Richtlinien

Adhisthana Covid 19 Guidelines

Before Booking

While we can’t guarantee that Adhisthana is a Covid free space, we endeavor to keep it as safe as possible for everyone who comes, and so far we have been successful in this.

To help us with this we ask everyone visiting Adhisthana, whether as a retreatant, guest, or in any other capacity, to take a lateral flow test before you come (and to make sure that it is a negative result).

You should not attend the retreat if you have tested positive, or been around someone who has had a positive lateral flow or PCR test within ten days of your arrival here.

It is also our preference that everyone be fully vaccinated before they come. However, if you are not fully vaccinated, for whatever reason, we ask you to email us before you book to communicate your thinking so that we can be confident that you are aware of the risks to yourself and are taking others into consideration in your choice of coming to Adhisthana.

Before Arriving

Please take a lateral flow test on the day of travel to Adhisthana, and bring another with you to use after the third day of the retreat. If the test is positive, do not travel, but let us know you are unable to attend, remain at home, and self-isolate.

Information we ask for

Please bring with you the name and contact details of someone who would be able to come and pick you up should you become ill during the retreat and require help to return home.

On arrival

We will take your temperature and confirm you have already taken a lateral flow test. If you have not taken a lateral flow test you will be asked to do one immediately and will be unable to enter the buildings until you get a negative result.

During the retreat

Lateral flow testing

If you are here for more than four days, we will ask you to take a second lateral flow test mid-way through the retreat. We will notify you of when to take the second test. If this test is positive you will need to need to return home immediately, take a PCR test, and inform Adhisthana of the results. Should there be anyone on the retreat who has not been double vaccinated, who has had close contact with this person, they also will also need to return home, take a PCR test and go into 10-day quarantine.

Masks and ventilation

Mask must be worn when chanting in the shrine room and collecting food from the serving hatch.

Good ventilation has been shown to be important in minimising the risk of Covid 19 transmission. Therefore, please bring warm layers with you as the windows will be open in communal areas even if it is cold outside.

Hygiene

Hand sanitiser will be provided at multiple locations throughout the site. We ask that you use this whenever you enter a building. We also suggest that you bring your own sanitiser to carry with you.

Bedrooms

For bookings from August 2021 onwards, bedrooms may be shared with one other person unless you have booked a single room for health reasons by contacting the office. Where numbers allow we will offer single occupancy bedrooms.

Please bring your own bed linen.

Bathrooms

Where possible we will keep the number of people who share a bathroom to a minimum. These will be cleaned regularly.

Cleaning materials will be on hand and all users must clean door handles, taps, and surfaces after use.

No personal items can be left in the bathrooms. 

Dining room

We ask you to wear a mask when collecting food, and queue in silence to maintain a flow of traffic.

You can eat outside weather permitting.

Shared tea and coffee-making facilities require the use of hand sanitiser before use.

Please sanitise your hands when entering the dining hall.

Shrine Room

Face masks must be worn when chanting in the shrine room.

Please bring your own meditation equipment if you can.

If you fall ill on the retreat

If you fall ill with covid 19 symptoms, please take a lateral flow test immediately. If the test is positive, we will ask you to return home.

What if the situation changes?

We are constantly monitoring the situation and will adapt our policies and practices accordingly. If you have questions or concerns please get in touch.

If we need to cancel a retreat for covid reasons we would aim to do this with adequate notice, and refunds will be available.

Shubhavyuha, Health & Safety Officer

Updated 10/09/2020

Adhisthana Privacy Statement

Privacy 

Adhisthana is firmly committed to protecting your privacy and aim to be clear with you when we collect your information and use it only as you would reasonably expect. If you have any questions concerning our privacy policy that are not addressed here, please contact us.

Data Controller: Dharmacharini Shubhavyuha

Adhisthana, Coddington, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1JL admin@adhisthana.org

Information collection and use 

Booking details

Everyone who comes on an event at Adhisthana is required to fill in a booking form. We require this information in order to contact you and to manage the event. Your information is regarded as confidential and is only shared with members of the team as necessary. We store your booking details securely on our online bookings system for up to three years after the event.

Email database

Adhisthana holds a simple database, which we use to send infrequent emails, for example to let you know about upcoming events, fundraising for particular projects, or volunteer or job opportunities. However, we will only do so if you have given us your consent, or if you have given permission to a third party to share data with us. We keep your contact information until you inform us that you no longer wish us to do so. You can unsubscribe at any time by contacting us.

Email communication management system

We use MailChimp as our email communication/marketing automation platform. By continuing to remain on our membership database, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.

How we use your information

We will only use your information where we have a legal basis to do so and will always respect your rights. Where we use your information, it may be because you have consented to us doing so or because we consider we have a legitimate interest to do so, in order to pursue our charitable purpose, and manage ongoing relationship with members and friends of the Triratna Buddhist Community. We may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you in order to better understand your interests and preferences in order to contact you with the most relevant communications. In doing this, we may use additional information from third party sources when it is available.

