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Deaf Rainbow UK was funded by several individual donations made by people through the Deaf LGBTQ+ Facebook group

We are all volunteers and are a registered charity since Nov 2020 – this is something we will continue to review. Our constitution is here.

Phase 1 was the creation of our website.

Phase 2 has involved trialling some Art projects and Sexual Health work. It has also involved several pieces of work as you can read here.

See here for a visual of our committee structure.

To stay up-to-date with our progress please subscribe to our newsletter via this link.

For any safeguarding concerns we will immediately signpost such cases to the appropriate groups such as Stonewall, Terence Higgins Trust, Signhealth, Albert Kennedy, or the police if necessary.

policies and position statements

WORKING WITH ORGANISATIONS

Deaf Rainbow UK, as of 2020, has no staff resources; it is completely volunteer led.

Deaf Rainbow UK values the services and opportunities that can be given to members of the deaf lgbtq+ community via organisations and charities.

Some organisations will be deaf specific, others will lgbtq+ specific.  We do not know of any that are both at the time of writing this position statement.

Deaf Rainbow UK recognises that organisations will vary in their level of expertise and resources to deliver services to members of the Deaf LGBTQ+ community.

Deaf Rainbow UK will always try to remove any duplication of effort, especially within a population that is already a marginalised minority within a minority.  We will always ask how an idea has originated, whether there is evidence of need.

Deaf Rainbow UK will champion and value any efforts to work with our group to deliver services to members of the deaf lgbtq+ community in the UK; on a local, regional or national basis.

We will almost always want such efforts to be evidence based and impactful, we are not funding driven but needs-driven.

We will always carefully consider any approaches that are made by organisations or charities that are led by either or both hearing and non-LGBTQ+ people.

We will always champion the need for full access; both captioning and British Sign Language in delivery and resources.

We will always welcome, or initiate, support to Deaf Rainbow UK whether financial or In-kind (e.g. free advice, help with particular pieces of work).

Date of this statement: November 28th 2020

Allies

HWe at Deaf Rainbow UK welcome anyone who are not Deaf or LGBTIQA+ as our Allies.

Examples of this are hearing partners of Deaf LGBTIQA+ people, friends who are straight, and hearing interpreters who work with deaf people.

We welcome any and all support that will help lead to potential positive opportunities.  We may also assign pieces of work to Allies where appropriate.

When we hold events, sometimes these will be limited to only Deaf LGBTIQA+ people, other-times everyone will be welcome. This will always be considered carefully by an event by event basis.

The Facebook Group Deaf Rainbow UK is moderated independently as a Safe Space for Deaf people who associate with the LGBTIQA+ spectrum.  We will always respect the independence of this group.  The advantages of this group using the same name as our wider charity, means much less confusion for deaf people out there who associate themselves with the LGBTIQA+ spectrum..

Our constitution stipulates that the committee members must be Deaf and LGBTIQA+

If you like to be an ally then please do support Deaf Rainbow UK either via donation or contacting us directly.

Date of this statement: September 29th 2020

Sign Language Interpreters – interim

Deaf Rainbow UK values sign language interpreting by professional accredited sign language interpreters and translators.

In 2018-21 Deaf Rainbow has received a number of requests for contact information for sign language interpreters and translators, and sometimes specific requests related to race, gender and sexuality.

  • At the time of writing this statement, we only know what we know; there are no formal partnerships with any sign language interpreting bodies.
  • We have an informal list of interpreters, most of those  are from the NRCPD website, we do however recognise that we need to adhere to good data protection, even as a volunteer group.
  • A few of our interpreters and translators are also LGBTQ+ and have volunteered their time for us, especially as a body of experts.

Deaf Rainbow UK recognises the lived experience of professionals who are LGBTQ+ and the added value this gives to their work.

We encourage all sign language bodies to develop the scarce intersectionality in the field of sign language interpreters and translators, growing the supply, demand and ability of sign language interpreters.

We greatly recommend and encourage the involvement of Deaf users; Deaf LGBTQ+ people themselves in the delivery and experience of sign language interpreting provision; maintaining a continuous feedback loop that leads to more things.

Date of this statement: November 28th 2020

Deaf Rainbow UK and the Devolved Countries

Vision

Deaf Rainbow UK Vision is to have unity amongst all deaf LGBTQ Plus people across the UK, especially to represent and influence decisions that relate to our community members.

The more services and support out there as determined by Deaf LGBTQ+ people, the better.

We strongly respect the value of participation and support the need for country-specific determined views/approaches from Deaf LGBTQ+ people themselves.

