Whisky & Beards is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and accepts our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all involved in our activities, as artists or audience, in accordance with the Care Act 2014.

Whisky & Beards safeguarding policy and procedures apply to all individuals involved in Whisky & Beards

Whisky & Beards will encourage and support partner organisations, including clubs, counties, suppliers, and sponsors to adopt and demonstrate their commitment to the principles and practice of equality as set out in this safeguarding adults policy and procedures.

  1. Principles

The guidance given in the policy and procedures is based on the following principles:

  • All adults and children, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or gender status have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice and to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.
  • Whisky & Beards will seek to ensure that our community is inclusive and make reasonable adjustments for any ability, disability or impairment. We will also commit to continuous development, monitoring and review.
  • The rights, dignity and worth of all adults and children will always be respected.
  • We recognise that ability and disability can change over time, such that some adults and children may be additionally vulnerable to abuse, in particular those adults with care and support needs
  • We all have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all adults and children, and will act appropriately and report concerns whether these concerns arise within Whisky & Beards for example inappropriate behaviour of artists, or in the wider community.
  • All allegations will be taken seriously and responded to quickly in line with Whisky & Beards Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
  • Whisky & Beards recognises the role and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in safeguarding adults and children, and is committed to complying with the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Boards.

The six principles of safeguarding

The Care Act 2014 sets out the following principles that should underpin safeguarding of adults:

  • Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.

“I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”

  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs.

“I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”

  • Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

“I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”

  • Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.

“I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”

  • Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse

“I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.”

  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

“I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”

Making Safeguarding personal

‘Making safeguarding personal’ means that adult safeguarding should be person led and outcome focussed. It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control. As well as improving quality of life, well-being and safety.

Wherever possible discuss safeguarding concerns with the adult to get their view of what they would like to happen and keep them involved in the safeguarding process, seeking their consent to share information outside of the organisation where necessary.

Wellbeing Principle

The concept of wellbeing is threaded throughout the Care Act and it is one that is relevant to safeguarding inthe arts. Wellbeing is different for each of us however the Act sets out broad categories that contribute to our sense of wellbeing. By keeping these themes in mind, we can all ensure that participants can take part in Whisky & Beards fully.

  • Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect)
  • Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control by the individual over their day-to-day life (including over care and support provided and the way they are provided)
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal domains
  • Suitability of the individual’s living accommodation
  • The individual’s contribution to society.

2. Legislation

The practices and procedures within this policy are based on the principles contained within the UK legislation and Government Guidance and have been developed to complement the Safeguarding Boards policy and procedures. They take the following into consideration:

  • The Care Act 2014
  • The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Data Protection Act 1998

3. Definitions

To assist working through and understanding this policy a number of key definitions need to be explained:

Adult is anyone aged 18 or over.

Adult at Risk is a person aged 18 or over who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);


  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect;


  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

Adult in need of care and support is determined by a range of factors including personal characteristics, factors associated with their situation, or environment and social factors.

Naturally, a person’s disability or frailty does not mean that they will inevitably experience harm or abuse.

In the context of safeguarding adults, the likelihood of an adult in need of care and support experiencing harm or abuse should be determined by considering a range of social, environmental and clinical factors, not merely because they may be defined by one or more of the above descriptors.

In recent years there has been a marked shift away from using the term ‘vulnerable’ to describe adults potentially at risk from harm or abuse.

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons.

See section 4 for further explanations.

Adult safeguarding is protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Capacity refers to the ability to make a decision at a particular time, for example when under considerable stress. The starting assumption must always be that a person has the capacity to make a decision unless it can be established that they lack capacity (MCA 2005). See Appendix 1 for guidance and information.

4. Types of Abuse and Neglect

There are different types and patterns of abuse and neglect, and different circumstances in which they may take place. The Care Act 2014 identifies the following as an illustrative guide and is not intended to be exhaustive list as to the sort of behaviour which could give rise to a safeguarding concern:

Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour: neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Modern Slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Domestic Abuse and coercive control – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. It also includes so called ‘honour’ based violence. It can occur between any family members.

Discriminatory Abuse – discriminationis abuse which centres on a difference or perceived difference particularly with respect to race, gender or disability or any of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act.

Organisational Abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one-off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Physical Abuse – including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.

Sexual Abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

Financial or Material Abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection to wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse – this includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Not included in the Care Act 2014 but also relevant:

Cyber Bullying – cyber bullying occurs when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online, or repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages, or uses online forums with the intention of harming, damaging, humiliating or isolating another person. It can be used to carry out many different types of bullying (such as racist bullying, homophobic bullying, or bullying related to special educational needs and disabilities) but instead of the perpetrator carrying out the bullying face-to-face, they use technology as a means to do it.

