Safeguarding adults and children

We are committed to safeguarding our people from harm and to a safeguarding culture where everyone has responsibility for the safeguarding and wellbeing of vulnerable adults and children. This includes our staff, volunteers and everyone who uses or come into contact with our charity. We recognise that all our people, regardless of race, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief, have the right to protection from all types of harm or abuse.

Versus Arthritis has a comprehensive safeguarding policy and procedures, the implementation of which is overseen by our Director of People and Culture and supported by Versus Arthritis’ Safeguarding Oversight Group and our network of Safeguarding Champions.

We have a designated safeguarding trustee, a safeguarding manager and named safeguarding champions across Versus Arthritis.

We have a safer recruitment policy in place to ensure that people who join our organisation through employment or volunteering, are suitable for their roles.

All our staff, volunteers and trustees are trained to recognise signs which could indicate that a vulnerable adult or child may be being abused or neglected. We will not tolerate any behaviours or practices which could lead to anyone being abused and/or exploited.

We highly value the contribution of our staff and volunteers and offer them a range of support to manage our work. We are committed to creating not just a safe place to work but also a supportive and rewarding one.

For more information:


Who may be a vulnerable adult?

The definition of a vulnerable adult is: “A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation.”

Who is a child at risk?

A child – is defined as a person who is aged under 18 and includes an unborn child.
A child at risk – is a child who:

  • Is experiencing or is at risk of abuse, neglect or other kinds of harm.
  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs).

Worried about an adult or child?

If there's an immediate risk of harm, call the emergency services on 999.

If you're very concerned about someone's health or welfare but don't think it's an emergency, call 111 for NHS advice, 24 hours a day.

In other situations, you can contact the local council in the area where the person lives and raise an 'adult safeguarding' concern. This should be done with the consent of the person wherever possible.

If that's not possible, or you feel that seeking consent would create more risk, then you can contact the council without the consent of the person at risk.

Use these links to get in touch with your local council.

Versus Arthritis does not investigate reports of abuse or neglect. But see below for advice on who to contact if you have concerns.

Useful links

If you are helping someone who is struggling, you may need to signpost them to another organisation to help with something specific.

We have compiled a list of organisations that have helplines to help people struggling with housing, debt, domestic violence, being a single parent, tax and disability.

Hours of service are given where known. 0800 and 0808 numbers are generally freephone numbers from landlines and most mobile networks. Check the organisation's website and with your mobile phone supplier for more information.



Call Shelter if you need urgent housing information from an expert housing adviser. You should use this line if you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or in a bad housing situation.

Shelter England/Scotland 0808 800 4444 (open 365 days a year - weekdays 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, weekends 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (England); weekdays 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (Scotland))

Shelter Cymru 0345 075 5005 (weekdays 9.30 am to 4.00 pm)

In Northern Ireland, you should contact:

Housing Rights Service Northern Ireland (NI) 028 9024 5640 (weekdays 9.30 am to 4.30 pm)

Read the Turn2us Help with Housing Costs information


Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can provide advice on a range of different topics. Calls to this service cost the same as landlines. See How much does it cost to call Citizens Advice for more information.
03444 111 444

Your local Citizens Advice bureau can also provide information and advice. You can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool to find its contact details or look at the Citizens Advice website for the country of the UK you live in for more details:



If you need free advice on problem debt, you can call StepChange. Their team of debt experts can help you find the solutions you need.

0800 138 1111 (weekdays 8.00 am - 8.00 pm, Saturdays 8.00 am to 4.00 pm)

StepChange website

See Turn2Us Debt information page for details of other debt advice agencies.

Domestic violence/abuse


National Domestic Violence Helpline

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Freephone helpline for support and information.
0808 2000 247 (24 hour)

National Domestic Violence Helpline website


Men's Advice Line

Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner, ex-partner or from other family members.
0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm)

Men's Advice Line website

LGBT domestic abuse support

LGBT Foundation

LGBT Foundation is a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities.

0345 3 30 30 30 or email 

Weekdays - 9am until 9pm and Saturday & Sunday - 10am until 5.30pm

LGBT Foundation website

Single parents

Gingerbread (England, Northern Ireland and Wales)

Gingerbread is a charity helping single parents. If you cannot find the information you need on their website, you can call their helpline.
0808 802 0925 (Mondays 10.00 am - 6.00 pm; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10.00 am - 4.00 pm; Wednesdays 10.00 am - 1.00 pm and 5.00 - 7.00 pm; the helpline is closed on all public holidays)

Gingerbread website (England and Wales)

Gingerbread NI website (Northern Ireland)

One Parent Families Scotland

One Parent Families Scotland provides help to all single parent families in Scotland.
0808 801 0323 (weekdays 9.30 am - 4.30 pm)

One Parent Families Scotland website

Children at risk


A confidential service for vulnerable children under 19 to talk about anything that is worrying them.
0800 1111 (24/7)

Childline website


The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children provide 24/7 help and support if you are worried about a child.
0808 800 5000 (24/7)

NSPCC website

Disability and Health

Disability Law Service

The Disability Law Service provides free legal advice, information and representation to disabled people and their families or carers.
0207 791 9800 (weekdays 10.00 am till 1.00 pm then 2.00 pm till 5.00 pm) for general enquiries

