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Surfstage - Promoting a Safer Festival

Our Statement: 

The leadership of the Surfstage Festival acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk of harm or neglect (vulnerable adults). We are committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice guidelines. 


This policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children: 


  • have a positive and enjoyable experience at the Surfstage Festival 2024, in a safe environment and are protected from abuse whilst participating in our activities.

  •  We acknowledge that some children/ adults, including disabled children or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.


We will seek to keep children and young people safe by: 

  • appointing a nominated child protection lead.

  • adopting safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for volunteers 

  • providing effective management for volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently 

  • recruiting volunteers safely.

  • Communicating clearly to parents/guardians/carers/group leaders that they have primary responsibility for children, youth and vulnerable adults that they bring to the festival.

  • recording, storing and using information professionally and securely,

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with all via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions 

  • making sure that children/ vulnerable adults and their families know where to go for help if they have  

  • ensuring that we have effective complaints measures in place.

  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, vulnerable adults and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance 

  • building a safeguarding culture where volunteers, children, vulnerable adults and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns. 


Legal framework 

This policy has been drawn up and adapted from the NSPCC safeguarding guidelines and example policy on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England. A summary of the key legislation is available from


Supporting documents 

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance and other related documents. 


  1. Role description for child protection lead

  2. Code of conduct for Surfstage volunteers 

  3. Behaviour code for Festival Goers

  4. Photography/Videography Disclaimer

  5. Safer recruitment Statement

  6. Lost child/Vulnerable Adult procedure

  7. Managing complaints

  8. Health and safety Policy (Including Festival Risk Assessment(s))

  9. Volunteer support

  10. Supervision Statement


Contact details: 

Nominated child protection lead Name: Mr Dave Cosslett 

Responsible to: Mrs Rachel Birkett/Miss Katie Steet


NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 


We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.


Date reviewed June 2024

Safeguarding Statement Supporting Documents


1. Safeguarding Lead - Role Description

The safeguarding lead role is to ensure that appropriate arrangements for keeping children and adults at risk of harm or neglect (vulnerable adults) safe are in place at the surfstage festival. To promote the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults involved in Surfstage’s activities at all times. 

Duties and responsibilities 

  1. Take a lead role in developing and reviewing Surfstage’s safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.

  2. Take a lead role in implementing Surfstage’s safeguarding policies and procedures.

  3. Make sure that everyone working or volunteering with or for children and vulnerable adults at Surfstage, including the leadership team, understands the safeguarding policy and procedures and knows what to do if they have concerns about a child’s/ vulnerable adult’s welfare.

  4. Make sure children and vulnerable adults who are involved in activities at surfstage and their parents/carers know who they can talk to if they have a welfare concern.

  5. Receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about a child/ vulnerable adult who takes part in Surfstage’s activities and liaise with appropriate agencies as required.

  6. Take the lead on responding to information that may constitute a child protection concern, including a concern that an adult involved with surfstage may present a risk to children or young people. Equally take the lead where vulnerable adults are at risk.

  7. Store and retain child protection records according to legal requirements and the organisation’s safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures.

  8. Ensure the leadership team are kept up to date with safeguarding issues and are fully informed of any concerns about safeguarding practice at the festival. Ensure safeguarding is seen as an ongoing priority and up to date requirements are being followed.


Appointment to this role is subject to satisfactory vetting checks


2. Surfstage Volunteer Code of Conduct

The purpose of the Code of Conduct for Volunteers is to set out standards of behaviour expected from volunteers of Surfstage. All volunteers should ensure that they have read and comply with this Code of Conduct. 

Surfstage Volunteers should:

  • Perform their volunteer role to the best of their ability in a safe, efficient and competent way.

  • Follow Surfstage’s policies and procedures as well as any instructions or directions reasonably given to them.

  • Act honestly, responsibly and with integrity.

  • Treat others with fairness, equality, dignity and respect. Communicating respectfully and honestly at all times.