Forced Marriage – forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties are married without their consent or against their will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of a third party in identifying a spouse. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 make it a criminal offence to force someone to marry. The forced marriage of adults with learning disabilities occurs when the adult does not have the capacity to consent to the marriage.

Mate Crime – a ‘mate crime’ as defined by the Safety Net Project as ‘when vulnerable people are befriended by members of the community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them. It may not be an illegal act but still has a negative effect on the individual.’ Mate Crime is carried out by someone the adult knows and often happens in private. In recent years there have been a number of Serious Case Reviews relating to people with a learning disability who were murdered or seriously harmed by people who purported to be their friend.

Radicalisation – the aim of radicalisation is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits and embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals of the legitimacy of their cause. This may be direct through a relationship, or through social media.

5. Signs and indicators of abuse and neglect

Abuse can take place in any context and by all manner of perpetrator. Abuse may be inflicted by anyone in the organisation (artist, editor, producer, publisher, administrator etc) who an artist or audience member comes into contact with.

There are many signs and indicators that may suggest someone is being abused or neglected. These include but are not limited to:

  • Unexplained bruises or injuries – or lack of medical attention when an injury is present.
  • Person has belongings or money going missing.
  • A change in the behaviour or confidence of a person.
  • They may self-harm.
  • They may have a fear of a particular group or individual.
  • They may tell you / another person they are being abused – i.e. a disclosure.
  • Harassing of an individual because they are or are perceived to have protected characteristics.
  • Not meeting the needs of the participant.
  • This could be a fellow artist who sends unwanted sexually explicit text messages to an adult with learning disabilities they are performing alongside.
  • This could be an artist threatening another artist with physical harm

6. What to do if you have a concern, or if someone raises concerns with you.

  • It is not your responsibility to decide whether or not an adult has been abused. It is, however, everyone’s responsibility to respond to and report concerns.
  • If you are concerned someone is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999 straight away. Where you suspect that a crime is being committed, you must involve the police.
  • If you have concerns and or you are told aboutpossible or alleged abuse, poor practice or wider welfare issues you must report this to the Whisky & Beards Director.
  • When raising your concern with the Director, remember Making Safeguarding Personal. It is good practice to seek the adult’s views on what they would like to happen next and to inform the adult you will be passing on your concern.
  • It is important when considering your concern that you keep the person informed about any decisions and action taken, and always consider their needs and wishes.

7. How to respond to a concern

  • Make a note of your concerns.
  • Make a note of what the person has said using his or her own words as soon as practicable. Contact Whisky & Beards Director to discuss the safegaurding issue.
  • Remember to make safeguarding personal. Discuss your safeguarding concerns with the adult, obtain their view of what they would like to happen, but inform them it’s your duty to pass on your concerns to your lead safeguarding or welfare officer.
  • Describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about.
  • Take care to distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion. It is important that the information you have is accurate.
  • Be mindful of the need to be confidential at all times. This information must only be shared with the Safegaurding Lead (Whisky & Beards Director) and others on a need-to-know basis.
  • If the matter is urgent and relates to the immediate safety of an adult at risk then contact the emergency services immediately.

8. Good practice, poor practice and abuse


It can be difficult to distinguish poor practice from abuse, whether intentional or accidental.

It is not the responsibility of any individual involved in Whisky & Beards to make judgements regarding whether or not abuse is taking place. However, all Whisky & Beards personnel have the responsibility to recognise and identify poor practice and potential abuse, and act on this if they have concerns.

Good practice

Whisky & Beards expects that that all artists and staff: Adopt and endorse the Whisky & Beards Codes of Conduct.

Everyone should:

  • Aim to make the experience of Whisky & Beards fun and enjoyable.
  • Promote fairness and playing by the rules.
  • Treat everyone equally and preserve their dignity.

Appendix 1

Guidance and information

Making Safeguarding Personal

There has been a cultural shift towards Making Safeguarding Personal within the safeguarding process. This is a move from prioritising outcomes demanded by bureaucratic systems. The safeguarding process used to involve gathering a detailed account of what happened and determining who did what to whom. Now the outcomes are defined by the person at the centre of the safeguarding process.

The safeguarding process places a stronger emphasis on achieving satisfactory outcomes that take into account the individual choices and requirements of everyone involved.

“What good is it making someone safer if it merely makes them miserable?” – Lord Justice Mundy, “What Price Dignity?” (2010)

What this means in practice is that adults should be more involved in the safeguarding process. Their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs must be taken into account when decisions are made.

The Care Act 2014 builds on the concept, stating that “We all have different preferences, histories, circumstances and lifestyles so it is unhelpful to prescribe a process that must be followed whenever a concern is raised.”

However, the Act is also clear that there are key issues that should be taken into account when abuse or neglect are suspected, and that there should be clear guidelines regarding this.