Policy 19 – Complaints Policy

Dealing with Complaints

  1. Introduction

1.1 Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground recognises that from time-to-time complaints will arise from the public, members of organisations, or an organisation itself, about how we do things, or how our employees, trainees, or volunteers behave.

Our aim is to have a process to respond to these that is simple to use and understand.

1.2 This policy and the procedures outlined here are applicable for complaints that relate to the way we have dealt with both safeguarding and other issues, however if you have a safeguarding concern or believe somebody’s wellbeing may be at risk, please consult the section entitled Safeguarding Concerns.

  1. Principles

2.1 The process is based on the following principles that should apply to how we deal with complaints whether they relate to employees, volunteers, or trainees:

  • The process should be fair and just;
  • Help and support should be offered to those making the complaint and those subject to the complaint;
  • Confidentiality must be respected;
  • Where it is appropriate, the possibility of reconciliation should be explored;
  • Errors that may have been made should be corrected wherever practical, reasonable and affordable;
  • Wherever possible the aim is to resolve complaints informally rather than formally, and locally rather than centrally.
  1. Relationships with other processes

3.1 If other, specifically relevant complaints processes apply, you may be directed to these and helped to use them or be advised under which policy your complaint is being dealt with. This includes using the informal process for dealing with complaints against staff (see below), and which itself may result in complaints being carried forward under our Disciplinary Procedures.

3.2 If at any point there is a risk of immediate serious harm to an adult or a child, you should refer the matter to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and Adult or Children’s Social Care immediately, in accordance with our Safeguarding Policy.

  1. The informal stage

4.1 Many matters can be resolved informally and locally, and if you have a complaint, you should consider this approach first:

  • Think about what would resolve your concern;
  • Consider sharing your complaint with the person concerned if this is appropriate, or locally with someone who is in a position to take, or facilitate, action to resolve it, e.g. an employee of Gwealan Tops.
  • Do you have a friend or colleague who could support you?

4.2 If you feel that an informal approach is not appropriate, e.g. because your complaint relates to a serious matter, or if you are not satisfied with the outcome of an informal approach, you should make a formal complaint in writing as below.

  1. The formal stage

Complaints about employees

5.1 Matters of serious concern or allegations of professional misconduct relating to an employee should be referred to the Adventure Playground Manager. You should expect an acknowledgement within 10 working days and a definitive reply to your complaint within 28 days. If this is not possible, you will receive a progress report with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

5.2 In the first instance, it will be for the Adventure Playground Manager to decide whether:

  • this is a matter that might be better considered internally; or
  • to suggest an approach that may require an independent review of a decision, further reconciliation, or internal investigation.

5.3 It should be recognised that in some instances people will take positions that cannot be reconciled. However, the aim should be to ensure that the process respects those involved and is just in providing an active concern to those who are vulnerable, marginalised or oppressed.

5.4 If you remain unsatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to appeal this decision. If the matter relates to a member of staff, the appeal should be made in writing to the Trustees.

Other complaints

5.5 Formal complaints about employees, trainees, volunteers, contractors or consultants associated with or engaged by Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground should be sent in the first instance to the Playground Manager. They will investigate it, or delegate investigation of the complaint to the appropriate person, e.g. a Trustee.

Complaints about actions of staff or of the work of the Adventure Playground should be directed wherever possible to the relevant member of staff if known. If not, you should send it to the Playground Manager.

5.6 For non-employee related complaints, appeals should be addressed in the first instance to the Adventure Playground Manager and state the grounds for appeal. If the Adventure Playground Manager was involved in the original complaint, then they will pass the appeal to the Chair of Trustees for them to consider, or delegate to another Trustee, to hear.

  1. External stage

6.1 You may complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about how to make a complaint to the Charity Commission, and the ground on which individuals can complain, can be found on its website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission.

  1. 7. Safeguarding Concerns

7.1 If you have a safeguarding concern, you can contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who is the Adventure Playground Manager or the lead Trustee with responsibility for safeguarding.

7.2 For an urgent safeguarding concern please contact the Multi-agency Referral Unit: 0300 123 1116 or the Out of Hours Service: 01208 251300

7.3 If you believe somebody is at immediate risk of harm, call the police on 999.

  1. Contact Points

The Adventure Playground Manager can be contacted at:

Email: manager@gwealantops.org

Phone: 01209 697717

Mail: Manager, Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground, School Lane, Redruth, TR15 2ER

To contact a Trustee please send to:

Chair of Trustees, Gwealan Tops Adventure Playground, School Lane, Redruth, TR15 2ER