Safer Spaces Policy

Together! 2012 CIC aims to create a ‘Safer Space’ for our events and activities where everyone is included equally. We are currently limited by the venues that exist locally in how far we can implement this policy (in particular, the newer buildings only meet the minimum standard), but we are planning to create our own fully inclusive arts centre, The David Morris Cultural Centre, as soon as possible.

What do we mean by a Safer Space?

Together! 2012 CIC worked for 12 months with our Team members, Board members and participants to identify what we mean by Safety and a Safer Space. Our consultants on this journey were Resist and Renew. See below for the definitions we came up with.

The majority of our policies contribute towards the Together! 2012 CIC Safer Spaces Policy:

The Ground rules for participants explain what we expect of participants in our Clubs programme and other activities and their carers to keep themselves and other people safe.

The Code of Conduct for Personal Assistance explains what we expect of paid workers providing support to participants to keep themselves and other people safe.

The Code of Conduct for Directors, Employees, Apprentices, Interns and Volunteers explains what we expect of our Team members to keep themselves and other people safe.

The Data Protection Policy explains how we keep personal information safe.

The Equality & Diversity Policy explains our commitment to offer equal opportunities to everyone who works, volunteers or participates with Together! 2012 CIC.

The Feedback, Compliments and Complaints Policy explains what you can do if you have concerns about safety issues.

The Health and Safety Policy and Smoking Policy explain the practical steps we take to create a safe and accessible environment at our events and activities.

The Safeguarding Policy explains what we will do if we are concerned about someone’s safety.

The Quality Assurance Policy explains the steps we take to ensure that everyone can benefit from high quality activities and events.

In addition to these, our Metrics for measuring Equality, Access and Inclusion explain the practical steps we take to ensure that our events and activities are inclusive and accessible: http://www.together2012.org.uk/resources/metrics-for-equality-access-and-inclusion/

What is a Safer Space?

VENUES

  • A space which can be reached easily by public transport and private vehicles and is close to parking and transport routes.
  • A space which is clean, well-lit, has good acoustics and is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • A space with clean air.
  • A space which can meet individual access requirements, such as step-free access and an induction loop.
  • A space which has suitable furniture to meet a range of needs, including tables to put things on and a choice of chairs.
  • A space which is uncrowded and clear of obstructions that block free movement by wheelchair users, people with visual impairments and people with reduced mobility.
  • A space with a fully accessible toilet with an entrance directly off a lobby or corridor, not just a minimum standard one or one which is reached through a communal toilet, plus seating provision for anyone waiting to use it.
  • A space which can meet personal care needs, such as having a hoist and a sharps bin and where medical waste can be disposed of safely.
  • A space that has a defibrillator as well as a First Aid kit and a First Aider on the premises.
  • A space with access to refreshments without going out.
  • A space where the ingredients of refreshments are known and clearly labelled and a choice is provided.
  • A space without nuts.
  • A space which includes a separate space to go if feeling overwhelmed or if someone needs to pray.
  • A space where the doors are easy to open including by wheelchair users and people with reduced strength.
  • A space where the most physically vulnerable people do not face additional barriers to access it, such as longer routes and waits for service.
  • A space where equipment and materials are clearly organised and are kept and returned to the same place.
  • A space where equipment can be reached and replaced easily.
  • A space which, if it includes lift access, has more than one lift and with all lifts being larger than the minimum standard, so that no one is trapped upstairs and there is space for powered wheelchair and scooter users and companions.
  • A space which is safe from crime.

BEHAVIOUR

  • A space where the focus is on art and creativity, and where people can develop their identity as their creative self.
  • A space without discrimination where everyone is respected as equals and no one is harassed, mocked or bullied.
  • A space where people are not criticised or judged.
  • A space where Disabled people are respected as the experts on their own needs, and feel safe to say when these are not being met or could be met better.
  • A space where people own their feelings and do not take it out on others if they are struggling to understand them or meet their needs or they otherwise feel inadequate.
  • A space where Disabled people do not have to identify their individual needs in order for basic inclusion standards to be met and facilities to be provided.
  • A space where distress, anxiety, different ways of speaking and meltdowns are responded to appropriately and not mistaken for abuse.
  • A space where everyone is not expected to have the same life experiences outside of it, and where the needs and rights of people who lead physically and/or socially restricted lives are respected.
  • A space where people help each other, particularly when they don’t have access to one-to-one support.
  • A space where conflicts can be resolved positively and people can move forward from them.
  • A space where clearly defined and straightforward systems and processes will be followed which everyone can understand, learn and rely on.
  • A space where no one will be asked personal questions about their lives and impairments and personal comments will not be made about them, their clothes, possessions and disability aids.
  • A space where no one is made to feel different or inferior because of their uniqueness and where no one suggests it would be better for them to be non-disabled or to have different access needs.
  • A space where personal space is respected, including the space around a wheelchair user.
  • A space where no one touches another person without asking permission first and then agreeing how to in advance.
  • A space where no one touches people’s wheelchairs, clothes or bags or moves things without gaining permission first and then agreeing how to in advance.
  • A space where triggering subjects will usually be avoided, particularly conversations about abuse, suicide, housing or benefits difficulties and family relationships, and where trigger warnings will be provided if activities, screenings, performances or events contain these subjects.
  • A space where people feel comfortable having their beliefs about Disability and Disabled people and/or their professional practice challenged, and are able to change their behaviour without feeling attacked or defensive.
  • A space where people feel comfortable engaging with challenging art.