Current Status

We do not have any formal relationships with any of the devolved countries, but we have a warm affinity with the below:

  • Deaf Rainbow Scotland – which is a social Facebook Group run by Leah Francisco and has both deaf and hearing members.
  • Deaf LGBTIQA Wales (soon to be renamed) – which is chaired by William Everett. (more details re funding and status?)
  • Nothing in Northern Ireland other than direct contact with Paula Clarke

We do not have any relationship with specific service organisations in the devolved countries although we always will try to engage positively.

Advantages

To be able to promote any specific opportunities amongst all the UK

To be able to share any useful information with all interested parties

To have unity in the values and representation of Deaf people who are LGBTQ+ and share common goals.

Boundaries Deaf Rainbow UK will adhere to

Funding – 

We will never apply for devolved country specific funding opportunities without the inclusion of the relevant groups there.

We will always flag opportunities to our friends in the devolved countries for funding and support any efforts to apply by sharing data or giving advice.

It will always be the decision of the country specific group to apply for country-specific funding.

Representation – 

We will never represent the views/needs of Deaf LGBTQ plus people in a devolved country without the involvement of the very people!

Membership 

We do not propose any formal membership structure at the time of writing this especially due to only having just become a registered charity ourselves.  We will always review this.

Date of next review

March 24 2021

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Deaf Rainbow UK Safeguarding Policy (Date of next review, December 2021)

Introduction

Deaf Rainbow UK seeks to support, inform and represent deaf people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual Plus. We used to be called Deaf LGBTIQA+ UK. Set up in 2018, we are a small project run by deaf volunteers and currently on the process application to become incorporated. We do have governing documents and a bank society account that is managed by two committee members. We are not able to do any direct work with anyone aged under 18 years old for the moment given insufficient safeguarding resources/abilities but would like to revisit this in the future.

Principles

This safeguarding policy’s aim is to protect Deaf Rainbow UK and to make our services as safe as possible for all our staff, volunteers and members. We plan to make all staff and volunteers aware of our Safeguarding Policy once they join Deaf Rainbow UK and will email them a copy.

We will do a Safeguarding Review regularly especially now we have become a registered charity. This is to remind ourselves of our responsibilities and understand when, where and how to make referrals.

We also will check which level of DBS check (basic, standard or enhanced) our volunteers or staff may require when we take them in, as new criteria may have been brought in since it was last checked.

Confidentiality Statement

This agreement will be included for all staff, volunteers and members;-

Deaf Rainbow UK wants to ensure we provide a safe space for our members in person or digitally now and when we gain funding to expand.

All information is kept confidential except:

Where, in our opinion, there may be a danger to yourself or to others. In this situation, Deaf Rainbow UK will need to pass information on to ensure we are keeping you and others safe.

Information may be passed onto other relevant deaf organisations/ services, social services and/or the police as appropriate.

Supervision sessions are held with Deaf Rainbow UK committee members and volunteers to allow them to gain support and guidance and ensure we are working ethically and competently.

AGREEMENT: I have read and understood the above information and agree to conditions as made clear to me.

Signed:

Date:

Categorising Service Provision

Our provision is currently focused on digital sessions where we do informal meets and informative webinars that members may register to gain access. We do informative accessible videos and also advise organisations on improving access for their events/ services.

Our main audience beneficiaries live across the UK.

In the future we may have 1:1 sessions in a specified space, but never at beneficiaries’ homes, when offering support and information.

Safeguarding Statement

Deaf Rainbow UK is committed to safeguarding all vulnerable adults that it comes into contact with.

The purpose of this policy and its subsequent procedures are to outline a clear framework to protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults so that all staff, volunteers and those working on behalf of Deaf Rainbow UK are aware of their roles and responsibilities in identifying concerns, sharing information, and taking action.

We expect everyone to have read, understood and adhere to this policy and its related procedures.  The Safeguarding Policy will be part of our Volunteer Agreement Statement.

This policy was developed in November 2020 and we will continually review/update if we increase our services to more face to face contact subject to specific funding.

Designated Staff Contact Details

Tyron Woolfe, the Chairperson of Deaf Rainbow UK is the Safeguarding Lead as he is available to ensuring all the committee and the staff/ volunteers adhere to the Safeguarding Policy. He also would be available for other staff and/or volunteers for advice.

Michelle Goodwin is the lead in relation to updating the policy and ensuring that all staff/volunteers attend at least Level One Safeguarding training. We are working with the LGBT Consortium, especially via its Thrive and Survive support, to always improve our work and increase our Safeguarding abilities.

Both Tyron Woolfe and Michelle Goodwin can be reached by email hello@deafrainbowuk.org.uk  and their textphone numbers are:

Tyron Woolfe: 07725461600

Michelle Goodwin: 07935063370

Both Tyron Woolfe and Michelle Goodwin will undertake training to fulfil their roles, as will successive people who will replace them if/when they step down.

Anyone on the committee or who works/volunteers for Deaf Rainbow UK can raise a concern about a child or vulnerable adult at any time.