Examples of data use: 

  • To respond to or fulfill any requests, complaints or queries you make to us. We 
will use the information you give to us to handle your enquiry or request. This may include responding to your query or feedback, or sending you relevant information. We may also keep a record of conversations we have with you and feedback you provide. This can help us to handle queries more efficiently.
  • To provide you with information and support for any events, fundraising activities or volunteering opportunities you sign up to. If book or enquire about an event or activity we will consider this as a request to send you details about the event, activity or opportunity.
  • To send you publicity communications by email where you have consented.
  • To manage your contact preferences.

Use of cookies

Adhisthana.org uses cookies to store visitors’ preferences and to record session information. This data is used solely to manage the website, track usage and improve our website services and does not identify the user personally.

Correcting, updating or removing personal information

If you wish to modify or remove any of your personal information at any time, please contact Adhisthana directly using the contact details shown above. You can also request that we give you a copy of the data referring to you which we hold.

Sharing and disclosure of information we collect

We will never sell or trade your personal data or disclose your personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary:

  • To conform to legal requirements
  • To protect our rights
  • To protect the safety of members of the public or those attending Adhisthana
  • The server that hosts this website is situated in the United States, so your 
data may be transferred outside the EEA. We are satisfied however that the US however provides appropriate safeguards which include the EU-US Privacy-Shield framework 
We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.

Your rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • The right to withdraw consent
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling. To exercise any of your rights, please contact us at admin@adhisthana.org, addressing the Data Controller. 
You can find out more about your rights from the Information Commissioner, who regulates data protection and privacy. The Information Commissioner’s website is www.ico.org.uk

Changes to this policy

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on our website and/or by contacting you directly.

Child Protection Policy 2019

The Triratna Preceptors College Trust and Adhisthana Child Protection Policy 2019

Introduction

Triratna is a worldwide network of friends in the Buddhist life. This is for many of us a source of great richness, support and strength. However, it also carries a risk that we may fail to notice, question or act on behaviours of concern, out of naivety, loyalty to friends or lack of awareness; or an assumption that “it couldn’t happen here” or “they would never do a thing like that.”

This policy is an expression of the first ethical precept taught by the Buddha: to avoid harming living beings. It refers to law and good practice mainly in England and Wales. Triratna bodies in other countries are requested to draw up similar documents in line with local requirements.

The purpose of this policy

This document is for Friends, Mitras and Order members involved in the activities of the Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana (and those of any outreach groups run by Adhisthana) as employees, volunteers, leaders, teachers or parents.

It aims to provide:

  • protection for children (anyone under 18) who visit or receive (PCT)/Adhisthana services including children of Buddhists and other users of the (PCT)/Adhisthana and
  • protection for Friends, Mitras and Order members who may have contact with children in connection with the activities of the (PCT)/Adhisthana

It sets out

  • practices and procedures contributing to the prevention of abuse of children.
  • a course of action to be followed if abuse is suspected.

Our values

Adhisthana is run by the Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust, a Buddhist charity run by members of The Triratna Buddhist Order and Community. Although the (PCT)/Adhisthana does not run activities specifically for children, some of its activities may include children and young people, either by arrangement, for example school visits or family activities, or as casual visitors

The trustees of the (PCT)/Adhisthana recognise their responsibility to ensure the welfare of all those aged under 18 visiting our Retreat centre or involved in Retreat centre activities.

Shubhavyuha (aka Shirley Robertson) is our Safe Guarding Officer. They are responsible for co-ordinating the protection of children and adults who may be at risk at (PCT)/Adhisthana. (See also our Safeguarding Adults policy.)

Saddhanandi (aka Rachel Lovering) is our Safeguarding trustee. They are responsible for making sure Safeguarding is taken seriously by the trustees and appears regularly on their agendas, ensuring the trustees comply with their Safeguarding obligations as required by the Charity Commission.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount.
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from harm.
  • partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

This policy applies to all staff, including the centre team and trustees, paid staff, volunteers, parents and anyone else working on behalf of (PCT)/Adhisthana, whether as a Friend, Mitra or Order member.

We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • adopting child protection guidelines and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring checks are made where necessary.
  • sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

WHO IS A “CHILD”?

In the United Kingdom a “child” is a person who has not yet passed their 18th birthday.

WHAT IS “CHILD ABUSE”?

The World Health Organisation defines “child abuse” as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”

TYPES OF ABUSE:

  • Physical abuse including hurting or injuring a child, inflicting pain, poisoning, drowning, or smothering.
  • Sexual abuse including direct or indirect sexual exploitation or corruption of children by involving them (or threatening to involve them) in sexual activities.
  • Emotional abuse Repeatedly rejecting children, humiliating them or denying their worth and rights as human beings.
  • Neglect The persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love, stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education, and medical attention.

A child who is being abused may experience more than one type of cruelty. Discrimination, harassment, and bullying are also abusive and can harm a child, both physically and emotionally.

SIGNS OF ABUSE

These are many and varied. Some have perfectly acceptable explanations. It is useful to bear in mind:

  • Any injuries that cannot be explained
  • Injuries not consistent with falls or rough games
  • Malnourishment
  • Any allegations made by children concerning abuse
  • Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
  • Self harm
  • Eating disorders

Engaging safely with children in person

Outside of our own personal and family relationships we will not arrange to meet any child under 16 individually anywhere without written permission from their parent or guardian.

