Safeguarding: Overview

Working with both young people and adults at risk can be hugely beneficial for the individuals and group involved. It also comes with a responsibility for the group to ensure they:

  • provide a safe environment 
  • do not place people at unacceptable risk of harm
  • act on any concerns that someone is at risk.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the process of protecting people from harm – whether the harm is caused by accidents, deliberate abuse, neglect, bullying, discrimination or prejudice. It is about taking some time to think about what risks might exist, what you can do to minimise them, and what to do if something does happen. 

Why should you have a safeguarding policy?

It’s not just a box ticking exercise – a good policy should:

  • protect children and adults at risk from harm and abuse
  • enable staff and volunteers to know what to do if they are worried
  • show that your group is responsible and has pride in its work
  • help create a safe and secure environment, helping the group to thrive and ensure everyone gets the most out being a part of it. 

Funders will often ask for a safeguarding policy as part of your funding bid. 

What do I have to do? 

Safeguarding can be a daunting prospect – but it does not have to be a great deal of work. A simple policy that sets out your approach to working with children and adults at risk is a good starting point, as is developing some basic procedures and rules for your group 
leaders and members to work to. You can take a common sense approach in terms of how much detail you need in relation to how much you work with children and adults at risk. 

DBS checks: if you work directly with children and adults at risk it’s a good idea to have some people in your group DBS checked. Exactly who should be checked will depend on your specific circumstances. We offer an online DBS check service with member rates that makes the whole process quick and simple. 

Resources (available for Making Music members)

Safeguarding - general

Safeguarding children



We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.