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Learn about our approach to safeguarding at each stage of our funding process.

You can also see our full Safeguarding Policy, which includes information about Esmée's responsibilities on safeguarding. If you have any questions about our approach to safeguarding, please email:


All organisations are asked to submit their safeguarding policy with their proposal.

In general, we expect all organisations applying for funding to have a Safeguarding Policy in place.

On a limited number of occasions, organisations may be invited to submit a proposal without having a safeguarding policy in place (for example, as part of our efforts to remove barriers for organisations who are not eligible to apply to our main fund due to governance or other requirements of our general funding). Any decision to waive the requirement for a safeguarding policy must be approved by a member of the Executive Team, and a condition may be placed on the funding requiring the development of a safeguarding policy or approach once funding is in place.


Drawing on the Charity Commission’s guidelines, we require all applicants to demonstrate adequate safeguarding measures are in place in the following four areas:

  • Policies and Procedures: The organisation has appropriate policies, and procedures are in place to keep people safe.
  • Reporting and Response: The organisation has accessible channels for people to raise concerns and is clear about how it will respond, including reporting to relevant authorities.
  • Human Resources: The organisation takes steps to ensure people are suitable to act in their roles and everyone is aware of their safeguarding responsibilities.
  • Governance and Accountability: There is clear accountability and oversight to ensure everyone connected with the charity is protected from harm.

Please note: This guidance is a living document and will be updated by the designated leads for safeguarding (guided by external safeguarding experts) in light of changes to legislation or best practice and training will be provided to the Executive Team.

In any circumstances where the assessment results in concerns about the welfare of a child, young person, adult at risk or the ability of the organisation in managing its' safeguarding procedures within the law, concerns should be raised immediately with the designated safeguarding lead or deputy to decide on the next steps.

Funding decision

If an organisation is turned down at proposal stage and there are concerns about safeguarding practice, those concerns will be communicated back to the organisation, signposting which organisations/agencies may be able to help them address the issue. This communication will also be copied to the organisation’s chair of Trustees or non-executive Director. A copy of this should be placed on the organisation’s Salesforce record (if there are strict confidentiality issues with doing this, then guidance should be sought from the Chief Operating Officer).

Funding management

In line with Charity Commission guidance, fundees are required to notify the Foundation of incidents that have resulted in, or risk, significant harm or abuse:

  • Where the harm was caused by someone connected with the work funded by the Foundation.
  • Where the harm or risk of harm was created by a breach or serious failure in organisational safeguarding procedures.

Safeguarding incidents may be reported to the Esmée staff member (usually the Funding Manager), identified during project visits, or shared as part of monitoring reports. The responsibility for responding to the concern, including notifying relevant authorities and the regulator, rests with the fundee and should be undertaken in line with their own safeguarding procedures.

Upon receiving the report, the Funding Manager will notify the Designated Safeguarding Lead to seek guidance on what further information is required from the fundee.

  • Where the Foundation is satisfied that appropriate action has been taken, the Funding Manager will simply thank the fundee for sharing details of the concern and their response.
  • If further information is required, the Funding Manager will call the relevant Senior member of staff in the fundee organisation to discuss the action taken. The Funding Manager will not request any personal details related to those involved in the incident (e.g., names) and the focus should be on actions taken in response and learning rather than requesting detailed information about the incident itself.