Welfare Plan at Widmer Equestrian Centre and Livery Yard

Riding Schools and Livery Yards

Children and young people are the future of the horse industry and any child who is involved should be able to participate in a fun, safe environment, and be protected from harm.

In order to achieve this, everyone who is involved in equestrian activities and receives this Plan is required to read it carefully, to fulfil their respective responsibilities in order to ensure that all the procedures are followed in a consistent and co-ordinated manner.

Purpose of the Welfare Plan

The purpose of the welfare plan is to promote and ensure the well being of those children and young people taking part in equestrian activity. The plan will also ensure that all those responsible for the welfare of children and young people:

  • Understand their safeguarding role and responsibilities
  • Are suitably recruited, selected and trained to fulfil these
  • Understand the procedures for responding to concerns about children’s welfare
  • Are able to act on these appropriately and effectively

The Welfare Planning Process

The Welfare Plan has been developed in partnership with all of the participating sports organisations in order to promote ownership and with the aim of:

  • supporting the sharing of good practice and education in safeguarding practice, and
  • raising standards in safeguarding practice and welfare planning for events across the sports sector Riding school, stables and surrounding school activities This is riding school based activities, such as lessons, stable management (grooming, tacking up, mucking out) internal competition, own a pony days and any other activity in and around the vicinity of the riding school.

Values and Principles

This Welfare Plan is underpinned by the following values and principles, which have been agreed with all stakeholders involved in its development through an extensive consultation process:

  • The welfare of the competitors and all young people is paramount
  • All participants and young volunteers, whatever their age, gender, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, sexual identity or disability, have equal rights to safety and protection against harm
  • All suspicions, concerns or allegations of harm will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately

Roles and Responsibilities of personnel Position: Centre Manager Welfare Plan January 2022

Responsibilities: The Centre Manager will offer support and advice to individuals dealing with issues around safeguarding and child protection.

She will be responsible for taking concerns forward to either Social Services or the police.

The Manager will ensure that the venue is a safe and enjoyable environment for the participants and everyone else involved. They will also ensure that all staff on duty are fully briefed on Welfare issues . She will have:

  • Developed the Welfare Plan
  • Undertaken a risk assessment of the site
  • Organised the Welfare Training for relevant personnel, please see further details within each role description below.

Training and recruitment:

Attend a BHS/BEF Safeguarding and Child Protection course or sports coach UK Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop or a recognised national equivalent, or provided evidence of appropriate training undertaken in the last two years, Criminal Record check

Position: Centre Welfare Officer Responsibilities:

Centre Welfare Officers will have a good knowledge of their own sport and be aware of any particular hazards/danger. They will be available to support participants, taking time to listen to any concerns, issues or fears and respond appropriately and in accordance with Welfare procedures. They will have signed their Club Welfare Officer role description and be aware of what this entails. All Sports Specific Welfare Co-ordinators will have:

  • Provided evidence to the Centre Manager that all staff and volunteers have attended the appropriate training and undergone enhanced level Criminal Record Check and safeguarding checks as agreed.
  • Ensured all of their staff are familiar with the BEF’s child protection policy and procedures and the Centre Welfare Plan, and know how to respond and who to report to should concerns arise.
  • Liaise with the Lead Welfare Officer (Ellie Vajčovec for the BHS ) with regards to concerns or support needed.

Training and recruitment:

Attend a BHS/BEF Safeguarding and Child Protection course or sports coach UK Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop or a recognised national equivalent, or provided evidence of appropriate training undertaken in the last two years, Criminal Record Check . A vetting check may be undertaken using any of the following organisations – Disclosure and Barring Service (England & Wales), AccessNI (Northern Ireland), Disclosure Scotland (Scotland) or Garda Central Vetting Unit (Republic of Ireland). Note that the Garda Central Vetting Unit will only disclose conviction information.

Position: Instructors/Coaches


Instructors/Coaches will have familiarised themselves with the Centre Welfare Plan and signed up to the plan. They will have their own code of conduct within their job description which they must adhere to.

Training and recruitment:

Attend a BHS/BEF Safeguarding and Child Protection course or sports coach UK Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop or a recognised national equivalent, or provided evidence of appropriate training undertaken in the last two years, Criminal Record check

Position: Staff (paid and unpaid)

Responsibilities: All staff will have familiarised themselves with the sections of this Plan that they are given and the appropriate lines of communication, read and signed the appropriate Code of Conduct

Training and recruitment:

Undergone the appropriate level of child protection training, or provide evidence of having done so within the last two years. Criminal Record Check (or a self- disclosure if under the age of 18) and had any information arising through this process assessed as part of a recruitment process for the role

Position: Volunteers


All Volunteers who have roles in relation to children and young people will have attended volunteer training, which included customer care, problem solving, disability awareness and role specific information. Been given a copy of the Centre Welfare Plan at their training and a code of conduct to adhere to.

