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Code of Conduct for staff and volunteers

This form outlines the behaviour we expect from all our staff and volunteers. Please read it and fill out the confirmation at the end.

This behaviour code outlines the conduct Arts Emergency expects from all our staff and volunteers.

The behaviour code aims to help us protect children and young people from abuse and reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations being made. It has been informed by the views of children and young people. Arts Emergency is responsible for making sure everyone taking part in our organisation has seen, understood and agreed to follow the code of behaviour, and that they understand the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.

The role of staff and volunteers

In your role at Arts Emergency you are acting in a position of authority and have a duty of care towards the children and young people we work with. You are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately.


You are responsible for:

  • prioritising the welfare of young people
  • providing a safe environment for young people:
    • ensuring equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose
    • having good awareness of issues to do with safeguarding and child protection and taking action when appropriate.
  • following our principles, policies and procedures:
    • including our policies and procedures for child protection/safeguarding, whistleblowing and online safety
  • staying within the law at all times
  • modelling good behaviour for young people to follow
  • challenging all unacceptable behaviour and reporting any breaches to the Head of Programmes
  • reporting all concerns about abusive behaviour, following our safeguarding and child protection procedures
  • this includes behaviour being displayed by an adult or child and directed at anybody of any age.

You may only let a young person under the age of 18 have your personal contact details (mobile number and emails) if you are mentoring them, if you are offering them support supervised by their mentor, or if you are offering an Arts Emergency approved work experience placement.


You should:

  • treat young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination
  • understand that children and young people are individuals with individual needs
  • respect differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability and religious belief systems, and appreciate that all participants bring something valuable and different to the group/organisation
  • challenge discrimination and prejudice. Encourage young people and adults to speak out about attitudes or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable
  • exercise caution when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people
  • ensure your contact with young people is appropriate and relevant to the work of the project you are involved in
  • ensure that whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people
    • if a situation arises where you are alone with a young person, such as during mentoring, ensure that you are within sight or hearing of other adults.
    • if a child specifically asks for or needs some individual time with you, ensure other staff or volunteers know where you and the child are.
  • only provide personal care in an emergency and make sure there is more than one adult present if possible, unless it has been agreed that the provision of personal care is part of your role and you have been trained to do this safely.


You should:

  • listen to and respect young people at all times
  • value and take young people’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible
  • respect a young person’s right to personal privacy as far as possible.
    • if you need to break confidentiality in order to follow child protection procedures, it is important to explain this to the young person at the earliest opportunity.

Unacceptable behaviour

When working with young people, you must not:

  • allow concerns or allegations to go unreported
  • take unnecessary risks smoke, consume alcohol or use illegal substances
  • develop inappropriate relationships with young people
  • make inappropriate promises to young people
  • engage in behaviour that is in any way abusive, including having any form of sexual contact with a child or young person.
  • contact with them via a personal social media account
  • act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive
  • patronise or belittle children and young people make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually - suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people

Upholding this code of behaviour

You should always follow this code of behaviour and never rely on your reputation or that of our organisation to protect you.

If you have behaved inappropriately you will be subject to our disciplinary procedures. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you may be asked to leave Arts Emergency. We may also make a report to statutory agencies such as the police and/or the local authority child protection services.

If you become aware of any breaches of this code, you must report them to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Joe Burton, If necessary you should follow our safeguarding and child protection procedures.

Wish List Guidance

If you are being introduced to a young person who is under 18, we will introduce you to them over email and cc in their mentor. Please keep them included in all your communications.

If you are being introduced to a young person who is 18 or over, you must only communicate in the following ways:

  • Over email. In this instance an approved Arts Emergency mentor or member of staff must be copied in at all times
  • Over video call. In this instance an approved Arts Emergency mentor or member of staff must also be included in the call. Ideally the mentor or staff member would set up the call
    • Do not interact with the young person you are introduced to over social media
    • If you are worried about the welfare of the young person you have been introduced to, or believe that they are a victim of abuse, please contact Arts Emergency's Designated Safeguarding Officer Joe Burton and report your concern here.
  • If you do want to meet in-person, get in touch so we can talk with you in detail about how to meet in safe and secure way

Code of Conduct Declaration

Arts Emergency Code of Conduct Declaration

Our Code of Conduct

Arts Emergency is based on mutual respect and kindness and we ask that you treat other young people, Arts Emergency staff and volunteers with the care and dignity they deserve. Once you have read our guidelines please sign the declaration below. If you have any questions about the information above, please contact