Having gained such permission we will conduct individual meetings with a child under 16 in public spaces such as our Buddhist centre reception area or a room with the door open.

We do not need parental permission to meet those aged 16-17 but we will take care to meet in public spaces such as our Buddhist centre reception area or a room with the door open.

We will not give lifts to those under 16 on their own. If this is unavoidable, we will ask the child to sit in the back seat.

See also the guidance document ‘Caring for teenagers in Triratna’, currently being drafted.

Engaging safely with children online and on social media
We are aware that individual contact with under 18s online, by email or using social media carries the risk of accusations of “grooming”; relationships established with a view to sexual contact.

We will not engage personally by email, text or online with anyone under 18 using social media, for example by ‘friending’ them on Facebook or including them in WhatsApp groups or similar – except with written permission from their parent/guardian, specifying agreed medium and the named Order member who will be running it/them.

As a Buddhist centre, we may receive emails from school pupils wanting information about Buddhism. Having answered their questions, we will not engage in further personal correspondence.

See also the guidance document ‘Caring for teenagers in Triratna’, currently being drafted.

WELCOMING SCHOOL VISITS SAFELY

Schools and other youth groups visit Adhisthana. We will require every group to bring at least two adults capable of supervising all members of the group at all times. We will make clear that we are not to be left alone with their pupils and we will ensure that all those who lead such visits on behalf of our centre are DBS checked.

DBS CHECKS

The Charity Commission expects that anyone working for a charity, paid or volunteering, including trustees, will be DBS checked wherever they are eligible. Since the rules on eligibility are complicated and change from time to time, our Safeguarding officer will check at least annually with external Safeguarding experts such as Thirtyone:eight (www.thirtyoneeight.org) and ensure everyone eligible for a DBS check has been checked within the previous five years.

We understand that where Adhisthana runs activities or events specifically intended for those under 18, or a child aged 15-17 attends activities not specifically targeted at those under 18:
a) the core team (Mitras or Order members, paid or voluntary) must be DBS checked

b) the trustees must also be DBS checked, even if they have no direct involvement in the activity

c) Anyone helping with such activities (paid or voluntary) who has not been DBS checked will be supervised at all times by someone who is DBS checked

a), b) and c) do not apply to general activities at which someone under 18 may happen to attend unexpectedly.

This is because we understand that children are most at risk in classes and other events specifically provided for them (especially regular, repeated events), or more general activities where it is known in advance that a child is likely to be attending; because those who wish to gain access to children look for opportunities to become a familiar and trusted figure to a child or children, for instance seeking to join the team running children’s activities.

CHILDREN’S EVENTS WHERE PARENTS ARE NOT PRESENT

We understand that where under18s attend a (PCT)/Adhisthana event, if parents are not present at all, or are elsewhere on the premises, we must have written permission to take care of their child from the parent/guardian of each child.

DBS checks for trustees We are aware that the Charity Commission requires that where an event is targeted at unaccompanied 16-17 year olds or a wider age range of people including anyone under 18, who are not accompanied by parents or guardians, the trustees of the charity must be DBS checked even if they have no involvement in the event, whether or not it is residential.

(This does not apply to school group visits to our centre, which are under the legal supervision of their own teachers. However this means that the Buddhist teacher/leader must ensure they are never left alone with a child, which means ensuring schools bring enough adults to supervise the entire group at all times.)

See also the guidance document ‘Caring for teenagers in Triratna’, currently being drafted.

Managing those who pose a risk to children

We will not allow someone who is likely to pose a risk to children to have contact with anyone under 18 (for example, a person who is known to have a previous criminal conviction for sexual or other violent offences, someone who is under investigation for possible sexual or other violent offences or someone who has disclosed a sexual interest in children).

Such a person will be asked by the Safeguarding officer to negotiate a behaviour contract setting out the terms of their continued participation in (PCT)/Adhisthana activities within agreed boundaries. (See the document ‘Managing those who pose a risk’.)

Such a person cannot be asked to sign the Child Protection Code of Conduct as it would conflict with the terms of their contract and in any case it would be very unwise to permit such a person to have any contact with those under 18 in the course of Triratna activities.

Where it is felt that the charity does not have the resources to manage this relationship safely, we reserve the right to ask the person not to attend our activities.

See also the guidance document ‘Caring for teenagers in Triratna’, currently being drafted.

Lettings/hireouts

Our charity rents or lends premises for the following activities which are not activities of our charity, even if they are led/run by a member of our sangha: [eg yoga classes, massage, 12-step groups, retreat centre hire-outs]

We understand that there is joint responsibility on our charity and those renting/using our premises for the Safeguarding of children and adults taking part in such activities, but that our trustees bear ultimate responsibility for the Safeguarding in all activities on our premises.

Therefore we will ask the organisation or individual using our premises to sign a lettings agreement which says they have read our Safeguarding policies and agree to abide by them, or that they have shown us their own Safeguarding policies.

