Our Safeguarding Policy

Triratna Buddhist Community (York) also known as as York Buddhist Centre

Registered charity no:1189773

Safeguarding Adults Policy 2021

York Buddhist Centre

38 Gillygate


YO31 7EQ

Telephone:01904 914549 (Mobile 07896 130018)

Email address:enquiries@yorkbuddhistcentre.org

Website: yorkbuddhistcentre.org

Chair of York Buddhist Centre

Shakyapada Jenny Roberts

Email address: shakyapada@schnoo.co.uk

Phone number: 07896 130018

Safeguarding Officer of York Buddhist Centre

Shakyapada Jenny Roberts

Email address: shakyapada@schnoo.co.uk

Phone number: 07896 130018

Safeguarding contact of York Buddhist Centre

Kathryn Elizabeth Readman

Email address: kathrynreadman@googlemail.com

Phone number: 07884094145

Safeguarding Trustee of York Buddhist Centre

Kathryn Elizabeth Readman

Email address: kathrynreadman@googlemail.com

Phone number: 07884094145

Insurance company details

Policy number: 46004298

Email address: James_Adams@ajg.com

Phone number: 020 8018 7500


Triratna is a worldwide network of friends in the Buddhist life. This is for many of us a

source of great richness, support and strength. However, it also carries a risk that we

may fail to notice, question or act on behaviours of concern, out of naivety, loyalty to

friends or lack of awareness; or an assumption that “it couldn’t happen here” or “they

would never do a thing like that.”

This policy is an expression of the first ethical precept taught by the Buddha: to

protect living beings from harm. It is based on law and good practice in England and


The purpose of this policy

This policy is for Friends, Mitras and Order members involved in York Buddhist Centre

activities (and those of any outreach groups run by this Centre) as employees,

volunteers, leaders, teachers or parents.

It aims to provide:

 Protection for adults attending York Buddhist Centre activities, including those

who may be at risk of harm or have care and support needs, and

 Protection for Friends, Mitras and Order members working with them.

It sets out:

• information and practices contributing to the prevention of harm to adults;

• what to do if harm is suspected.

Our values

We have a duty of care to prevent or address harm to all adults in the course of our

activities, including adults who may be at risk of harm or have care and support needs.

Although we do not run activities specifically for those with mental illness or addiction,

we recognise that people who may be vulnerable in these ways do attend our events

and take part in the life of our sangha. The trustees of the charity which runs York

Buddhist Centre recognise their responsibility to Safeguard adults, including those

who may be at risk of harm or have care and support needs visiting or involved in

York Buddhist Centre activities, as set out by the Charity Commission in its latest



Shakyapada is our Safeguarding Officer. She is responsible for coordinating the

protection of adults at York Buddhist Centre.


Kathryn Readman is the Safeguarding Contact. She is also responsible for

coordinating the protection of adults at York Buddhist Centre and reports to the

Safeguarding Officer, who carries final responsibility.


Kathryn Readman is our Safeguarding Trustee. She is responsible for making sure

Safeguarding is taken seriously by the Trustees and the Centre Team and that it

appears regularly on their agendas, ensuring the Trustees comply with their

Safeguarding obligations as required by the Charity Commission.


Who is an adult?

For the purposes of this policy an “adult” is a person who has passed their 18th

birthday regardless of the legal age of majority in any jurisdiction.


We specifically do not cater for those under 18 years of age. Therefore, Friends,

Mitras and Order members will not allow anyone under the age of 18, unless

accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times, to take part in York Buddhist Centre


Who is an adult “at risk of harm” or with “care and support needs”?

The UK Care Act 2014 defines such a person as “any person who is aged 18 years or

over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and or support”; ie,

they need care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those

needs); and Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and 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"

Adults who may be ‘at risk’ may also include those who

• have dementia,

• have learning disabilities,

• have mental health problems,

• have drug, alcohol or substance dependency,

• have physical or sensory disabilities,

• have been bereaved, suffered grief and loss,

• through age or illness, are dependent on other people to help them,

• live with domestic abuse,

• are homeless,

• are refugees or asylum seekers, and

• for any reason may be considered not to have ‘mental capacity’. (See below.)

