THE TEMPLAR PILGRIMAGE TRUST (Registered Charity No: 1191505)
This policy is based on the ‘Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees’ guidance given by the Charity Commission https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties- for-charity-trustees.
TPT’s safeguarding responsibilities and the need to protect people are priorities for the Trustees. The Trustees have, therefore, produced this Policy to help protect from harm people who benefit from the Trust’s work. Because the Trust has no staff and no volunteers, this Policy concentrates on those who benefit from the Trust’s work, that is the people to whom the Trust makes grants that help to fund the costs of going on pilgrimage. For simplicity’s sake, this Policy refers to those people as ‘Pilgrims’.
The Trustees recognise the need to be alert to risks to which Pilgrims may be exposed while on pilgrimage, including (but not limited to):
• sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation
• negligent treatment
• physical or emotional abuse
• bullying or harassment
• extremism and radicalisation
• discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010
This Policy aims to ensure action is taken to manage, and so reduce, risks to Pilgrims.
It is important to set this Policy in a practical context. The Trust provides Pilgrims with financial support. The Pilgrim (not the Trust) selects the pilgrimage and / or the travel company. The Trust is not involved in the planning, management or operation of the pilgrimage. Trustees do not accompany Pilgrims on pilgrimage. The Trust’s contact with Pilgrims is, therefore, extremely limited and in most cases, it is by written correspondence only.
The Trustees realise that factors placing some Pilgrims at risk will be easily identifiable (e.g. due to age or disability) but for other Pilgrims those factors may not be immediately obvious (e.g. due to mental health issues, or previous experiences). While some Pilgrims may be more at risk than others, all Pilgrims may, to some extent, be exposed to the risks identified above. The following procedures will, therefore, be applied to all Pilgrims.
The Trustees consider that Pilgrim(s) not travelling as part of a group are solely responsible for protecting themselves and for addressing safeguarding risks to which they may be exposed while on pilgrimage. Applicant(s) not travelling as part of a group are advised that no assurance regarding safeguarding risks is required but that they must consider and address those risks themselves.
In most cases Pilgrim(s) travel as part of a group, for example one organised by a diocese, parish or school, in a specialist group, such as with HCPT or ACROSS to Lourdes, or with a travel company. In reviewing applications from Pilgrim(s) travelling as part of a group, the Trustees seek assurance that safeguarding risks will be considered and addressed appropriately.
The Trustees will not make grants to Pilgrim(s) under the age of 18 unless they are travelling as part of a group. If Pilgrim(s) are travelling in a group and the applicant(s) are aged under 18, applicant(s) are asked to provide a copy of the diocese, parish, school, travel company or pilgrimage organisation safeguarding policy applying to the pilgrimage.
If Pilgrim(s) are travelling as part of a group and the applicant(s) are aged 18 or over, applicant(s) are asked either to provide a copy of the diocese, parish, travel company or pilgrimage organisation safeguarding policy applying to the pilgrimage or to provide written confirmation from the diocese, parish, travel company or pilgrimage organisation that:
In all cases, the Trustees reserve the right to request further documents or information if they consider it necessary. If the safeguarding policy, written confirmation or further documents / information is not provided in full, as requested, the Trustees reserve the right not to make a grant to the applicant(s).
As noted above, contact with Pilgrims is generally by written correspondence, in practice by e-mail. Any contact by phone will be recorded in writing. The Chair of Trustees will retain copies of all correspondence and notes of phone calls.
Raising safeguarding concerns
All safeguarding concerns will be referred to the Chair of Trustees or to a designated alternate. The Trustees will be made aware of any concerns so referred, but without details that would identify the individual(s) involved.
Handling allegations or incidents
In handling any allegations or incidents, the Chair of Trustees or alternate will refer them to the responsible person designated in the relevant Safeguarding Policy. If there is a serious allegation or an incident involving actual or alleged criminal activity, the Chair of Trustees or alternate will ensure it is reported to the police and/or the local authority, as well as to the Charity Commission.
The Chair of Trustees will retain copies of applications, of correspondence with Pilgrims, notes of phone conversations and any related documents. If the Trust closes or ceases operation, the Chair of Trustees will give all such copies to a firm of solicitors for safe keeping.
As the Trust does not have any staff or volunteers, the Trustees have concluded a Code of Conduct is not required, nor are policies on bullying, harassment or whistleblowing.
As the Trust does not own or lease any property, the Trustees have concluded policies on health and safety, first aid and fire safety are not required.
As the Trust’s work does not involve contact with children or adults who are at risk, the Trustees have concluded it is not necessary for Trustees to have DBS checks.
Noting that the Trust’s contact with Pilgrims is generally by written correspondence, the Trustees have concluded that only trustees with DBS clearance should be involved in correspondence with applicants and Pilgrims.
This Policy will take effect from 7 June 2022. It will be reviewed once a year and amended when necessary. The Trustees will conduct a general review of this Policy no later than January 2025.