Reporting concerns or allegations

All reports or suspicions about abuse must be treated seriously. They may include:

  • something you see
  • something you are told by someone else
  • rumours about a person’s previous behaviour
  • behaviour you observe in a child and
  • disclosure from a child directly.

What to do if a person under 18 alleges abuse:

  • Be aware the child may have been threatened and may be very afraid.
  • Look directly at the child.
  • Keep calm and reassure the child that they are doing the right thing and are not to blame, even if they have broken some rules.
  • Accept what the child says without judgment. Never suggest that the child may be wrong or mistaken. Your responsibility is to take them seriously, not to decide whether what they are saying is true.
  • Never push for information or question the child. Let them tell you as much as they are ready to tell you.
  • Be honest. Do not promise confidentiality; let them know you will have to get help for them but that you will try to agree with them what should happen next. This means that you will need to share what they say with others – on a need-to-know basis only.

What to do next:

  • Your first concern is the safety and well-being of the child. Do not be distracted from this by loyalty to the person who has been accused or your desire to maintain the good name of Triratna or your centre.
  • If you are not the Safeguarding officer the first thing you should do is to tell the Safeguarding officer. However, if this is not possible and you think the child is in immediate danger phone social services or police straight away. A telephone referral should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.
  • Every person has a legal right to privacy under the International Convention on Human Rights and data protection legislation; therefore if possible you should get the consent of the child’s parent or guardian to share the information they have given you.
  • However, it may be necessary, and therefore legally justifiable, to report without parental consent, if you believe that the child is suffering, or at risk of, significant harm and that informing parents/guardians would not be in the child’s interest.
  • If you are not the Safeguarding officer, tell the (PCT)/Adhisthana’s Safeguarding officer only. They will co-ordinate the handling of the matter on behalf of the charity’s trustees.

If necessary The Safeguarding officer should contact the Triratna Safeguarding team for advice as to what to do next: safeguarding@triratna.community

  • Meanwhile, make detailed factual notes about the conversation/concern/incident as soon as possible, including time, date and location. Give them to the Safeguarding officer. (See ‘Secure, confidential record-keeping’ below.)
  • No sangha member should attempt to investigate a criminal allegation. This is the job of the police and to attempt this could prejudice a court case and put the person in danger.

Finally, if the allegation may be criminal, without giving personal details of those involved you should email the Charity Commission that there has been a serious Safeguarding incident, that your charity has addressed it according to your Safeguarding policies and that the police have been informed. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-report-a-serious-incident-in-your-charity

WHO ELSE NEEDS TO KNOW?

Confidentiality, sharing information only on a need-to-know basis, is very important. Under data protection legislation nobody has a right to know about the matter – except, for Safegarding purposes, with those in a position to prevent further harm, and your Chair, who holds ultimate responsibility for the governance of the charity. For example, where there is a criminal allegation against a mitra it would be justifiable for the Safeguarding officer, Chair and mitra convenor to know about it.

This is not a matter of concealment, but is intended to protect all concerned from further harm. It will also protect your sangha from fear, rumour and disharmony which will make it much harder to deal with the matter effectively without causing further harm.

This is not a matter of concealment, but is intended to protect all concerned from further harm. It will also protect your sangha from fear, rumour and disharmony which will make it much harder to deal with the matter effectively without

Where a person is believed/has been found to pose a risk to children it is often thought that parents have a right to know. However, this is not the case. Proper implementation of Safeguarding policy and procedures will ensure that your sangha’s children are as safe from such a person as they are from any others who pose a risk but have not been identified as such.

SECURE, CONFIDENTIAL RECORD-KEEPING

We understand our responsibility for secure and careful record-keeping. Our Safeguarding officer will keep a detailed log of all Safeguarding-related incidents as well as conversations, actions and the reasoning behind them. These will be stored on the charity’s computer, in a password protected section accessible only to the Safeguarding officer and one or two others approved by our trustees. If this is not practicable, they will be written on a computer, printed out and the paper copies stored in a locked cabinet, box or drawer accessible only to the Safeguarding officer and one or two others approved by our trustees. In this case the computer files must be deleted promptly. We understand that such records must not be stored on individuals’ own private computers.

We also understand that under data protection law we need to word our records in a form we would be happy for the subjects to read if they ask to, as is their legal right. This means notes should be factual and respectful, free of interpretations and value-judgements.

KEEPING CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS

We understand that because many abuse cases come to light 30 or more years later our insurers may require us to keep our logs for up to 50 years. (This is a requirement of the UK’s Buddhist Insurance Scheme.)

If our charity closes down, we will give our records to another Triratna Buddhist centre/charity to keep with their own confidential Safeguarding logs.

REVIEWING OUR POLICIES ANNUALLY

All our Safeguarding policies will be reviewed by the trustees and Safeguarding officer annually and the review recorded in the minutes of their meetings.