Whether or not a person is at risk of harm” and/or has “care and support needs in

these cases will vary according to circumstances, and it should be noted that a person

with a physical disability is not necessarily at risk, though they could be. Each case

must be judged on its own merits

Definitions of abuse in adults

See appendix 1.

Signs of abuse in adults

See appendix 2.

What is ‘mental capacity’?

See appendix 3.

Vulnerability can be variable

Vulnerability and resilience can vary throughout a person’s life. Many people are

generally emotionally and psychologically stable in most aspects of their lives, but on

occasion they may find themselves in a more vulnerable position, e.g. after a

bereavement, serious illness, or breakdown of a relationship. They may be new to the

practice of meditation and their practice may make them more sensitive.

For example, we will bear in mind that a person who is emotionally vulnerable for any

reason may not be able to make balanced decisions regarding giving money or

becoming more involved with Triratna, or entering into intimate relationships, whether

friendship or relationships which are more romantic or sexual in nature. We will take

great care to help each other avoid exploiting people in such everyday situations of


Protecting those with psychological disorders

We are aware that those attending our centre and activities include adults

experiencing psychological disorders ranging from mild to severe.

We recognise that as Buddhists we do not have the professional skills to diagnose or

help people with psychological disorders and that they may not be helped solely by

the kindness of Buddhists. In such cases we may need to advise them to seek

professional help.

We are aware that for people with serious psychological disorders traditional Buddhist

practices involving recognition of the illusion of self could be extremely dangerous.

We may need to encourage them in traditional Buddhist practices involving the

calming of body and mind, or to avoid meditation – altogether, or during periods of


Where we believe a person to be at risk of suicide or self-harm, or to pose a risk to

others, we will alert our centre Safeguarding officer, who will refer to local mental

health services, and to the police if there is an immediate risk. We will consult with

Triratna’s ECA Safeguarding Team if necessary: safeguarding@triratna.community

Protecting those with psychological disorders - online

Buddhism and meditation are increasingly taught using online media. In person, it is

relatively easy to notice where a person may have compromised mental health; online

it is much more difficult. We recognise that among those seeking individual online

guidance from members of the Triratna Buddhist Order there may be some reporting

meditation experiences which are an indication of serious psychological disorder.

In engaging in individual guidance online by email, blog, social media or text we will

take great care at the start to establish with local Order members the identity, location

and suitability of the participant, and which local Order members are available locally

to support them in person and gaining permission to contact those Order members if

we believe they are at risk. (This does not apply where the participant is an Order

member and therefore well known to us.)

Responding to children online

With anyone under 18, we will not engage in personal communication online or via

social media.

DBS checks /security checks

If in any doubt about the requirements for DBS checks our Safeguarding officer will

check with external Safeguarding experts such as Thirtyone:eight

(www.thirtyoneeight.org) to ensure that anyone required to have a DBS check has

been checked, and to the correct level. Thirtyone:eight also provide an online DBS

checking service.

It is regarded as good practice that any DBS certificate should be less than three

years old.

The core team (Mitras or Order members, paid or voluntary) directly responsible for

any York Buddhist Centre activity or event specifically intended and advertised for

adults likely to be more vulnerable to influence, exploitation or mistreatment can, and

therefore must, have an Enhanced DBS check with check of Barred Registers.

In the case of York Buddhist Centre this means that at present we do not run any such

activities but will keep this under review in case this should change.

DBS checks for addiction recovery meetings

However, it has been agreed with the DBS Service by the 12-Step Movement that no

DBS checks are needed for 12-Step meetings. This applies only to meetings run

formally as 12-Step meetings, because they are co-facilitated by the participants and

have no leadership. We do not run 12 step or similar meetings at York Buddhist

Centre, but if at any time 12-Step meetings take place on our premises we will take

care to clarify that Mitras and Order members taking part in such meetings are not

seen as leading and do not behave as such and that these meetings are self-help

groups held on our premises but not part of our programme of activities.

DBS checks may be required for those leading 8-Step meetings or other recovery

programmes which are not part of the 12-Step Movement, and which are run as part

of our programme of activities.

