Soumik Datta Arts
Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

1. Key Personnel

The designated SDA Safeguarding Person is:

Oliver Carruthers, Executive Director

Tel: 07949 943309


The two designated SDA Deputy Safeguarding People and Board Representatives are:

Tana Wollen

Tel: 07810 378809


Alys Jones

Tel: 07891 323229


Document created by Oliver Carruthers, Executive Director September 2021

Document reviewed and updated by SDA Executive Team and the SDA Board September 2022

2. Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is to protect people from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Soumik Datta Arts.  

This includes harm arising from: 

The policy lays out the commitments made by Soumik Datta Arts, and informs staff and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. 

This policy does not cover safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by Soumik Datta Arts or associated personnel.


Context and mission

Soumik Datta Arts is a charity that delivers strong programmes of artist-led activities, bringing communities together to address urgent social and environmental issues. We

Since we started in 2013, thousands people across the world have engaged with SDA projects, hundreds of artists have been supported and hundreds of communities have participated in our projects.

SDA is governed by board of dynamic trustees who have defined the charity's purpose as a multi-arts engine to creates inclusive, innovative, provocative and ground-breaking projects through live and digital performances.

Over the next five years SDA is determined to create arts projects that help to build a more informed and empathetic society. We want to bring disparate communities together, bridge diversity gaps, address urgent environmental and social issues, promote exceptional talent from under-represented artist communities, empower and educate young people to participate creatively and reach widespread audiences through digital technologies and media through work that entertains and unites.

Soumik Datta Arts was established by sarod-virtuoso Soumik Datta and Sir David Green in 2013.

Policy remit

SDA is committed to the principle that all people who access SDA’s, performances, staff and resources, should be safe and protected from harm. Safeguarding is one of the key responsibilities for organisations working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. The purpose of this policy is to set out SDA’s position on the protection of all people, including children and vulnerable adults. The policy has been drafted in accordance with UK legislation and best practice around Safeguarding, however due to the international nature of SDA’s work we are committed to applying these principles and reporting processes in different contexts.

Safeguarding Statement: 

For the purposes of this policy the following DEFINITIONS apply:

3. Recognising common signs of abuse  

SDA is not an organisation whose primary function is safeguarding, nor do we generally work directly with children and vulnerable adults. Nevertheless, in the eventuality that our remit broadens or in the context of SDA undertaking any work with children and vulnerable adults, it is essential that good safeguarding practices are created and followed, that this policy and procedure are given the attention they deserve and that all SDA staff and associated personnel understand what to do to ensure we can take the right action at the right time. 

There are six main categories of abuse:

Every individual is unique, so behavioural signs of abuse will vary. In addition, the impact of abuse is likely to be influenced by the individual’s age, the nature, extent and setting of the abuse, and the help and support they receive. 

These are the categories of abuse, firstly applying to children and secondly to vulnerable adults, described in the current statutory guidance:


Adults with support/care needs (vulnerable adults):

NOTE: further guidance in relation to each of the above categories can be obtained from the following documents:

Every individual is unique, so behavioural signs and even physical signs of abuse will vary. In addition, the impact of abuse is likely to be influenced by the individual’s age, the nature and extent of the abuse, their care and support arrangements and the help they receive. 

However, there are some behaviours and signs that are commonly seen in those who have been abused:

The above signs should be seen as a possible indication of abuse and not as a confirmation. Changes in behaviour can be the result of a wide range of factors. 

Even visible signs such as bruising or other injuries cannot and should not be taken as proof of abuse. For example, some disabled children may show extreme changes in behaviour, or be more accident prone, as a result of their impairment. However, if you are concerned about an individual you have a responsibility to act on those concerns. See the Safeguarding Protection Referral Flowchart for more information and guidance about what to do.

4. SDA Live and Online activities

5. Code of Conduct for SDA staff and associated personnel

Codes of conduct are in place to protect all people including children and vulnerable adults but also to protect staff, trustees, artists and volunteers against misunderstandings. These practices ensure boundaries are not crossed and should be applied by all SDA staff and associated personnel.


Practices to be avoided: 

Practices never to be sanctioned. You should never:

6. Filming, Photography and Online projects

Consent and permission:

Use of images:

Online projects: 

7. Management of allegations against SDA staff and associated personnel 

SDA will take seriously any allegations that a member of staff, either paid or unpaid, has:

We have a duty of care to our staff and associated personnel and will ensure we provide effective support for anyone facing an allegation. We will provide any employee with a named contact if they are suspended. It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against any SDA staff and associated personnel is dealt with very quickly, in a fair and consistent way that provides effective safeguarding protection and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation. 

SDA staff and associated personnel should be aware that a serious allegation may result in: 

Resignations and "Compromise Agreements"
The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation, or ceases to provide their services, will not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with this policy. Every effort will be made to reach a conclusion in all cases of allegations, bearing in mind the safety or welfare of children, young people or vulnerable adults, including any in which the person concerned refuses to cooperate with the process.

