• SAFE TO TRUST – A document looking at ways to protect children and young people


Date Reviewed: 29th July 2015

Code of Conduct

Practical Guide for all who participate in activities of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK [HSS UK]

Background to the Guide
We are part of multicultural and diverse society, and HSS UK promotes respect for all regardless of ethnic background, age, gender, health, disability, sexuality, family circumstances, and religious/cultural beliefs. This is essential for a harmonious and cohesive society.

Statement of Intent

HSS UK Code of Conduct is guided by the Sanskaars (values) enshrined in the Sangh Prarthana (Sangh prayer).

All Swayamsevaks/Sevikas (Members) and guests/speakers at HSS UK activities are reminded to adhere to and promote those values highlighted in the Sangh Prarthana, such as:

  • Good character worthy of respect by others, “Sushilam Lokapujitham
  • Noble virtues of service to humanity,  “Tyaga Seva Vratasyasam
  • Promoting Dharmic values, “Vishwa Dharma Prakashena”,
  • Promoting cohesive and harmonious living “Vishwashanti Pravartake
  • Respect for environment, “Namamo Bhumi Mataram

Actions to Follow

We expect our Swayamsevaks/Sevikas, to:

  • Adhere to and promote the spirit of HSS UK Code of Conduct.
  • Make every effort to correct any deviation of the Code of Conduct at the earliest opportunity or report it to Adhikaris (leaders) of HSS UK for further action.
  • Report any criminal activities or gross misconduct to the Karyawaha (secretary)
    of HSS UK.
  • Inform our guests/speakers of HSS UK Code of Conduct guidelines and request
    them to adhere to it.This Code of Conduct was adopted at KKM meeting of HSS UK held on  14th June 2015.


  1. Background to the Policy

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) recognises that many individuals and groups experience oppression, disadvantage, discrimination and harassment in one or more aspects of their lives. This denies them basic human rights and an equal chance to access information, services and opportunities.

This policy is designed to raise awareness of the issues that affect people’s lives and to encourage our organisation to work in ways that challenge the effects of oppression, disadvantage, discrimination and harassment.

  1. Statement of Intent

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh(U.K.) acknowledges that there are many issues which affect opportunities for people in United Kingdom, especially in relation to ethnicity, age, gender, health, disability, sexuality, family circumstances and other discriminating factors. We also recognise the barriers that exist which prevent their participation in the services and opportunities we seek to provide.

We are committed to: –

  • Offering services and opportunities that are free from prejudice and discrimination and strive for equality of opportunity for all people.
  • Opposing unjust discrimination and to take positive action to promote and extend opportunities for those individuals and groups who are affected by oppression, disadvantage, discrimination and harassment.
  • Acknowledging and using our best endeavours to address the specific needs of all people who wish to or are likely to have a call on our services and facilities.
  • Recognising the need to ensure equality of opportunity in what we offer to individuals and groups, in the management of our organisation and in employment practices.
  • Targeting groups and individuals who suffer disadvantage as a priority even where resources are scarce.
  • Examining and monitoring our services and working practices to ensure that policies are working in practice.
  • Recruiting staff, volunteers and committee members solely on their ability to do through the job through the use of fair recruitment and selection practices


A. Background to the Policy / Code of Practice

Hindu swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) believes that the greatest single resource, which we have, is our staff, volunteers and committee members (referred to ‘Our Personnel’ in this document).

The Policy / Code of Practice makes clear our commitment to the development, implementation and monitoring of the appropriate arrangements to help our personnel to succeed in their work, to progress, and to receive fair consistent support and treatment from us.

B. Statement of Intent

We will: –

  • Ensure that we have in place and implement appropriate arrangements for the induction of Our Personnel.

These arrangements will cover issues such as meeting key people/contacts, being introduced to policies and information, getting to know the locality and ensuring time for our personnel to gather their thoughts, absorb new information and get to know their responsibilities.

  • Ensure that we maintain up to date records about Our Personnel.

For example records relating to relevant qualifications shall be kept by the branch Karyawaha (Secretary)

  • Ensure that all our personnel are appointed subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period.

Probationary period affords our organisation a full opportunity to judge that the newly appointed member of personnel is capable of undertaking her/his role and that we provide all appropriate information and support to give him/her the best possible opportunity to achieve this.

  • Ensure that all our personnel receive supervision and where appropriate the opportunity for a non-managerial supervision.