Where those running an activity can, and therefore must, have DBS checks, we will

require anyone helping with such activities (paid or voluntary) who has not been DBS

checked to be supervised at all times by someone who is DBS checked.

DBS checks are not required for those running general activities which adults with

mental health difficulties or in addiction recovery (for example) may happen to attend.

Managing those who pose a risk to others

There may be cases where it is known that a person attending our activities is likely to

pose a risk to others (for example, a person who is known to have a previous criminal

conviction for sexual or other violent offences, or someone who is under investigation

for possible sexual or other violent offences).

Such a person will be asked by the Safeguarding Officer to agree a behaviour

contract setting out the terms of their continued participation in York Buddhist Centre

activities within agreed boundaries and based on a risk assessment carried out by an

Order member with professional experience in risk assessment. If our Safeguardingofficer is not qualified to do this we will ask for help from the ECA Safeguarding team

or another professionally qualified Order member. (See the document ‘Managing

those who pose a risk 2021’.)

Where it is felt that the Centre does not have the resources to manage this

relationship safely, we reserve the right to ask the person not to attend our activities.

Lettings / hire outs

Our Centre does not generally rent out its premises for use by other groups.

However in any instance where the premises are let out to other groups - even if they

are led / run by a member of our sangha, we understand that there is joint

responsibility on our Centre and those renting/using our premises for the

safeguarding of children and adults taking part in such activities, but that our Trustees

bear ultimate responsibility for the safeguarding in all activities on our premises.

Therefore, we will ask the organisation or individual using our premises to sign a

lettings agreement which says they have read our Safeguarding Policies and agree to

abide by them, or that they have shown us their own Safeguarding Policy, in which

case their policy should be compatible with our own policy and should be written to an

equal or higher standard.

Our Safeguarding responsibility to our landlord

York Buddhist Centre rents premises belonging to Shakyapada Jenny Roberts. As is

good practice we have shown them our Safeguarding policies and will share them

again each time the policies are updated.

What is ‘abuse’?

‘Abuse’ is not a legal term, but covers a number of ways in which a person may be

deliberately harmed (legally or illegally), usually by someone who is in a position of

power, trust or authority over them, or who may be perceived by that person to be in a

position of power, trust or authority over them; for example, by a Friend, Mitra or

Order member who is helping to run York Buddhist Centre activities for those newer to

such activities.

The harm may be physical, psychological or emotional, or it may exploit the

vulnerability of the person in more subtle ways. However, harm can also occur less

consciously, through naivety, idealism or lack of awareness.

Types of abuse

See Appendix 1.

Signs of abuse

See Appendix 2

If you have a concern

All allegations or suspicions should be taken seriously and reported to York Buddhist

Centre’s Safeguarding Officer:

Shakyapada shakyapada@schnoo.co.uk

What to do if an adult alleges abuse

We understand that we need to:

• stay calm.

• listen patiently.

• reassure the person they are doing the right thing by telling you.

• clarify issues of confidentiality early on. We will make it clear that we may have to

discuss their concerns with others, on a strictly need-to-know basis, if at all possible,

with their permission. (See below.)

• explain what you are going to do.

• write a factual account of what you have seen and heard, immediately.

We will do our best to avoid

• appearing shocked, horrified, disgusted or angry.

• pressing the individual for details.

• making comments or judgements other than to show concern. Your responsibility is

to take them seriously, not to decide whether what they are saying is true.

• promising to keep secrets.

• confronting the alleged perpetrator.

• risking contaminating the evidence by investigating matters yourself.

What we will do next

• We understand that our first concern must be the safety and wellbeing of this person

and that we must not be distracted from this by loyalty to the person who has been

accused or a desire to maintain the good name of Triratna or our charity.

• If the person receiving the disclosure is not our Safeguarding officer, they must tell

the Safeguarding officer only, who will co-ordinate the handling of the matter on behalf

of the charity’s trustees. However, if the Safeguarding officer is not immediately

available the matter should be communicated to the Chair of the charity, or the

Safeguarding trustee. If the person may be in immediate danger the Safeguarding

officer, Chair, Safeguarding trustee or person receiving the disclosure will phone

social services or police straight away. A telephone referral will be confirmed in writing

within 24 hours.