  • Report any health, safety and safeguarding concerns or questions about policies, procedure or support to the Surfstage leadership team as soon as possible but within 24 hours.

  • Maintain an appropriate standard of dress for the activities involved in. 

  • Complete the self-disclosure form and comply with all the Surfstage safer recruiting procedures. 


3. Behaviour code for Children, Youth and Adult Festival Goers

This code of behaviour is there to make sure everyone who takes part in Surfstage’s activities knows what is expected of them and feels safe and respected. We expect all people who attend Surfstage to display appropriate behaviour at all times. Parents/guardians/carers/group leaders have the primary responsibility for the wellbeing and behaviour for children, youth and vulnerable adults that they bring to the festival. 


You should:

  • be friendly and have good manners 

  • treat everyone with respect 

  • take responsibility for your own behaviour 

  • talk to Surfstage leadership about anything that worries or concerns you 

  • follow this code of behaviour and other rules (including the law) 

  • join in and have fun! 


You shouldn’t: 

  • be disrespectful to anyone else 

  • behave in a way that could be intimidating 

    • be abusive towards anyone


If you behave in a way that doesn’t follow our behaviour code, our volunteers will remind you about it and ask you to change your behaviour. Volunteers will inform parents/carers/group leaders if it is appropriate. We might also decide that further steps should be taken, such as restricting you from taking part in some activities or leaving the Festival if inappropriate or unsafe behaviours continue. 


4. Photography/Videography Disclaimer

By attending the Surfstage Festival 2024, you are entering an area where photography, video recording, and audio recording may occur. The Surfstage Festival reserves the right to use any photograph, video, or audio taken at the event without the express written permission of those included within the photograph, video, or audio recording. The Surfstage Festival may use photographs, videos, and audio taken at the event in publications or other media material, including but not limited to use on websites, social media, news, press releases, brochures, invitations, and other promotional or advertising materials. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. Any person or organisation not affiliated with Surfstage may not use, copy, alter or modify Surfstage photographs, graphics, videography or other, similar reproductions or recordings without the advance written permission. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


5. Safer Recruitment Statement

The Surfstage Festival is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults. We will carefully select, resource and support all those with any responsibility at the surfstage festival, in line with Safer Recruitment principles. This means that we will ensure that:


  • Our recruitment and selection processes are inclusive, fair, consistent and transparent. 

  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent those who might harm children or adults. 

  • Adhere to safer recruitment legislation, guidance and standards.

  • Produce and disseminate practice guidance on safer recruitment and safeguarding to all leaders and volunteers. 

  • Always seek advice from agencies promoting safeguarding and safer recruiting such as the NSPCC to achieve the best possible practice. 

  • Review our procedures around safeguarding and safer recruiting annually and keep in line with current good practice guidelines.


6.  Lost Child/Vulnerable Adult Procedure

All Volunteers to be briefed prior to event with the following guidelines.


  • A central point to accommodate lost or found children/persons will be allocated. This will not be advertised as a missing person post, but what it actually is, such as welcome area, or first aid tent

  •  In line with good practice guidelines two people will care for any found child, and both ideally will have been subject to a DBS check.


General Care Guidelines:

  • Children/ vulnerable adults should not be left in the sole care of one person.

  • No food or drink, except plain water should be given to children/vulnerable adults in case of allergies.

  • The person claiming a child will complete a form to include their name and address and relationship to the child/ vulnerable adult and will show a form of identification, always bearing in mind that if the child/ vulnerable adult is unsure or reluctant to be taken by the person collecting them, then further confirmation will be required of the relationship to the child/ person before handing him or her over. The person should be a competent adult.


Adults looking after children are expected to:

  • Respect the wishes of a child as you would an adult, you must not impose yourself on them

  • Remember that children regard adults as role models and ensure your behaviour, language, gestures etc. are appropriate and above reproach

  • Prevent any other volunteer or member of public from putting any child in a situation in which there is a significant risk to their health and safety.