If anyone has a concern with the Chairperson, then formal contact will be made with the Secretary, who will then contact the local Safeguarding board if necessary.

Minimising risks

We will check any possible risk factors before organising every event/ service to ensure we are protected and our members are protected also. This is included in the planning/organising of the event and we record any safeguarding issues and how we have resolved those issues if they have arised.

If there is any concern from the event/service, participants should notify the committee immediately particularly the Chairperson and Secretary, so that they can advise what further action can be done, and do a report on it and the consequences from the actions agreed to be undertaken.

Recognising Abuse and Procedures to Respond to Concerns

Signs to look out for could be the individual exhibiting out of the ordinary behaviour, actions, appearance or different behaviour around people that may indicate them being victims of abuse, report to the Chairperson and Secretary immediately so the correct course of action could be decided. The Chairperson and/or the Secretary can contact the relevant Safeguarding Board anytime for guidance.

Procedures to Respond to Allegations involving Staff/Volunteers

All volunteers and staff who run events are to be told safeguarding reporting procedures and must tell attendees that if they feel uncomfortable about anything, they are free to report to the organisers of the event/service anytime in a safe way and are explained how to do so.

If possible, we will display safeguarding posters with a brief statement on how to report and contact details of the safeguarding lead. This will include their photograph to help members to identify the lead.

For staff and volunteers, they will have easy access to the safeguarding policy which include instructions on what the procedure is if needed. It must be explained to them to not ask leading or unnecessary questions when they receive a direct disclosure e.g. someone telling them that they have been assaulted. Instead they should pass on the information to the Safeguarding lead, to ensure the person’s safety and wellbeing.

It will be made clear that all allegations will be taken seriously and acted on.

Safer Recruitment

DBS must be done for any staff employed by Deaf Rainbow UK whether it be basic or standard check. As Deaf Rainbow UK do not cater for under 18s, an enhanced DBS will not be required. Employees may not commence employment without supervision until the DBS has been received.

Employees must provide documents including a photograph and current address for identity verification. This will be done at a face to face meeting, where the name and date of birth on the DBS certificate will be checked against the employee application form. Deaf Rainbow UK will also check previous employment history and inquire for gaps in employment history.

Staff and volunteers who have contact with vulnerable adults at least once a week or four times a month must have a DBS check, and may not commence volunteering without supervision until the DBS check has been received.

For Transgender people who wish to volunteer or be employed, and do not want their gender identity be declared on their DBS applications are encouraged to contact the sensitive applications team by emailing the DBS team who can advise at sensitive@dbs.gov.uk. They are also advised that an applicant using the confidential checking service will still complete the same application form as any other applicant.

All volunteers including members are asked to always represent Deaf Rainbow UK in a professional manner.

Online Safety

We expect all volunteers and participants in any online events to sign to our ground rules around keeping safe and respect. It is essential that staff and volunteers maintain professional distance online. As we mainly use Zoom, we should adhere to it’s security settings to ensure privacy and security which can be found here.

We will always advise participants as to how to report concerns from online activities to the organisers and the committee.

When broken down into its component areas of risk, safeguarding is fundamentally concerned with behaviours and a considerable number of avenues through which safeguarding concerns might arise digitally.

The designated safeguarding lead will decide whether the person is at immediate risk of harm. If they are, they will take action. This could mean removing the person from the harmful situation, or removing the person causing the harm, involving the police, local safeguarding board or social services if relevant.

In order to ensure transparency and accountability, all evidence must be collected relevant to the apparent risk. Deaf Rainbow UK will not delete any evidence e.g. images, messages, They will also ensure this evidence is placed in a secure place so evidence cannot be destroyed or the individual further abused. Deaf Rainbow UK will not copy any evidence, screenshot or print where possible. In the case of evidence involving an illegal image, for example, pornography involving illegal acts or indecent images of children, Deaf Rainbow UK will seek advice from CEOP or the police around how best to handle such evidence.

The safeguarding lead will consider the individual’s situation and context as much as possible and react accordingly. The lead will find out on who they should contact, and what information should be provided. Contact will normally be made with the Contact Assessment Team/Adult Safeguarding Team. Depending on the Borough in which the person resides there will be a different contact/referral procedure. The safeguarding lead will visit the borough’s Local Authority website, and search for Safeguarding Referrals for up to date procedures and contact details and advise the worker accordingly. Further inquiry and protection measures might involve:

  • Discussing the issues with the adult themselves
  • Building up a more detailed picture of the situation at hand through partnership working and further investigation
  • Considering prevention measures that can be put in place to prevent the vulnerable adult from being abused and neglected

We do not share anyone’s contact details as per good GDPR practice. We are developing our Data Protection policy with support from the Consortium.

Information on this policy and further referrals can be found here;-

 Reference List to accompanying Relevant Policies and Procedures

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