The Triratna Preceptors College Trust and Adhisthana

Chair’s name and email address: Saddhanandi, saddhanandi@adhisthana.org

Chair’s signature

Safeguarding officer’s name and email address: Shubhavyuha, shubhavyuha@adhisthana.org

Safeguarding officer’s signature

Date

This document is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying Child Protection Code of Conduct and the guidance document ‘Caring for Teenagers in Triratna’, currently being drafted.

This model document published June 2019 by the Triratna Safeguarding Team, part of the Triratna Ethics Kula.

safeguarding@triratna.community

Adhisthana
Coddington Court, Coddington
Ledbury, Herefordshire,
HR8 1JL
Phone: 01531 641726

Registered charity no: 1142673
Registered Charity name: The Triratna Preceptors College Trust LTD

Safeguarding Policy 2019

Adhisthana Safeguarding adults policy and guidelines 2019

Introduction

Triratna is a worldwide network of friends in the Buddhist life. This is for many of us a source of great richness, support and strength. However, it also carries a risk that we may fail to notice, question or act on behaviours of concern, out of naivety, loyalty to friends or lack of awareness; or an assumption that “it couldn’t happen here” or “they would never do a thing like that.”

This policy is an expression of the first ethical precept taught by the Buddha: to avoid harming living beings. It refers to law and good practice mainly as defined in England and Wales. Triratna bodies in other countries are requested to draw up similar documents in line with local requirements.

The purpose of this policy

This document is for Friends, Mitras and Order members involved in Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana activities (and those of any outreach groups run by this centre) as employees, volunteers, leaders, teachers or parents.

It aims to provide:

  • Protection for adults attending Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana activities who may be “at risk” or vulnerable, and
  • Protection for Friends, Mitras and Order members working with them.

It sets out:

  • information and practices contributing to the prevention of harm of ‘adults at risk’, previously known as ‘vulnerable adults’
  • a course of action to be followed if harm is suspected.

Our values

Although we do not run activities specifically for those with mental illness or addiction, we recognise that people who may be vulnerable in these ways do attend our events and take part in the life of our sangha.

The trustees of the Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana recognise their responsibility to safeguard adults who may be deemed to be “at risk” visiting our Buddhist centre or involved in Buddhist centre activities.

Shubhavyuha (aka Shirley Robertson) is our Safeguarding officer. They are responsible for co-ordinating the protection of children and adults who may be at risk at Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana (See also our Safeguarding Children policy.)

Saddhanandi (aka Rachel Lovering) is our Safeguarding trustee. They are responsible for making sure Safeguarding is taken seriously by the trustees and appears regularly on their agendas, ensuring the trustees comply with their Safeguarding obligations as required by the Charity Commission.

Who is an “adult”?

In the United Kingdom an “adult” is a person who has passed their 18th birthday.

Who is an “adult at risk”?

This is not currently well defined. However, the following is one widely-used definition:

A person aged 18 or over, who needs, or may need, community care services because they are frail or have a learning disability, physical disability, sight or hearing disability or mental health issues; and cannot (or may not be able to) care for themselves, or take steps to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation.

Adults who may be ‘at risk’ may also include those who:

  • have dementia
  • have learning disabilities
  • have mental health problems
  • have drug, alcohol or substance dependency
  • have physical or sensory disabilities
  • have been bereaved, suffered grief and loss
  • through age or illness are dependent on other people to help them
  • live with domestic abuse
  • are homeless
  • are refugees or asylum seekers and
  • for any reason may be considered not to have ‘mental capacity’. (See )

Whether or not a person is “at risk” or “vulnerable” in these cases will vary according to circumstances, and it should be noted that a person with a physical disability is not necessarily vulnerable or at risk, though they could be. Each case must be judged on its own merits.

What is ‘mental capacity’?

Whether a person has mental capacity is a matter of specialist assessment and not for us to make. However, it may be useful to know something about it.

Mental capacity is the ability to make a particular decision. An adult may be at risk if they are unable to make a decision due to illness, disability, poor mental health, dementia, a learning disability or something else that may impair their judgment.

A person may be deemed to be ‘without capacity’ if they cannot:

  • understand the decision
  • retain the information
  • weigh up the information
  • communicate their decision

About matters such as

  • finance
  • social care
  • medical treatment

Vulnerability can be variable
As is made clear above in the reference to the vulnerability of those who have suffered grief and loss we recognise that many people who are generally emotionally and psychologically stable in most aspects of their lives may on occasion find themselves vulnerable or at risk. This may be because of illness, relationship breakdown or bereavement, or because their practice of meditation or Buddhism has made them more sensitive and self-aware, particularly if they are new to Buddhism.

For example, we will bear in mind that a person who is emotionally vulnerable for any reason may not be able to make balanced decisions regarding giving money or becoming more involved with Triratna, or entering into intimate relationships, whether friendship or relationships which are more romantic or sexual in nature. We will take great care to help each other avoid exploiting people in such everyday situations of vulnerability.

[PROTECTING OURSELVES AND OTHERS IN RELATIONSHIPS – REMOVED; SEE ETHICAL GUIDELINES]

Protecting those with psychological disorders

We are aware that those attending our centre and activities include adults experiencing psychological disorders ranging from mild to severe.