  • Be prompt, calm, assured and professional



Lost Vulnerable Adults:

(Example: an adult who has become separated from their family/friends/guardian)

Lost adults who become detached from their friends or family will either make themselves known to a volunteer or a volunteer may become aware of them. A volunteer will make a call to the Control/Welcome in case the person’s friends or family have already made contact. A brief search of the area can be carried out with the lost person to assist in locating friends or family. If the immediate search is unsuccessful the staff member can then escort the lost person back to the lost person allocated area, where the Control/welcome will be informed and take appropriate action, such as assist with making phone calls or a public announcement, if appropriate.


Found child:

(Example: a child who has become separated from their parent/ guardian)

If a lost child is discovered by a volunteer this must be reported immediately to control/welcome. The following procedure is to be followed:


  • The child will be taken to the designated lost person point and two DBS checked staff members called to attend to look after the child. The child will be reassured and the following questions will be asked to gather more information:


  • Ask their parents/ guardians names

  • Ask if they know any contact numbers for the persons they were with or other family members/ friends that may help

  • Ask where and when they were last together

  • Ask what they were doing to help you identify where the parents might be

  • Ask what the parents are wearing

  •  Ask if they know what the parent’s plans were/ are

  •  If child is calm and it is appropriate to do so, further details may be obtained, such as address and other relative’s details.


  • An announcement can be considered to be made from the PA/main stage asking their parents/ guardians to go to the designated meeting point. The name of the child must not be announced over the PA or radios. Example: ‘Can  Mrs Smith attend the control point’.

  • A search system can be considered to look for the relatives of the found child if appropriate.



7. Managing Complaints

If a problem arises onsite, a member of the Surfstage team will be assigned to resolve this as quickly as possible to minimise any conflict or distress. They will record the complaint and let you know what action they will be taking to investigate/resolve it. Depending on the nature of the complaint, it may be referred to the Surfstage leadership or escalated as appropriate. The member of the team assigned to the complaint will keep you updated with any progress in any onsite investigations and will advise you when the complaint is considered closed, explaining any rationale used in the decision-making process. Offsite complaints can be made through the Surfstage 2024 website. From this point onwards, your complaint will be dealt with by the Surfstage leadership team who will acknowledge the complaint within 48 hours and aim to resolve the complaint within 14 days unless there are exceptional circumstances whereby this is not possible (for example, if the team is waiting for information from a third party before closing any investigation).


8. Health and Safety 

  • Please see seperate Health and Safety Policy and Festival Risk Assessment


9. Volunteer Support

  • Volunteer welcome pack including all key information and polices

  • Team T-shirt

  • Team Lanyard including lost child & safeguarding key faqs

  • Team tent with access to free drinks and snacks

  • Welcome barbecue on set up day

  • Venue host(s) with responsibility for support and pastoral care of volunteers onsite throughout festival

  • Team leader (e.g; Kids and Youth Team overall leader) to make contact and meet prior to Festival as needed.

  • Any resources needed for activities provided or reimbursed. 


9. Supervision Statement

  • Parents/Carers/Guardians have the primary responsibility for the care and supervision of any children and or vulnerable adults that they bring to the Surfstage festival. 

  • Parents/Carers/Guardians have the primary responsibility for the care and supervision of any children/vulnerable adults that choose to take part in any of the activities hosted at Surfstage festival with the exception of the youth hangout which can be accessed without parents/carers

  • All children’s, family and youth venue hosts and team must comply with our safer recruitment statement and complete a self-disclosure form. 

  • Children’s and Family venues are not to be attended without an adult.

  • Youth hangout venue hosts must have/show a valid up to date DBS as this venue may be accessed without a parent or carer. 

  • Anyone volunteers under the age of 18 will not be in sole charge of other children and will always work under an adult over 18.

  • Venue hosts and team will always work in pairs, with a minimum of two leaders per venue at all times. 

  • Venue hosts and team will be clearly identified with a team t-shirt and lanyard.

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