Safeguarding Reports and Making Complaints

Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults

The Scout Association and Durham Scout County take the safety and safeguarding of our youth members and vulnerable adults very seriously and comply with all Charity Commission requirements in this area. We have established procedures to safeguard the welfare and safety of our youth members (Durham Scouts follows the national safeguarding policy, rules and guidelines of the Scout Association.)

Durham Scouts has an appointed Safeguarding Adviser responsible for providing specialist safeguarding and welfare guidance and support. Volunteer Line Managers (District Commissioners and the County Commissioner) have the responsibility to ensure that the national safeguarding policy, rules and guidelines of the Scout Association are followed locally. 

All of our volunteers undertake mandatory safeguarding training every three years, and must comply with our national safeguarding policy, rules and guidance (copies available on request).

Any safeguarding enquiries are led by the Scout Association's professional Safeguarding Team, working in conjunction with local statutory agencies, supported by local Situation Managers (District Commissioners and the County Commissioner).

If You have a Safeguarding Concern

As a parent or member of the public, if you have any concerns about the welfare or safeguarding of any young person in scouting, please contact your District Commissioner as soon as possible. If your concern is about any Scout County matters (including Moor House Adventure Centre), or you cannot contact your local District Commissioner please contact the County Commissioner as soon as possible.

If the matter is urgent and you cannot contact your District Commissioner or the County Commissioner, ring our national Safeguarding Team on (0345) 300 1818 or 0208 433 7164 (this includes an out-of-hours system for urgent calls). If a young person is at immediate risk of harm please call the police.

Members of local statutory agencies with safeguarding queries or concerns should contact our national Safeguarding Team directly, using the numbers above.

How We Deal with (non-Safeguarding) Complaints

The vast majority of our members and members of the public with whom we deal have fun and gain a great deal from their involvement with scouting.

However, from time to time things may not go as planned and there may occasionally be issues that either our members or our customers would like us to address.

As part of the Scout Association, Durham Scouts follow the Scout Association's complaints process. There is also a separate whistleblowing process for serious concerns. In summary:

  • We only consider complaints raised within three months of any issue occurring
  • We only address first party complaints (i.e. those that affect you directly, or your child, but not those raised on behalf of any third party)
  • We do not consider malicious or vexatious complaints, or those which are substantively the same as previous complaints
  • We do not usually investigate anonymous complaints (although anonymous safeguarding concerns will be investigated)

The first step in our complaints process is to try and resolve things informally and we would always encourage all parties to sit around the table and talk about what has happened - this works much better than e-mails, letters or phone calls and resolves most matters.

If you feel that this has failed and you wish to make a formal complaint, it should be addressed to the most local line manager as follows:

Complaint about: Complaint addressed to:
  • Something that happens in the Scout Group including
    • Beavers
    • Cubs
    • Scouts
the Group Scout Leader
  • Something that happens in the Explorer Scout Unit
the District Explorer Scout Commissioner
  • Something that happens in the Scout Network
the District Scout Network Commissioner
  • Something that happens elsewhere in the Scout District (e.g. at an event)
  • A Group Scout Leader
  • A District Team member
the District Commissioner
  • Moor House Adventure Centre
the Centre Manager
  • Something that happens elsewhere in the Scout County (e.g. at an event or competition)
  • A District Commissioner
  • A County Team member
the County Commissioner
  • The County Commissioner
the Regional Commissioner

Your complaint will then be investigated and if you are not happy with the outcome, there is a single right of appeal which must be made within 28 days of the outcome of the complaint being adjudicated.

If you're not sure who to address your complaint to, please e-mail and we'll let you know where to address your complaint.