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Safeguarding Children, Young People & Adults at Risk

Last updated: Oct 2023


The aim of this policy is to protect children, young people and adults at risk who engage with Watershed activities and to provide staff, freelancers, volunteers, trustees and anyone working on behalf of Watershed with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.

Watershed activities can often take place in locations outside of the Watershed building, including in other countries. This policy extends to all Watershed activities, regardless of location.

Who we are and what we do

Watershed champions engagement, imagination and ingenuity, working locally, nationally and globally from our home in Bristol, UK, which has three cinemas, events spaces, the Pervasive Media Studio and a café & bar.

We present a diverse programme of films, events, festivals, artist commissions, workshops and conferences with audiences and participation at its heart.


Children, young people and adults at risk can be involved with Watershed in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • working for Watershed as an employee
  • being a customer using the Café & Bar
  • being a customer attending the cinema
  • attending private events
  • participating in project work
  • leading events and projects
  • being an ambassador at Watershed and the Pervasive Media Studio
  • engaging with Watershed through its online platforms (e.g. Rife Magazine) both as consumers and contributors of content

Partnership working

Watershed collaborates in a wide range of projects in partnership with community organisations, education and cultural partners, which sometimes may involve children, young people and adults at risk.

This means that Watershed staff and anyone else acting on behalf of Watershed may come into contact with children, young people and adults at risk in the following ways:

  • while working at Watershed
  • on a Watershed managed project taking place at another location
  • when contributing to work with a partner organisation on location

When working with partner organisations, safeguarding protocol of the partner organisations will be assessed by the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy and a suitably robust safeguarding policy protocol will be followed for the duration of the project to ensure Watershed’s obligations for safeguarding are met as fully as practicable.


Child: Anyone who is under the age of 18.

Young Person: In this policy, this refers to a child in the upper age ranges i.e. who is 16 or 17.

Adult at Risk: According to the Care Act 2014 the safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • is experiencing, or 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

Safeguarding Statement

Watershed is committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for everyone. The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is of paramount consideration. All people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief, sex and gender identity have a right to protection from harm or abuse.

Legal Framework

This policy has been developed based on the law and guidance in place to protect children and young people.

For children and young people this includes:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice: 0-25 years – Statutory Guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers; HM Government 2015
  • Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government 2018

For adults at risk this includes:

  • The Care Act 2014
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Summary Strategy for dealing with safeguarding vulnerable groups including children (Charity Commission 2017)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice: 0-25 years- Statutory Guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014

How we will keep children and young people safe

  • Watershed will provide a robust and intuitive framework for identifying and reporting safeguarding concerns.
  • For employees and regular volunteers/freelancers who engage with children, young people or adults at risk for the purpose of event facilitation, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks will be requested and renewed every 3 years
  • All employees, volunteers, freelance workers, students, trustees, Board members and anyone else working or acting on behalf of Watershed will be:
    • trained and aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk under this policy.
    • kept informed of developments in legislation and given guidance where available.
  • Private hirers and external organisations using Watershed’s facilities will be notified in the hire agreement that Watershed has this Policy in place.
  • Staff initiating projects will include a separate safeguarding risk assessment as part of their project planning process.
  • We will promote ‘Safer Recruitment’ practices, in particular considering: job descriptions, advertising, shortlisting, interviews, criminal record checks (where appropriate) and references.
  • Front of house and venue staff will seek to ensure children under the age of 12 are accompanied by a responsible person.
  • Responsibility for the monitoring and development of this Policy lies with the HR Manager and Head of Communications, who will review the policy on an annual basis.

Online safety

Watershed recognises that the internet, new media and technology play an important part of children, young people and adults at risk’ lives and aims to provide them with challenging, engaging, enjoyable and interesting content and activities.

The online protection of children is a shared responsibility between Watershed, parent(s) / guardian(s) and the child, young person or vulnerable adult. Any suspected safeguarding incident relating to online use must be reported using the procedure set out in Watershed’s Safeguarding Procedure.


Designated Safeguarding Lead: Louise Gardner (Head of Communications)

Designated Safeguarding Deputy: Victoria Tillotson (Talent Development Lead)

Head of People: Helen Jaffa

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