About Safeguarding

Everybody has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances. It is up to us to create a caring environment which the health, safety and welfare of young people has been assessed and catered for.

Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people (up to 18 years) and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect, and ensuring that relationships of trust are not compromised. It is about preventing things from going wrong and having the right protocols and procedures in place in case they do. This is part of our statutory duty.

What are we safeguarding against?

Abuse or inappropriate relationships

Grooming (in person, online, by phone, etc.)

Inappropriate supervision (by parents or staff, e.g. too much)

Bullying, cyber-bullying

Self-harm, risky behaviour

Unsafe activities and environments

Accidents e.g. road, home


Fear of crime

  • Exploitation including financial, sexual exploitation
  • Immigration issues
  • Unsafe environments e.g. parks, sports grounds
  • Homelessness and unsuitable housing
  • Victimisation due to race, sexuality, faith, gender, disability and so on
  • Alcohol and drug misuse

Anything which causes you or us to be concerned that you or others might be at risk of significant harm…


  • Anything which is happening to you which is hurtful; emotionally or physically.
  • It could mean bullying, sexual abuse, physical attack, being forced to do something you don’t want to.
  • It could be at home, at college/ training, in the workplace, with friends, online, in the street; anywhere.
  • Eating disorders

If you need any further help or wish to discuss anything please contact myself Paula Vaughan or Eve Adams – we are both Designated Safeguarding Officers for Prostart.

Remember not everything will be referred on – only what needs to be.

Further reading….




Protect Yourself Online

Protect yourself online

Internet Trolling – what to do

What you need to know about online scams

The first step in being ‘scam aware’ is to understand the different ways that someone might be trying to scam you. Unfortunately, scams evolve quite quickly, and tricksters are skilled in adapting tactics that are easy to conceal or choose those with a high ‘strike rate’.

Luckily there are a few consistent themes in fraudulent scams that you should look out for:

  • Generally speaking, if it sounds too good to be true- it probably is.
  • Scenarios or alarming claims, news of threats that make you feel pressurised into acting.
  • Being asked for personal information or bank details- there is usually money involved.

Popular Scams

Scams take many forms and can range from door to door calls, or scammers contacting you online, via text or on the phone. There are also reports of scams via mail, below you will find some of the most common scams.

Bank Scams

Someone may call you and claim to be from your bank. They may inform you that there is a problem with your account and ask for information. Remember your bank will never ask you for your card PIN or will they suggest you transfer money to a ‘safe account’. If in doubt hang up and call your bank to verify the problem.

Compensation Calls

These can be calls from a company about an accident you have had, offering compensation. These aren’t always scams, but you should contact your insurance company if you have been in an accident.

Phishing emails/texts

This is when an email or message is used to trick you into providing personal information. You might receive a text or email claiming to be from your bank or other trusted provider like HMRC or your local council. Make sure you check the sender’s email address, it should match the official website of the provider e.g. info@hmrc.info will not be from hmrc.gov.uk.


A common trick used by scammers to redirect traffic from a legitimate website to a fake version where they can collect information. This is different from phishing because you are likely to be trying to access a real website, watch out for this tricky attempt. Often these websites will model the original but look low budget and may not have many pages. e.g. hmrc.gov.uk will never be hmrc.co.uk.

Romance Scams/Sextortion

This is when victims are groomed into false relationships by someone who aims to gain their trust, eventually stealing their money or accessing their personal information. A quick reverse image search of their profile picture will show you where else it has been used. Be aware of ‘things moving too fast’ and remember that personal or sensitive things you say or share (including images) could be used against you. If this happens, the emotional impact can be overwhelming. It’s illegal to blackmail people online, If this happens to you, you should contact the police immediately who will be able to help.

How to Protect Yourself from Scams

Personal Information

Protect yourself by limiting the amount of identifiable information that is made public or shared with close contacts on social media. Your personal information is highly valuable and sought after, and social media platforms even encourage us to share this on our profile.

Think: Are any of the answers to banking security questions listed on your Facebook profile e.g. where you studied, where you were born, when you got married or your mother’s name.

Be information aware

Always destroy any documents that contain personal information, you can shred them or bring them to work and use their shredder. There’s not a lot someone can do with your bank account and sort code, but this ‘puzzle piece’ can be combined with other information that is publicly available online to impersonate you.

Browse Safely

Keep your computer’s antivirus and firewall up to date, run regular scans and action updates immediately. These updates often include critical security patches to fix vulnerabilities within software you use. Don’t send or enter sensitive personal information on unsecured websites or networks. Reliable websites always start with HTTPS not HTTP (look out for the padlock beside the web address).

On the Phone

It’s easy to let your guard down if someone sounds confident on the phone, particularly when they ask you to confirm information. If someone calls and asks to speak to you, guard your personal information. Someone should not ask you to provide personal details to verify your identity- they called you.

Fraudsters aren’t always strangers

Be aware that not all fraud is committed by a stranger pretending to be you. Fraud can also be committed by close family and friends without your knowledge. Keeping an eye on your credit report means that you can verify all accounts and credit cards you hold.

Be aware of pressure

Scammers are likely to present a situation that needs your urgent attention, but banks and other providers will freeze accounts if there is a genuine problem. No one should ever pressurise you to reveal personal information or to make a quick decision. If this happens you should end the call and contact your bank or provider.

Use enhanced security options

Two factor authentication involves using a code generator or your phone number to verify your identity. This means even with your password a fraudster still needs access to an additional code and the extra layer of security can help you feel more confident.

Reporting Scams

Some of us are more vulnerable to scams and fraud, and support exists for victims of fraud. Action Fraud provide enhanced services including additional support, counselling and information for vulnerable victims, such as:

  • Anyone under the age of 17.
  • Anyone living with a mental health issue within the remit of the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • Anyone living with a mental health issue within the remit of the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • Anyone with a physical or mental impairment.

Where to report

You can report fraudulent scams to Action Fraud using their online reporting tool, or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.

To report fraud on behalf of a vulnerable person, you should make this clear to Action Fraud, so they receive the right support.

You can report scams to your local police by calling 101 (non-emergency), if you have been threatened, feel unsafe or have concerns about a young person you can call the police on 999 (emergency number).

You can forward information on fraudulent HMRC emails, texts and phone calls to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk or forward suspicious text messages to 60599.

Many other companies and statutory bodies have specialised teams who work to combat fraud. You can contact banks and companies you use to find out how you can report fraud.

You can also report any financial scams to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) using their online reporting form.