Training and recruitment:

Attend a BHS/BEF Safeguarding and Child Protection course or sports coach UK Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop or a recognised national equivalent, or provided evidence of appropriate training undertaken in the last two years. Undertaken or provided evidence of an enhanced level Criminal record check or if under 18 years completed a self- declaration form The staff will be in a minimum ratio of 1:6 to the participants (during lessons), and they will supervise them at all times. (this ratio may differ at events)

Responsibilities of parents and carers

  • Provide written consent for their child young/persons attendance via application/consent form. Include any relevant medical history, dietary requirements and emergency contact details.
  • Read the participants’ code of conduct and parent/carer code of conduct and discuss with their child before signing respective forms.
  • Be aware that they may be asked to remove their child or asked to leave if each code of conduct is broken.
  • Advise an appropriate member of staff if there are any non-sport related issues that may affect the child, e.g. bereavement in the family, a child who is being bullied.

Responsibilities of participants

  • Read and sign up to the participants code of conduct
  • Ensure they know who is responsible for their welfare and who they should report to concerns to that they may have

Reporting structures, communications and welfare issues

Concerned about a child, member of staff or volunteer? Yes?

Ensure the immediate safety of the child (& other children)

Report concerns to Line Manager/Club Welfare Officer/

appropriate Governing Body Child Protection Lead Officer

All staff and volunteers have a responsibility to know the reporting procedure and take action when required. In the case of a child protection concern no one member of staff or volunteer is expected to deal with concerns on their own. The Centre Welfare Officer has the duty to take the concern forward to the appropriate agencies with the support of the Lead BHS Welfare Officer if necessary. If any concerns are found to be a breach of the codes of conduct laid out in the appendices a disciplinary procedure will be enforced, this will be similar to the Register of Instructors disciplinary procedure already in place.

Recruitment procedures

Safe recruitment procedures should include:

  • Referencing (at least two, non-relatives)
  • Self – disclosure forms and/or Criminal Record Checks
  • Induction process If a criminal record checks is required (please see above for training and recruitment needs) as part of your recruitment process you must make potential new volunteers aware that they will be required to obtain a disclosure certificate. You should also provide applicants with a relevant copy of the code of practice and recruitment of ex-offenders policy (examples are available) Security Staff and volunteers at the event should be provided with identification and/or a uniform so that participants and parents and carers can easily identify them.

Guidelines for photography/media

Professional photographers:

If professional photographers are being used at a centre, they must be given clear instructions on what they should do and should wear an ID card at all times.

  • They should never have unsupervised access to participants or one to one photo sessions.
  • A reputable agency should be used and they should be affiliated to a well known or national organisation. If this is not possible they should be recommended and references should be taken.
  • Parents and participants should be informed a photographer will be on site and they should give their consent to both taking and publication of films or photographs.
  • Any other spectators (e.g. amateur photographers, parents) wishing to film or take photographs using any form of telephoto lens must:

Register their name and address at the designated point or wear recognised identification i.e. Armband

Report any concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography to the centre manager immediately and as soon as possible to the relevant member body.

Guidelines for registration

All lesson days should include registration. Participants will need to fill in an application form if there is not one on record already. The details on the form should include: name, address, date of birth, emergency contact details, medical information, religious needs, parental consent and their riding ability/assessment.

  • Risk assessment and Health and safety

The facility will already have in place:

  • Health and safety policy
  • Risk assessments for a variety of tasks and scenarios

Accident procedure

  • Human and equine first aid provision
  • A designated qualified first aider
  • Extra measures may need to be taken for a specialist event, the above will therefore need to be reviewed when this happens.

Insurance Appropriate insurance needs to be in place:

  • Liability insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Employers insurance

It is strongly recommended that participants have their own personal insurance, which is available through The British Horse Society Gold membership.


A time table for participants and their parents and carers will be helpful to allow everyone to know what is happening and when. A map of the site may also be useful and could include the areas that they are allowed to be in.

Useful forms/Appendices: Consent form Self-disclosure Incident form Child protection disclosure form Information for parents/carers Missing person form Young people and publicity Code of conduct for staff Code of conduct for participants Code of conducts parents and carers Code of conduct for spectators Risk Assessment checklist Sample Welfare Plan BHS Lead Officer contact details Ellie Vajčovec and Helen Brown 02476 840746 safeguarding@bhs.org.uk Confidential email address: CPLeadOfficer@bhs.org.uk Information included from Safe Sports Events: 2003, Sport and NSPCC