We will make sure that our personnel have the right to supervision at appropriate intervals. This should not be seen as a casual meeting or conversation, such supervision should be structured but informal and seen as a process of two way communication and as a joint responsibility. Non-managerial supervision may, on occasions be necessary – for example to afford a member of our personnel access to specialist support, which the supervisor cannot offer.

  • Ensure that we operate fair and consistent procedures for grievance and disciplinary procedures.

This will include making sure that the individual member of our personnel who may be subject to either of these procedures has the opportunity for representation by an individual or organisation of his/her choice.


The Health and Safety Policy is intended to provide a practical framework for the implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all relevant legislation which establishes the minimum standards.

The Nagar (City/Area) Karyawaha(Secretary) will be responsible for the Health and Safety Policy of the Organisation through management and other arrangements will, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure the health, safety and welfare of all volunteers, service users and other persons who may be affected by the organisations operations.

We recognise that it is unlikely that this policy will be successful unless it actively involves all volunteers, service users and other persons likely to be affected by our work.

It is the duty of every employee and volunteers to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, their fellow employees, volunteers or any third party who may be affected by their actions at work and to co-operate fully to enable us to carry out responsibilities for health and safety successfully.

It is our Policy, so far as reasonably practicable, to:

  • Ensure the maintenance of sites, buildings and work equipment to a reasonably safe level.
  • Comply with legal requirements, Codes of Practice and safe working procedure.
  • Recommend as appropriate the provision of facilities to meet the requirement of the Policy.
  • Promote a safe working culture, which positively encourages safe working in all aspects of our work.
  • Notify in writing all employees and volunteers their legal health and safety responsibilities and encourage compliance.
  • Provide where necessary, appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure as far as practicable the health and safety of all employees, volunteers, service users and third parties.
  • Encourage compliance with all Policy arrangements, safety rules, and regulations through discussion, consultation and communication.
  • Provide relevant health and safety information to employees, staff representatives and user groups.
  • Provide and maintain a suitable accident reporting procedure, encourage and promote the reporting of accidents, and facilitate appropriate subsequent investigation.
  • Consider at planning and contract stages means of eliminating/reducing risk of injury and damage.
  • Ensure that no charge is levied on any employee, volunteer or service user in respect of anything done or provided in respect of health and safety legislation and requirements.
  • Liase with the Health and Safety Executive, Government Departments, and other relevant external agencies.
  • Ensure the safe handling storage and transport of hazardous articles and substances.
  • Formulate affective procedures for use in the event of fire and other emergencies.
  • Ensure that this Policy and any Code of Practice/Guidance resulting from it are kept under regular review.

Safe to Trust

A document looking at ways to protect children and young people who attend


Section 1:      Introduction

Clarification of terms

Policy Statement

Section 2:      Good Practice Guidelines

Section 3:      Selection and responsibilities of workers

Section 4:      Procedures to follow.


Section 1


It is a privilege to work with children and young people; it is also a great responsibility. Parents trust us to look after their children, and to care for them, give leadership, and keep them safe. We need to ensure that we honour their trust.

The Home Office has produced a set of recommendations and guidelines to give all voluntary groups a framework for action to promote children’s welfare and to prevent abuse in various forms taking place. It is called “Safe From Harm”. It’s recommendations and guidelines do not have the force of law, but identify the steps that should be taken to safeguard everyone under the age of 18 who is involved in activities with a voluntary organisation.

The purpose of this document is:

  • to make sure that children in our care are protected from harm;
  • to respond appropriately should abuse be discovered or disclosed;
  • to give guidance on avoiding situations where a worker’s actions may be misunderstood (this last point is concerned with protecting both children and workers from false allegations).


Clarification of Terms:

Titles used by different groups vary. For the purposes of this document, the following terms are used:

Worker: anyone engaged in children’s or young people’s work, whether paid or voluntary;

Leader: anyone who has supervisory, organisational or decision making responsibilities;

Children/Young People: those under the age of 18.


In this document, four different types of abuse are referred to. These are:

Physical Abuse: where children’s bodies are hurt or injured;

Emotional Abuse: where children do not receive love and affection, may be frightened by threats or taunts, or are given responsibilities beyond their years;

Sexual Abuse: where adults (and sometimes other children) use children to satisfy their sexual desires;

Neglect: where adults persistently fail to care for children and protect them from danger, seriously impairing health and development.

Policy Statement:

“This statement was agreed at a meeting of HinduSwayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) on 2nd November 2003. It will be reviewed each year.