We recognise that as Buddhists we do not have the professional skills to diagnose or help people with psychological disorders and that they may not be helped solely by the kindness of Buddhists. In such cases we may need to advise them to seek professional help.

We are aware that for people with serious psychological disorders traditional Buddhist practices involving recognition of the illusion of self could be extremely dangerous. We may need to encourage them in traditional Buddhist practices involving the calming of body and mind, or to avoid meditation – altogether, or during periods of relapse.

Where we believe a person to be at risk of suicide or self-harm, or to pose a risk to others, we will alert our centre Safeguarding officer, who will refer to local mental health services and/or the police as appropriate, and consult with the Triratna Safeguarding Team if necessary. safeguarding@triratnadevelopment.org

Protecting those with psychological disorders – online

Buddhism and meditation are increasingly taught using online media. In person, it is relatively easy to notice where a person may have compromised mental health; online it is much more difficult.

We recognise that among those seeking individual online guidance from members of the Triratna Buddhist Order there may be some reporting meditation experiences which are an indication of serious psychological disorder.

In engaging in individual guidance online by email, blog, social media or text we will take great care at the start to establish with local Order members the identity, location and suitability of the participant, and which local Order members are available locally to support them in person and gaining permission to contact those Order members if we believe they are at risk. (This does not apply where the participant is an Order member and therefore well known to us.)

(Responding to children online With anyone under 18, we will not engage in personal communication online or via social media except in carefully defined ways. See the Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana Child protection policy 2019.)

DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service)

The Charity Commission expects that anyone working for a charity, paid or volunteering, including trustees, will be DBS checked wherever they are eligible. Since the rules on eligibility are complicated and change from time to time, our Safeguarding officer will check at least annually with external Safeguarding experts such as Thirtyone:eight (www.thirtyoneeight.org) and ensure everyone eligible for a DBS check has been checked within the previous five years.

We understand that the core team (Mitras or Order members, paid or voluntary) directly responsible for any Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana activities or events specifically intended and advertised for adults likely to be more ‘at risk’ of mistreatment/manipulation must be DBS checked wherever eligible. At present we do not run any such activities but will keep this under review in case this should change.

We will require anyone helping with such activities (paid or voluntary) who has not been DBS checked to be supervised at all times by someone who is DBS checked.

This does not apply to general activities which an adult with mental health difficulties (for example) may happen to attend.

Managing those who pose a risk to others

There are cases where it is known that a person attending our activities is likely to pose a risk to others (for example, a person who is known to have a previous criminal conviction for sexual or other violent offences, or someone who is under investigation for possible sexual or other violent offences).

Such a person will be asked by the Safeguarding officer to negotiate a behaviour contract setting out the terms of their continued participation in [name of Triratna Buddhist centre/enterprise] activities within agreed boundaries. (See the document ‘Managing those who pose a risk’.) Where it is felt that the charity does not have the resources to manage this relationship safely, we reserve the right to ask the person not to attend our activities.

Lettings/hireouts

Our charity rents or lends premises for the following activities which are not activities of our charity, even if they are led/run by a member of our sangha: [eg yoga classes, massage, 12-step groups, retreat centre hire-outs]

We understand that there is joint responsibility on our charity and those renting/using our premises for the Safeguarding of children and adults taking part in such activities, but that our trustees bear ultimate responsibility for the Safeguarding in all activities on our premises.

Therefore we will ask the organisation or individual using our premises to sign a lettings agreement which says they have read our Safeguarding policies and agree to abide by them, or that they have shown us their own Safeguarding policies.

WHAT IS ‘ABUSE’?

‘Abuse’ is not a legal term, but covers a number of ways in which a person may be deliberately harmed (legally or illegally), usually by someone who is in a position of power, trust or authority over them, or who may be perceived by that person to be in a position of power, trust or authority over them;for example by a Friend, Mitra or Order member who is helping to run Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana activities for those newer to such activities. The harm may be physical, psychological or emotional, or it may exploit the vulnerability of the person in more subtle ways.

However, harm can also occur less consciously, through naivety, idealism or lack of awareness.

Types of abuse

The 2014 Care Act identifies nine types of abuse, all of which have a psychological/emotional aspect.

  1. physical abuse
  2. sexual abuse
  3. neglect and acts of omission
  4. organisational abuse
  5. self-neglect
  6. modern slavery
  7. domestic abuse
  8. discriminatory abuse
  9. financial or material abuse
  10. Psychological abuse

Types of abuse, in more detail:

Physical

  • Bodily assaults resulting in injuries e.g. hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.
  • Bodily impairment e.g. malnutrition, dehydration, failure to thrive
  • Medical/healthcare maltreatment

Sexual

  • Rape, incest, acts of indecency, sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment or sexual acts to which the person has not consented, or could not consent or to which they were pressured into consenting.
  • Sexual abuse might also include exposure to pornographic materials, being made to witness sexual acts; also sexual harassment, with or without physical contact.
  • Sexual contact of any kind with anyone under 16 is a crime. In the case of Order members “position of trust” law means sexual contact of any kind with anyone under 18 could be considered a crime.

