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Safety on Expedition

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Our Safety Guide for Raleigh Expeditions


Experienced staff and volunteer management team

Our Expedition staff teams are highly experienced, committed and resourceful individuals who have been selected and trained to ensure they uphold Raleigh’s high standards of safety. Groups will have local management with them to guide them on culture and safety.

Every programme also has a dedicated team of Volunteer Managers who support with on the ground safe delivery of our programmes. Our Volunteer Managers are selected from a range of backgrounds. All must pass our standard assessment process, and some are assessed against additional specific criteria (depending on the role) and be required to have Wilderness First Aid and Mental Health First Aid, or equivalent qualifications.

We also utilis local medical expertise where available to ensure emergency care is delivered in the shortest possible time (this includes transportation to a hospital)

Risk assessment and planning for emergencies

We conduct risk assessments of all our project locations and activities prior to volunteers arriving on programme. We also prepare emergency evacuation plans for each project location. We regularly update our hospital databases and know which hospitals we will use if we need them. We have crisis management plans in place, so we are ready to respond to any type of serious incident.

All our Volunteer Managers and Volunteers are trained in how to assess risk and what to do in an emergency as part of their induction training.

Training for all Volunteer Managers and Volunteers

All our Volunteer Managers and volunteers receive comprehensive training as part of their programme induction. We equip volunteers with the confidence and knowledge to take their own responsibility for their safety. Topics such as risk assessment and management, health and well-being on programme (including safeguarding procedures), safe use of tools & equipment, and what to do in an emergency.

We provide participants with any safety equipment required for project activities. This might include PPE such as helmets or protective goggles, and communications equipment such as Satellite phones or GPS devices.

Daily communications

Our Expedition offices maintain daily contact with all our volunteer teams on the projects. Teams are provided with mobile or satellite phones so they can contact us.

We have office-based roles dedicated to providing daily support directly to the Volunteer Managers on project site. Their role is to provide advice and guidance in relation to things such as project work and activities, health & safety considerations, and any volunteer support needs.

Communications with Next of Kin will be managed by a Volunteer Coordinator.

Emergency Incident Management – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

All volunteers on programme are trained in who and how to contact in an emergency situation. In addition, we also provide additional support through our UK office.

We offer a 24/7 emergency phone support to Expedition staff teams, as well as for volunteers’ next of kin whilst they are on programme. The team are also responsible for communicating with volunteers’ emergency contacts (next of kin) in the unlikely event we need to. At the application stage, we ask all volunteers to give the contact details of someone who we are able to contact for them in case of an emergency.

Who to call in an emergency

For family and friends of volunteers on programme: our Volunteer Journey Team is available during UK office hours (Monday – Friday) via our main switchboard on +443331886732.

Emergency contact number in South Africa: +27 (82) 5560 163

All volunteers will be trained in their programme induction about who they should contact in an emergency and how to do it.