Wherever possible the person will be given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations about it. The process of investigating the allegation and reaching a judgement about whether it can be regarded as substantiated will continue even if the person does not cooperate.

Similarly, so called "compromise agreements" by which a person agrees to resign, SDA agrees not to pursue disciplinary action, and both parties agree a form of words to be used in any future reference, will not be used in cases of alleged abuse. In any event, such an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where that is appropriate. Furthermore, it will not override the statutory duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for consideration of placing the person's name on the Barred List, where circumstances require that.

8. Recruitment  

Clear roles

Every member of staff or volunteer who comes into contact with children or vulnerable adults will receive a written description of the work they are expected to do. This description will include amongst other things:

Recruitment and selection

All paid staff and volunteers involved with working with children and vulnerable adults will be treated as applicants for a post. As a consequence they will be asked to complete an application form. This will contain as a minimum:

All applicants for paid or voluntary work with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check. 

Before the appointment of any applicant for a paid or voluntary position is confirmed, two written references will be obtained

9. Listening to and reporting concerns  


A child or vulnerable person may try to tell you directly about abuse. It is very important to listen carefully and respond sensitively. Again, with limited contact with children it is unlikely that you would be in this position. Remember, it is NOT your responsibility to decide if someone is being abused. Your role is to ACT on any concerns you may have and REPORT those concerns.

If a child, young person or vulnerable adult tries to talk to you about something that is worrying them, it is important to listen carefully and respond sensitively:

Please refer to the Safeguarding and protection referral flowchart. 

If you have serious concerns about the immediate safety of the child or vulnerable adult and believe that any delay may cause serious risk of harm contact the police or social services. Record the name of the person you spoke to and make a report to the safeguarding officer.


Please refer to the Safeguarding and protection referral chart (below) should you need to report an incident or concern. It is important to start a dialogue with the safeguarding officer at the earliest opportunity if you have any concerns so that an informed decision about how to proceed is reached quickly. You do not have to await ‘proof’ before sharing concerns – children’s social services and/or the police have the role of looking at the evidence and forming judgements about intervention. SDA is committed to ensure that anyone reporting will be able to do so safely and in confidence, without fear or reprisal.


Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation of abuse is being investigated/considered. We will ensure information you share is accurately recorded and only shared with people who have a professional need to see it. Information will be stored securely. SDA expects that where safeguarding concerns arise in relation to a member of SDA staff, a volunteer or contractor that a report of that concern will be made in accordance with the SDA safeguarding policy and this procedure to the designated safeguarding officer. Such concerns will be reported where required to the statutory authorities in the same way as other concerns, and the support of the employee and any other actions necessary, will be co-ordinated by the designated safeguarding officer.

The following table includes all members of SDA freelance staff, artist collaborators, participants, educational organisations and venue staff with whom the company will interact.


Responsibilities with Safeguarding

DBS required

Board member

To report any serious allegation or incidences to the Charities Commission or DSL within partner venue


Named Board member responsible for Safeguarding

Tana Wollen and Alys Jones will be the named Board members responsible for dealing with all Safeguarding matters relating to SDA


Artistic Director, SDA

To ensure full compliance with company Safeguarding Policy and to ensure it is embedded in all aspects of SDA activity. To report any incidents or concerns to the Safeguarding Officer


Executive Director, SDA

Oliver Carruthers as Executive Director is Lead on Safeguarding for the organisation. Be the first point of contact for all staff and visitors to go for advice if they are concerned about a child or vulnerable adult. Take necessary action to report and record any concerns.

Ensure that Safeguarding policy and procedures are constantly updated in line with recent guidelines. Ensure compliance with company policy and procedures with all SDA staff and freelance artists. Ensure system of reporting incidents or concerns are clear within the company and with those joining learning or participatory activities.


Freelance artistic staff

Check all DBS certificates from freelance staff and artists who may collaborate or work for the company when delivering activities with children, young people and vulnerable adults.


Volunteers, Work experience placements and participants

Ensure all volunteers who work with children and young people on behalf of the company are informed and comply with Safeguarding policy and procedures.

Check DBS certificates for all who may be chaperoning or looking after children and young people.

Ensure permission and media consent forms are signed by parent/ guardians if under 18 or signed by the young people themselves if over 18.


10. Dissemination 

It is essential that this policy is regularly reviewed and circulated to ensure that all staff, volunteers, artists, trustees and partners are aware of the policy. 

Accordingly, SDA will:

11. Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only. 

This includes the following people: 

Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser. 

Any information will be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure). For the purposes of this policy, that information will be stored electronically by the Safeguarding Officer, and not shared with anyone other than the people itemised above. Information will be stored for the duration of an investigation into an allegation and will be deleted six months after the safeguarding case has been closed.

words + imagery + code © Soumik Datta Arts, 2022