We have recently seen the creation of a number of new charities that support the NHS and families affected by Covid-19. Well-meaning individuals create charities to support children and adults with vulnerability and then rush to cobble together safeguarding policies and procedure and a board of trustees so they formally register. The charity commission receives hundreds of complaints every year. Last year, 24 Charities were subject to a formal enquiry and so far, this year, 4 Charities are subject to an enquiry. One such enquiry related to the death of a young woman. The coroner’s inquest found that leadership and oversight of the charity’s board were ‘grossly inadequate’. The Coroner identified serious failings by the trustees to keep their beneficiaries safe from harm. The Charity Commission said the coroners report made for highly distressing reading.

It is essential that all trustees are aware of their safeguarding duties and don’t rely solely on a trustee, who is perceived to have more safeguarding knowledge. Each trustee has an equal responsibility to ensure safeguarding arrangements are adequate and effective and reviewed on a regular basis. The Charity Commission is clear about its expectations in the essential trustee governance code.

All trustees should have safeguarding training and be in no doubt as to the level of responsibility they hold and the serious consequences if they get it wrong.

Keys to safeguarding offer comprehensive CPD safeguarding training as well as the responsibility of a trustee in safeguarding training.