Art Group Wanstead – Equal opportunities policy

Art Group Wanstead is a voluntary association led by artists – dedicated to giving local artists the chance to show their work, and residents the opportunity to see the talent that is on their doorstep. To that end a time period is designated as the Art Trail Wanstead, artists are invited to register their works to be shown at various locations in Wanstead, known as the trail, and a map of the trail is widely distributed to publicise the artworks to the public.  All artists and organisers work voluntarily for Art Trail Wanstead with the help of supporters and volunteers.

The time period for the trail will be specified in advance by the organisers and publicised on the Art Group Wanstead website.  The locations for the trail are publicised widely in a printed format map and  on the website

In this policy  the terms Art Group Wanstead and Art Trail Wanstead mean the association of all artists, organisers, supporters and volunteers taking part in any activity that promotes or sets the trail in place or helps the work of the trail. That includes other smaller events during the year.

Art Group Wanstead  is fully committed to equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ethnic origin, age, disability, or HIV/Aids status.
Art Group Wanstead values the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2006 and all other subsequent legislation.
In its work, Art Group Wanstead  meets and works with a diverse range of people, and welcomes and encourages the active involvement of everyone, irrespective of background.
Art Group Wanstead respects and values individual differences so that people are able to realise their full potential to the mutual benefit of themselves, Art Trail Wanstead  and the wider community.
Art Group Wanstead  aims to respond positively to everybody it meets, and will allow them the opportunity to explore their ideas and discuss their concerns.
The locations in which artworks are displayed or take place are varied and the content of the works is wide ranging. Art Trail Wanstead must always ask itself whether the trail is accessible and must never make people feel disempowered or patronised.
Art Group Wanstead will always seek to challenge discriminatory views and behaviour. It will not tolerate harassment, bullying, hate-speech, or intimidation.

If any artist, organiser, supporter or volunteer associated with the trail becomes aware of any discrimination, either concerning themselves or others, they should bring this to the attention of members of the organising committee. Complaints will be taken very seriously and investigated, impartially, and transparently, by members of the organising committee,  without fear of reprisals, while the findings will be reported to the organising committee and to the complainant and acted upon as is appropriate.

All artists, organisers, supporters and volunteers collectively and individually are responsible for implementing this equal opportunities policy in accordance with the constitution and equal opportunities legislation; and there is an expectation that this responsibility will be executed constantly and proactively.

Finally, since Art Group Wanstead recognises that to make equal opportunities work effectively it requires more than just formal pronouncements, it will monitor and review its own functioning at the end of the trail period, and recommend and record improvements that may be made in running any future Art Trails and events.

Donna Mizzi
(chairperson of Art Trail Wanstead, 2011)

Art Group Wanstead – Child protection and vulnerable adults policy 
Art Group Wanstead believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person or vulnerable adult to experience abuse of any kind, and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people and vulnerable adults, by a commitment to practices which protect them.

Specifically, it recognises that:

the welfare of the child/young person/vulnerable adult is paramount;
all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse; and
working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, their carers, and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

The purpose of the policy is:

to provide protection for the children and young people and vulnerable adults who attend any Arts Group Wanstead events, including the children of adult participants or visitors; and
to provide organisers, artists and volunteers with guidance on the procedures that they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person or vulnerable adult may be either experiencing, or at risk of, harm.

This policy applies to organisers, artists, volunteers and anyone working in any capacity on Arts Group Wanstead’s behalf.

The policy
Although Art Group Wanstead does not work directly with children or young people or vulnerable adults it recognises that the open nature of the trail in the community will involve children and vulnerable adults as part of the audience and in some cases as active arts participants, albeit under the direct supervision of teachers and / or parents and carers.  Art Group Wanstead participants will at all times seek to safeguard children and young people by:
valuing them, listening to them, and respecting them;
adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for organisers, artists and volunteers (see p.2, below);
recruiting organisers, artists and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made if at any time they are to work directly with children or young people;
sharing information about child protection and good practice with officers, members,  volunteers, parents, and children (see code of conduct , below) ;
sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately; and
providing effective management for officers, members, and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

Art  Group Wanstead code of conduct

You must:
treat all children and young people with respect;
provide an example of the good conduct that you wish others to follow;
ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people and vulnerable adults, or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others;
respect a young person and vulnerable adult’s right to personal privacy;
encourage young people and vulnerable adults to feel comfortable and caring enough for them to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like;
remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned;
be aware that physical contact with a child or young person or vulnerable adult may be misinterpreted;
recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people or vulnerable adults;
operate within Art Group Wanstead’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures; and
challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse to the co-ordinator . The co-ordinator will pass on concerns to relevant child protection authorities in accordance with local procedures.

You must not:
have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people or vulnerable adults;
allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour;
make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people or vulnerable adults;
jump to conclusions about others without checking the facts;
either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse/vulnerable adult abuse issues;
show favouritism to any individual;
rely on your own or Art Group Wanstead’s good name to protect you;
believe ‘it could never happen to me’; or take a chance when common sense, policy, or practice suggests another more  prudent  approach.

Donna Mizzi
Chairperson  Art Group Wanstead 2011

Note from the chairman Donna Mizzi.  If any members feel that the policies need additions/amendments at any time — perhaps due to some particular event we are becoming involved in — please ask for it to be added to the agenda for the next AGW meeting. Non-urgent points may be put on hold until the annual meeting.

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