If necessary, our Safeguarding officer will contact Triratna’s ECA Safeguarding team

for advice: safeguarding@triratna.community

• We understand that every person has a legal right to privacy under the International

Convention on Human Rights and data protection legislation; therefore if possible we

need to get the person’s consent to share the information they have given us, within

the limits described here and below

• However, it may be necessary, and therefore legally ‘reasonable’, to pass on

information without their consent if a child is at risk of harm, the adult is at immediate

risk of harm once they leave your company and/or a crime has been or is about to be


• Meanwhile, the person receiving the disclosure will make detailed factual notes

about the conversation/concern/incident as soon as possible, including time, date and

location, and pass them to the charity’s Safeguarding officer. (See ‘Secure,confidential record-keeping’ below.) As far as possible what the person has said

should be recorded in their own words, as these could be used in court.

•We understand that no sangha member should attempt to investigate a criminal

allegation, that this is the job of the police and that to attempt this could prejudice a

court case and put the parties in danger.

Finally, in England and Wales we understand that we may need to make a Serious

Incident Report to the Charity Commission:


We will consult the ECA Safeguarding team for guidance on this:


Who else needs to know?

We understand that confidentiality, sharing information only on a need-to-know basis,

is very important. Under data protection legislation nobody has a right to know about a

case – except, for Safeguarding purposes, those in a position to prevent further harm,

and our Chair, who holds ultimate responsibility for the governance of the charity.

For example, where there is a criminal allegation against a Mitra it could be justifiable

for the Safeguarding officer, Safeguarding trustee, Chair and Mitra convenor to know

about it.

This is not a matter of concealment but is intended to protect all concerned from

further harm. It will also protect our sangha from fear, rumour and disharmony which

will make it much harder to deal with the matter effectively without causing further


Secure, confidential record-keeping

We understand our responsibility for secure and careful record-keeping. Our

Safeguarding Officer will keep a detailed log of all safeguarding-related incidents as

well as conversations, actions and the reasoning behind them. These can be stored

on the Charity’s computer, only if in a password protected section accessible only to

the Safeguarding Officer and one or two others approved by our Trustees.

If this is not practicable, we will keep them on an external hard drive or memory stick.

To guard against loss in case the files, hard drive or memory stick become corrupted

these can be backed up to another hard drive or memory stick and / or printed off. Any

such memory sticks, hard drives and paper copies will be stored in a locked cabinet,

box or drawer accessible only to the Safeguarding Officer and one or two others

approved by our Trustees.

We understand that such records must not be stored on individuals’ own private

computers. We also understand that under Data Protection law we need to word our

records in a form we would be happy for the subjects to read if they ask to, as is their

legal right. This means notes should be factual and respectful, free of interpretations

and value-judgements.

Keeping confidential records

We understand that because many abuse cases come to light 30 or more years later

our insurers may require us to keep our logs for up to 50 years. (This is a requirement

of the UK’s Buddhist Insurance Scheme). If our Charity closes down, we will give ourrecords to another Triratna Buddhist Centre / Charity to keep with their own

confidential Safeguarding Logs.

Reviewing our policies annually

This document was adopted by the trustees of Triratna Buddhist Community (York)

meeting as York Buddhist Centre on 19/04/2021

and will be reviewed and updated by the Safeguarding officer and trustees Triratna Buddhist Community (York) meeting as

York Buddhist Centre, on or before 19/04/2022.

Chair’s name: Shakyapada

email address: shakyapada@schnoo.co.uk

Chair's signature………………………………………………………………………..

Safeguarding Officer's name: Shakyapada

email address: shakyapada@schnoo.co.uk

Safeguarding Officer's signature:………………………………………………………

Safeguarding Contact’s name: Kathryn Readman

email address:kathrynreadman@googlemail.com

Safeguarding Contact’s signature…………………………………………………………



1. Definitions of abuse in adults

As defined in the UK Care Act 2014, Safeguarding duties apply to an adult who

• has need for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of

those needs) and;

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

• 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.

Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication,

restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional

abuse; so called ‘honour-based’ violence.

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.

Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment,

deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion,

harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified

withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in

relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with

wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation

of property, possessions or benefits.

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.

Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment;

because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or


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.

Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical

care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or

educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication,

adequate nutrition and heating.

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.

Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more.2. Signs of abuse in adults

Physical abuse

• History of unexplained falls, fractures, bruises, burns, minor injuries.

• Signs of under or over use of medication and/or medical problems left unattended.

• Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them

• Bruising and discolouration - particularly if there is a lot of bruising of different ages

and in places not normally exposed to falls, rough games etc.

• Recurring injuries without plausible explanation

• Loss of hair, loss of weight and change of appetite

• Person flinches at physical contact &/or keeps fully covered, even in hot weather;

• Person appears frightened or subdued in the presence of a particular person or


Domestic violence

• Unexplained injuries or ‘excuses’ for marks or scars

• Controlling and/or threatening relationship including psychological, physical, sexual,

• financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour-based’ violence and Female Genital


Sexual abuse

• Pregnancy in a woman who lacks mental capacity or is unable to consent to sexual


• Unexplained change in behaviour or sexually explicit behaviour

• Torn, stained or bloody underwear and/or unusual difficulty in walking or sitting

• Infections or sexually transmitted diseases

• Full or partial disclosures or hints of sexual abuse:

• Self-harming

• Emotional distress

• Mood changes

• Disturbed sleep patterns

• Psychological abuse

• Alteration in psychological state e.g. withdrawn, agitated, anxious, tearful

• Intimidated or subdued in the presence of a carer

• Fearful, flinching or frightened of making choices or expressing wishes

• Unexplained paranoia

• Changes in mood, attitude and behaviour, excessive fear or anxiety

• Changes in sleep pattern or persistent tiredness

• Loss of appetite

• Helplessness or passivity

• Confusion or disorientation• Implausible stories and attention seeking behaviour

• Low self-esteem

Financial or material abuse

• Disparity between assets and living conditions

• Unexplained withdrawals from accounts or disappearance of financial documents or

loss of money

• Sudden inability to pay bills, getting into debt

• Carers or professionals fail to account for expenses incurred on a person’s behalf

• Recent changes of deeds or title to property

• Missing personal belongings

• Inappropriate granting and / or use of Power of Attorney

Modern slavery

• Physical appearance; unkempt, inappropriate clothing, malnourished

• Movement monitored, rarely alone, travel early or late at night to facilitate working


• Few personal possessions or ID documents

• Fear of seeking help or trusting people

Discriminatory abuse

• Inappropriate remarks, comments or lack of respect

• Poor quality or avoidance care

• Low self-esteem

• Withdrawn

• Anger

• Person puts themselves down in terms of their gender or sexuality

• Abuse may be observed in conversations or reports by the person of how they

perceive themselves

Institutional Abuse

• Low self-esteem

• Withdrawn

• Anger

• Person puts themselves down in terms of their gender or sexuality

• Abuse may be observed in conversations or reports by the person of how they

perceive themselves

• No confidence in complaints procedures for staff or service users.

• Neglectful or poor professional practice.

Neglect and acts of omission

• Deteriorating despite apparent care

• Poor home conditions, clothing or care and support.

• Lack of medication or medical intervention


• Hoarding inside or outside a property

• Neglecting personal hygiene or medical needs

• Person looking unkempt or dirty and has poor personal hygiene

• Person is malnourished, has sudden or continuous weight loss and is dehydrated –

constant hunger, stealing or gorging on food

• Person is dressed inappropriately for the weather conditions

• Dirt, urine or faecal smells

• Home environment does not meet basic needs (for example heating or lighting)

• Depression

3. What is ‘mental capacity’?

Whether a person has mental capacity is a matter of specialist assessment by social

and mental health services.

However, it may be useful to know something about it.

Mental capacity is the ability to make a particular decision. An adult may be at risk if

they are unable to make a decision due to illness, disability, poor mental health,

dementia, a learning disability or something else that may impair their judgement.

A person may be deemed to be ‘without capacity’ if they cannot:

• understand the decision

• retain the information

• weigh up the information

• communicate their decision

About matters such as

• finance

• social care

• medical treatment