - Online Child Protection Course ( should be undertaken by any member that may be required to deal with children and may include:

  • Committee members
  • Coaches
  • Event organisers
  • Competent persons

Junior Members

Junior members are defined as those members under the age of 18 years. The Club advocate the development of junior members within the sport. However we also acknowledge their vulnerability when attending club events. All members under the age of 18 must have a Junior Consent Form signed by their parent or an appointed guardian.

As a general guideline the club recommends:

  • Junior members be over the age of 12 to ensure:
    • Suitably sized equipment and kayaks are available
    • Specified club events are not over demanding (thus discourage them from the sport).
  • Juniors should always be accompanied on the water by a member of the coaching or river leadership team or parent/guardian. For clarity this means juniors must never paddle unsupervised irrespective of skill level on club events.
  • The attendance of junior members on away trips is at the discretion of the trip organisers and may be dependent on level of risk associated with the trip, age, competence and stamina (as with all members).
  • Juniors shall always be accompanied on away trips by a parent or guardian unless otherwise specified by the Club trip organiser (discretion for junior’s between16-18). The parent or guardian may be dry side but should remain available in case of emergency. Where the parent/guardian does not attend by agreement with organisers, they will need to sign a consent form stipulating who is responsible for their child at the event.

Juniors under the age of 12 may also become members as part of a family membership. They must be accompanied by an experienced parent or guardian on the water or bank side. Attendance at specific events is at the discretion of the event organiser.

This is a guide and may very much depend on the specific event, organisers and junior members experience. Ultimately junior members are the responsibility of the parent or guardian and as such it is expected that a responsible approach to each trip is adopted.

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