A partnership between local infrastructure organisations has been formed to help charities across the region to protect vulnerable people.

Safer Culture North East, a partnership between Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE), Connected Voice, Northumberland CVA, Catalyst Stockton on Tees and Durham Community Action, will champion safeguarding and help charities across the region to embed best practice.

The group has been awarded £115K in funding by the National Lottery Community Fund (The Fund) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to deliver regular training sessions to voluntary organisations and work with local safeguarding networks. The project will also raise awareness of a new online safeguarding tool, launched last week, which offers charities a helpful step by step decision-making tool for those with concerns about someone’s conduct within their organisation.

Safer Culture North East is one of six partners to be appointed across England to share the tool and a freely-accessible suite of high-quality online resources provided by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), raising safeguarding awareness and standards as part of a joint £1.2 million DCMS and National Lottery Community Fund investment.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, VONNE’s Chair of Trustees Sir Paul Ennals CBE said:

“Ensuring the safety and security of people within our communities is our collective responsibility, and I’m proud that this partnership has been created to help ensure that voluntary sector organisations across our region can play their part in keeping children and vulnerable adults safe.

“Each member of the partnership has its own meticulous procedures and policies to protect those it serves, but by working together we can ensure that local voluntary groups are trained and supported in keeping people safe across the region, from north Northumberland right down to the south of the Tees Valley.”

Between now and the end of 2021, around 80 training courses will take place across the region. For further information about the partnership and its planned work, contact Anne Fry at anne.fry@vonne.org.uk or by calling 0191 233 2000.