Disability Law Service website

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan are a national charity that helps people living with cancer. It provides practical, medial and financial support as well as campaigning for change.
0808 808 0000 (seven days a week 8.00 am to 8.00 pm)

Macmillan Cancer Support website


Scope provides free and independent support on issues that matter to disabled people and their families. Calls are free from a UK landline and from most mobiles.
0808 800 3333 (weekdays 9.00 am - 5.00 pm)

Scope website


Migrant Help

Migrant help are a charity helping people seek asylum as well as a working on a number of other migrant specific issues.
0808 80000 630

Migrant Help website

Mental health


The Mind Infoline provides information on a range of issues including mental health problems, medication and advocacy.
0300 123 3393 (9.00 am to 6.00 pm Mondays to Fridays except bank holidays)

Mind website

Older people

Age UK

Age UK Advice is a free and confidential phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals.
0800 055 6112 (8.00 am - 7.00 pm, 365 days a year)

Age UK website

Diogelu oedolion a phlant

Rydym wedi ymrwymo i ddiogelu pob un o'n pobl rhag niwed ac i ddiwylliant diogelu lle mae gan bawb gyfrifoldeb am ddiogelu a lles plant ac oedolion agored i niwed. Mae hyn yn cynnwys ein staff, gwirfoddolwyr a phawb sy'n defnyddio neu'n dod i gysylltiad â'n helusen. Rydym yn cydnabod bod gan bob un o’n pobl, waeth beth fo’u hil, oed, gallu, rhyw, cyfeiriadedd rhywiol, crefydd neu gred, yr hawl i gael eu hamddiffyn rhag pob math o niwed neu gamdriniaeth.

Mae gan Versus Arthritis bolisi a gweithdrefnau diogelu cynhwysfawr, ac mae ein Cyfarwyddwr Pobl a Diwylliant yn goruchwylio’r gwaith o’u rhoi ar waith. Mae hyn hefyd yn cael ei gefnogi gan Grŵp Goruchwylio Diogelu Versus Arthritis a’n rhwydwaith o Hyrwyddwyr Diogelu.

Mae gennym ni ymddiriedolwr diogelu dynodedig, rheolwr diogelu, a hyrwyddwyr diogelu penodol ar draws Versus Arthritis.

Mae gennym bolisi recriwtio mwy diogel ar waith i sicrhau bod pobl sy’n ymuno â’n sefydliad drwy gyflogaeth neu wirfoddoli yn addas ar gyfer eu rolau.
Mae ein holl staff, gwirfoddolwyr ac ymddiriedolwyr wedi’u hyfforddi i adnabod arwyddion a allai awgrymu bod plentyn neu oedolyn agored i niwed yn cael ei gam-drin neu ei esgeuluso. Ni fyddwn yn goddef unrhyw ymddygiadau neu arferion a allai arwain at unrhyw un yn cael eu cam-drin a/neu eu hecsbloetio.

Rydym yn gwerthfawrogi’n fawr gyfraniad ein staff a’n gwirfoddolwyr ac yn cynnig ystod o gymorth iddynt reoli ein gwaith. Rydym wedi ymrwymo i greu nid yn unig lle diogel i weithio, ond hefyd un cefnogol a gwerth chweil.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth:

Pwy all fod yn oedolyn agored i niwed?

Y diffiniad o oedolyn agored i niwed yw: “Person sy’n 18 oed neu drosodd, ac a all fod angen gwasanaethau gofal cymunedol oherwydd anabledd meddwl neu anabledd arall, oedran neu salwch ac sydd, neu efallai, yn methu â gofalu amdanynt eu hunain, neu'n methu ag amddiffyn eu hunain rhag niwed sylweddol neu gamfanteisio difrifol.”

Pwy sy'n blentyn sy'n wynebu risg?

Plentyn- yn cael ei ddiffinio fel person sydd o dan 18 oed ac yn cynnwys plentyn heb ei eni.

Plentyn sy’n wynebu risg – yn blentyn sydd:

• Yn profi neu mewn perygl o gael eu cam-drin, ei esgeuluso neu fathau eraill o niwed..
• Ag anghenion gofal a chymorth (p’un a yw’r awdurdod yn diwallu unrhyw un o’r anghenion hynny ai peidio).

Poeni am oedolyn neu blentyn?
Os oes yna risg uniongyrchol o niwed, ffoniwch y gwasanaethau brys ar 999.
Os ydych chi'n bryderus iawn am iechyd neu les rhywun ond ddim yn meddwl ei fod yn argyfwng, ffoniwch 111 am gyngor gan y GIG, 24 awr y dydd.

Mewn sefyllfaoedd eraill, gallwch gysylltu â'r cyngor lleol yn yr ardal lle mae'r person yn byw a chodi pryder 'diogelu oedolion'. Dylid gwneud hyn gyda chaniatâd y person lle bo modd.

Os nad yw hynny'n bosibl, neu os ydych yn teimlo y byddai ceisio caniatâd yn creu mwy o risg, yna gallwch gysylltu â'r cyngor heb ganiatâd y person sydd mewn perygl.
Defnyddiwch y dolenni hyn i gysylltu â'ch cyngor lleol.

Nid yw Versus Arthritis yn ymchwilio i adroddiadau am gamdriniaeth neu esgeulustod. Ond gweler isod am gyngor ar bwy i gysylltu â nhw os oes gennych bryderon.