Creating a safe and welcoming environment, where everyone is respected and valued, is at the heart of safeguarding. It’s about making sure your organisation is run in a way that actively prevents harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect. It’s also about being ready to respond safely and well if there is a problem. Everyone in the organisation has a role to play in safeguarding. It should become part of your day to day activities including virtual events and meetings.
As a part of safeguarding, it is important to clarify at the beginning of virtual events and meetings what the purpose and formality of the event is to ensure that what is discussed is suitable for the occasion and audience. However during virtual events that are more informal and may include chats and catch ups, some individuals may be discussing more personal and sensitive matters. Especially during more personally difficult times, virtual catch ups may be the only opportunity some individuals get to discuss these matters therefore it is important to be familiar with your safeguarding and disclosure policies prior to these more informal meetings so that you know how to appropriately respond. This is especially important if the meeting is clarified as a ‘safe space’ for discussing these matters.