  • “As members of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.), we commit ourselves to the protection and safekeeping of all young people for whom we care in our activities.
  • “It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children and young people and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
  • “We recognise that our work with children and young people is the responsibility of the whole management of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.).
  • We are committed to the provision of resources for those who work with children and young people and to providing suitable and adequate supervision.
  • All workers must be familiar with this document, and agree to support the principles and guidance in it. Each will be given their own copy of it.

Section 2

Good Practice Guidelines:

  1. a) Good Practice with Children and Young People:

We will ensure that:

  • this guidance is displayed in the premises of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) that are used for work with children and young people, together with contact details for children’s helplines, such as Childline, or the NSPCC Helpline;
  • at least two workers will conduct any children’s and young people’s activity.
  • as far as possible, a worker will not be alone with a child;
  • if privacy or confidentiality are required, another worker should be told, doors should be left open and the worker and child should be checked on periodically, the child should be told about this arrangement;
  • access to and from the building should be safe and well lit.


The worker will:

  • treat all young people with respect and dignity without discrimination;
  • be careful with speech, tone of voice, and body language;
  • respect the privacy of children, e.g. when toiletting;
  • avoid games whose rules do not prevent the possibility of physical aggression, or inappropriate touching;
  • refrain from any sexually suggestive comments, ridiculing, or rejection of a child or young person, even in fun;
  • avoid inappropriate touching of any form; exercise caution if comforting an injured or distressed child;
  • avoid all situations where he/she is alone with a group exclusively of the opposite sex; a second worker of the same sex as the group must be present;
  • learn to control children without using physical contact, or aggressive or intimidating behaviour;
  • make sure another adult is present if, for example, a child has soiled his or her clothes and needs assistance with washing or a change of clothes;
  • not let children or young people involve him or her in excessively attention seeking behaviour, especially if it is of an overtly sexual or physical nature;
  • not invite a child or young person to his or her home without another adult being present;
  • make sure that parents know where their child is, and obtain written parental consent for non-routine events, such as trips;
  • avoid, where possible, giving lifts to individual children; if this is unavoidable, ask them to sit in the rear of the car;
  • ensure that all child passengers are safely returned to their destination at a time agreed with the parents, and that they are accompanied safely to the premises;
  • not provide lifts to passengers exclusively of the opposite sex;


  1. b) Good Practice amongst colleagues
  • workers must support each other in their work with children and young people, and encourage the use of these guidelines at all times;
  • if workers have a concern about the behaviour or suitability of another worker, they must speak to a leader about the concern;
  • workers must be given the opportunity to meet together to review the work that they have done, and to plan future work;
  • leaders should take opportunities to observe workers in activities with children and young people, and to discuss what they have observed with the worker;
  • workers should accept such observation as part of the commitment of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) to safe and good quality activities with children and young people;
  • leaders should discuss with workers their role, performance and any concerns they have about their work with children and young people; this is supervision.


Section 3

The Selection of workers and their responsibilities:

  • It is not enough to rely on someone’s good reputation to guarantee that they are suitable to work with children and young people.
  • Applicants should be interviewed by at least two members of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.), at least one of who is a leader in work with children and young people.
  • Applicants should be asked to provide at least one reference from a person who can comment about their professional or voluntary work with children, or vouch for their good character.
  • An applicant should only be appointed subject to satisfactory disclosure from a Criminal Records’ Bureau check.
  • All workers should be given a copy of these guidelines and be asked to sign a declaration that they have read them and agree with them.
  • The roles of all workers must be established and clearly explained to them by the leader.
  • Workers must not be expected to perform duties for which they are not adequately trained or experienced.


Section 4

Procedures to follow:

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (U.K.) is committed to the protection of children from physical, sexual or emotional harm. In order to achieve this, workers need to value children, and take time to listen to them, when they choose to talk about their experiences and concerns. It is important that workers know how to respond if abuse is disclosed or suspected.


If abuse is disclosed or suspected:

  • listen to the child and keep a note of what is said, or of what your concerns are;
  • do not interrupt the child, and try not to ask questions;
  • reassure the child, but do not encourage her or him to tell you more;
  • tell the child that you will have to inform someone else of what has been said, so that action can be taken to make sure that he or she is safe;
  • do not delay, tell the leader of children and young people’s activity about the disclosure or concerns;
  • the leader is responsible for making sure that the matter is referred to the statutory authorities (police or social services)
  • the details of the concern or disclosure should not be discussed with anyone other than the child, the leader or the statutory authorities;
  • if the disclosure or concern is about someone who is a member of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh(U.K.), this procedure must be followed. That person should be suspended from any activities with children and young people at least until the matter have been investigated.