Abuse through neglect

  • Ignoring medical or physical care needs
  • Failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational service
  • The withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating

Organisational abuse

  • Neglect or abuse within an institution (eg.hospital/care home) or care provided in own home.
  • One-off incident or continuing ill-treatment
  • Poor professional practice, policies or structure of an organization

Self neglect

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Hoarding
  • Drug abuse

Modern slavery

Examples: working as housemaids, in brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars and agriculture against their will, unpaid

Some possible signs

  • Physical appearance, inappropriate clothing.
  • Isolation, not being allowed to travel alone; restricted freedom of movement.
  • Poor living conditions, few possessions, no ID documents
  • Unusual travel times – being dropped off early morning or late at night

Modern Slavery Helpline (UK) 0800 0121 700

Domestic abuse

  • Physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuse.
  • ‘Honour’-based violence or forced marriage
  • Involving intimate partner or family member
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • 16 year-olds can be defined as suffering domestic abuse.

Some signs and symptoms of domestic abuse

  • Visible injuries or unexplained marks, scars or injuries
  • Making ‘excuses’ for injuries
  • Controlling and/or threatening relationships

Discriminatory abuse

  • Discrimination including gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, age, skin colour, language, culture, religion or belief, or politics
  • Harassment
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Not being able to access services or being excluded

Financial or material abuse

  • Misuse or theft of money
  • Exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance
  • Unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money
  • Personal possessions going missing from home
  • Extraordinary interest and involvement by the family/carer or friend in an individual’s assets

Psychological/emotional

  • Threats of harm, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, enforced isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks
  • Humiliation
  • Bullying, shouting or swearing

Signs of abuse

Physical:
NB Ageing processes can cause changes which are hard to distinguish from some aspects of physical assault e.g. skin bruising can occur due to blood vessels becoming fragile.

  • A history of unexplained falls or minor injuries
  • Bruising in well-protected areas, or clustered from repeated striking
  • Finger marks
  • Burns of unusual location or type
  • Injuries found at different states of healing
  • Injury shape similar to an object
  • Injuries to head/face/scalp
  • History of moving from doctor to doctor, or between social care agencies; reluctance to seek help
  • Accounts which vary with time or are inconsistent with physical evidence
  • Weight loss due to malnutrition; or rapid weight gain
  • Ulcers, bed sores and being left in wet clothing
  • Drowsiness due to too much medication; or lack of medication causing recurring crises/hospital admissions

SEXUAL

  • Disclosure or partial disclosure (use of phrases such as ‘It’s a secret’)
  • Medical problems, e.g. genital infections, pregnancy, difficulty walking or sitting
  • Disturbed behaviour e.g. depression, sudden withdrawal from activities, loss of previous skills, sleeplessness or nightmares, self-injury, showing fear or aggression to one particular person, inappropriately seductive behaviour, loss of appetite or difficulty in keeping food down.
  • Unusual circumstances, such as, for example, two people found in a toilet/bathroom area, one of them distressed

Signs of psychological or emotional vulnerability

  • Isolation
  • Unkempt, unwashed appearance; smell
  • Over meticulousness
  • Inappropriate dress
  • Withdrawnness, agitation, anxiety; not wanting to be touched
  • Change in appetite
  • Insomnia or need for excessive sleep
  • Tearfulness
  • Unexplained paranoia; excessive fears
  • Low self-esteem
  • Confusion

SIGNS OF NEGLECT

  • Poor physical condition
  • Clothing in poor condition
  • Inadequate diet
  • Untreated injuries or medical problems
  • Failure to be given prescribed medication
  • Poor personal hygiene

SIGNS OF FINANCIAL OR MATERIAL VULNERABILITY

  • Unexplained or sudden inability to pay bills
  • Unexplained or sudden withdrawal of money from accounts
  • Disparity between assets and satisfactory living conditions
  • Unusual level of interest by family members and other people in the vulnerable person’s financial assets

Signs of discrimination

  • Lack of respect shown to an individual
  • Substandard service offered to an individual
  • Exclusion from rights afforded to others, such as health, education, criminal justice

OTHER SIGNS OF ABUSE

  • Controlling relationships
  • Inappropriate use of restraint
  • Sensory deprivation e.g. spectacles or hearing aid
  • Denial of visitors or phone calls
  • Failure to ensure privacy or personal dignity
  • Lack of personal clothing or possessions

People who might abuse

Abuse may happen anywhere and may be carried out by anyone, eg:

  • Order members, Mitras and Friends, whether financially supported or volunteering
  • Parents
  • People you consider good and trusted friends
  • Informal carers, family, friends, neighbours
  • Other users or tenants of [name of Triratna Buddhist centre/enterprise]
  • Strangers or visitors to [name of Triratna Buddhist centre/enterprise]

If you have a concern

All allegations or suspicions should be taken seriously and reported to Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana Safeguarding officer: Shubhavyuha shubhvyuha@gmail.com

What to do if an adult alleges abuse

Do

  • stay calm.
  • listen patiently.
  • reassure the person they are doing the right thing by telling you.
  • clarify issues of confidentiality early on. Make it clear that you may have to discuss their concerns with others, on a strictly need-to-know basis, if at all possible with their permission. (See below.)
  • explain what you are going to do.
  • write a factual account of what you have seen and heard, immediately.

