Safety, safeguarding and whistleblowing

Safety is at the heart of everything we do. To minimise the risks we focus on prevention.

This starts with selecting the appropriate places to work, all the way through to educating and empowering our volunteers to understand and use risk management in everything they do. However, just like in everyday life, accidents can still occasionally happen. Our Safety Management Systems are robust, practical, and effective. Most importantly they are tried and tested for over 30 years.

This page aims to make you aware of the risks and to give you confidence about Raleigh’s approach to prevention.

Raleigh’s safety systems are externally accredited

Raleigh International has always endeavoured to be at the forefront of the development of systems and procedures to ensure a safe environment for our volunteers, staff and target groups. Nominated by our peers in the sector, Raleigh contributed to the formation of the British Standard for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities, outside of the United Kingdom.

All of Raleigh’s systems enable us to deliver our Expedition programmes against the British Standard, called BS8848. Every year we are externally audited to confirm our conformity to the standard by an independent body. Raleigh uses the Young Explorer’s Trust (YET) as a competent, external and independent “other party” assessor of our conformity to British Standard BS 8848:2014. The assessment includes a sampling process for verification, but all ventures are subject to self-assessment in accordance with the standard. YET is not acting, of itself, as the arbiter of the quality of provision, but assesses provision by Raleigh against the standard to give assurance of good management practice.

Access to security information and networks

Raleigh has a permanent presence in each of the countries that we operate in, comprising of full time staff, our own office and a vehicle fleet. This presence enables us to ensure that we have the latest advice regarding any potential issues, despite the need being very unlikely.

We have good working relationships with National Governments where we operate, as well as representatives of foreign governments such as the British High Commission or Embassy. We regularly consult with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to gain further information on their latest advice. Our networks also extend to medical facilities, military services and transport agencies, ensuring that we are able to handle any situation as swiftly as possible.

If you wish to keep up to date yourself on the latest travel advice for the country you intend to volunteer in, visit the FCO advice page.

Risk assessment and casualty evacuation planning

Raleigh conducts risk assessments and casualty evacuation training at both a country level and specifically for every site that our volunteers work at. We have crisis management plans in place for every eventuality, and we regularly carry-out internal assessments of our preparedness. Our full-time staff and volunteer programme leaders visit all relevant medical facilities in advance to ensure that we know what options are available should an incident occur.

Experienced In-country staff and volunteer management team

Our full-time staff team in each country are highly experienced, committed and resourceful individuals who have been selected and trained by us to ensure they uphold our high standards of safety whilst achieving the organisation’s objectives.

This full-time team is supported by volunteer programme leaders undertaking both support roles in our office and leading project teams on the ground. They are selected from a range of backgrounds all with basic broad skills, plus more specific skills for some roles. This includes a team of medical professionals. Additional medical support is provided by all project staff who are first aid trained. Where necessary we recruit volunteer managers who have technical or recognised national governing body qualifications to run adventurous activities, such as trekking.

Safety training for all volunteers

All volunteers received comprehensive training. This includes health and safety, risk management, crisis management planning, first aid, use of safety equipment, communications equipment and safe use of tools & equipment.

We provide all Raleigh volunteers and leaders with the required safety equipment. These might include helmets, protective goggles, GPS receivers and communications equipment.

Daily communications with all teams

All of our project teams are supported to ensure that they have more than sufficient options to communicate with our in country office. Every team has access to support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Communication methods vary from country to country, but all teams will have at least two methods of communication, which may be telephone landlines and/or mobiles or in more remote locations satellite phones and High Frequency radios. Our country teams also have access to support from our UK based Head Office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Comprehensive medical and personal accident insurance

We provide comprehensive medical and personal accident insurance cover for all volunteers.

In addition to providing the sort of cover you would expect from standard medical insurance, this gives Raleigh access to a medical assistance company that works with us to manage any serious medical issues, using local medical infrastructure and, if needed, repatriation to the volunteer’s home country.

Head Office Support 24 hours, 7 days a week

Raleigh’s Safety and International Operational Support Team in our Head Office is dedicated to the safe delivery of our programmes. The team have many years’ experience in providing safe activities in the environments that Raleigh operates in. The team also includes our Medical Coordination Manager, who is a registered nurse. Raleigh operates a 24 hour on call system to support our country teams but also for emergency contact by volunteers’ next of kin, while they are on placement. We can be reached out of hours via our switchboard. This team would also contact volunteers’ emergency contacts in the unlikely event we need to. At the application stage we ask all volunteers to give the contact details of two people who are responsible adults, able to take important calls in case of an emergency.

We are committed to safeguarding

Raleigh is committed to ensuring the health, safety, welfare and development of all young people with whom it works regardless of gender, age, stage of development, disability, sexual orientation, religion, culture or ethnicity.

All participants who take part in activities organised by us should enjoy taking part in these without fear of harm. We guide all staff and volunteers to show respect for and understanding of young people’s rights and their safety and welfare and by so doing, conduct themselves in a way that reflects our principles.

Everyone involved in Raleigh’s work is made aware of our policy and reporting structure, including staff, volunteers, community leadership and homestay families, and project partners. They are all trained in how to report any concerns they may have.

To find out more, read Raleigh’s safeguarding policy. If you have any safeguarding concerns, you can contact Raleigh confidentially via safeguarding@raleighinternational.org.

Code of Conduct

To ensure that all staff and volunteers comply with policies, they are trained in our Code of Conduct, and then required to sign it. They are then held to account in accordance with this code.

Read the Raleigh Code of Conduct

Feedback and Complaints

We’re always looking to improve the way we do things, and we welcome your feedback. Email us at info@raleighinternational.org

We take complaints very seriously and we see every complaint as an opportunity to improve our work. Read our complaints policy

Whistleblowing

“Whistleblowing” is the reporting of suspected misconduct, negligence or illegal acts. For example, this may include fraud, bribery, corruption, health and safety risks, sexual harassment, bullying or victimisation. A “Whistleblower” is the person who raises the concern relating to any of the above.

At Raleigh, the wrongdoing will typically be something you have witnessed, or suspect is happening/has happened while interacting with Raleigh volunteers or staff. If you have any genuine concerns, you should report it under this policy.

Whistleblowing is not the same as making a complaint. People who “blow the whistle” are raising an alert about an issue that might not directly affect them. Raleigh also has a complaints policy for people who want to raise an issue that affects them directly.

Download our whistleblowing policy.

To make a report, use the following email address: whistleblowing@raleighinternational.org

If reporting directly to Raleigh International does not feel appropriate, a confidential service is available via an external organisation called Safecall.  Safecall provides a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week service. Safecall can be contacted via a secure web portal: www.safecall.co.uk/report or on the following phone number: +44 191 516 7764. You will require international calling credit to access the phone number.  These reports, apart from those related to Safeguarding, will then be shared with Raleigh’s Head Office Whistleblowing point of contact, the Director of Finance & Corporate Services.

If you have any questions on safety...

Please contact the International Operational Support Manager on +44 (0) 20 7183 1270 or info@raleighinternational.org