Do not

  • appear shocked, horrified, disgusted or angry.
  • press the individual for details.
  • make comments or judgments other than to show concern. Your responsibility is to take them seriously, not to decide whether what they are saying is true.
  • promise to keep secrets.
  • confront the alleged perpetrator.
  • risk contaminating the evidence by investigating matters yourself.

What to do next

  • Your first concern is the safety and well-being of the person bringing the allegation. Do not be distracted from this by loyalty to the person who has been accused or your desire to maintain the good name of Triratna or your centre.
  • If you are not the Safeguarding officer the first thing you should do is to tell the Safeguarding officer. However, if this is not possible and you think the person is in immediate danger phone social services or police straight away. A telephone referral should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.
  • Every person has a legal right to privacy under the International Convention on Human Rights and data protection legislation; therefore if possible you need to get the person’s consent to share the information they have given you, within the limits described here and below.
  • However, if necessary it is legal to pass on information without their consent if you believe they are at risk of significant harm.
  • If you are not the Safeguarding officer, tell the [name of Triratna Buddhist centre/enterprise]’s Safeguarding officer only. They will co-ordinate the handling of the matter on behalf of the charity’s trustees.
  • The Safeguarding officer should contact the Triratna Safeguarding team to discuss what to do next: safeguarding@triratnadevelopment.org
  • Meanwhile, make detailed factual notes about the conversation/concern/incident as soon as possible, including time, date and location. Give them to the Safeguarding officer. If you are the Safeguarding officer, keep notes yourself and keep them either locked away or password-protected.
  • No sangha member should attempt to investigate a criminal allegation. This is the job of the police and to attempt this could prejudice a court case and put the person in danger.

Finally, if the allegation may be criminal, without giving personal details of those involved you should email the Charity Commission that there has been a serious Safeguarding incident, that your charity has addressed it according to your Safeguarding policies and the police have been informed. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-report-a-serious-incident-in-your-charity

Who else needs to know?

Confidentiality, sharing information only on a need-to-know basis, is very important. Under data protection legislation nobody has a right to know about the matter – except, for Safegarding purposes, with those in a position to prevent further harm, and your Chair, who holds ultimate responsibility for the governance of the charity. For example, where there is a criminal allegation against a mitra it would be justifiable for the Safeguarding officer, Chair and mitra convenor to know about it. Normally it is illegal to share personal information about a person without that person’s permission in writing; however, where there are Safeguarding concerns it may be necessary, and therefore legally justifiable, to report without consent, for the prevention of harm.

This is not a matter of concealment, but is intended to protect all concerned from further harm. It will also protect your sangha from fear, rumour and disharmony which will make it much harder to deal with the matter effectively without causing further harm.

Secure, confidential record-keeping

We understand our responsibility for secure and careful record-keeping. Our Safeguarding officer will keep a detailed log of all Safeguarding-related incidents as well as conversations, actions and the reasoning behind them. These will be stored on the charity’s computer, in a password protected section accessible only to the Safeguarding officer and one or two others approved by our trustees. If this is not practicable, they will be written on a computer, printed out and the paper copies stored in a locked cabinet, box or drawer accessible only to the Safeguarding officer and one or two others approved by our trustees. In this case the computer files must be deleted promptly. We understand that such records must not be stored on individuals’ own private computers.

We also understand that under data protection law we need to word our records in a form we would be happy for the subjects to read if they ask to, as is their legal right. This means notes should be factual and respectful, free of interpretations and value-judgements.

Keeping confidential records

We understand that because many abuse cases come to light 30 or more years later our insurers may require us to keep our logs for up to 50 years. (This is a requirement of the UK’s Buddhist Insurance Scheme.)

If our charity closes down, we will give our records to another Triratna Buddhist centre/charity to keep with their own confidential Safeguarding logs.

Reviewing our policies annually

All our Safeguarding policies will be reviewed by the trustees and Safeguarding officer annually and the review recorded in the minutes of their meetings.

Triratna Preceptors’ College Trust (PCT)/Adhisthana

Chair’s name and email address: Saddhanandi (aka Rachel Lovering). saddhanandhi@adhisthana.org

Safeguarding officer’s name and email address: Shubhavyuha. shubhavyuha@adhisthana.org

This document will be reviewed annually by the Safeguarding officer and trustees of Triratna Preceptors College Trust.

Published by the trustees of Triratna Preceptors College Trust.

This model document published May 2019 by the Triratna Safeguarding team, part of the Triratna Ethics Kula. safeguarding@triratna.community

Adhisthana, Coddington Court, Coddington, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1JL

Phone: 01531 641726

Email: admin@adhisthana.org

Web address: www.adhisthana.org

Registered charity no: 1142673

Registered Charity name: The Triratna Preceptors College Trust LTD

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