Safeguarding and Welfare

How we all keep our young and/or vulnerable club members and orienteering participants safe.


Everyone has a shared responsibility for safeguarding and creating safe, enjoyable environments in Orienteering whether as an Orienteer, parent, coach, club official or spectator. 

At our Association events or events run by individual clubs in the Region we want you to feel safe and welcome and we encourage you to raise any concerns you have or incidents you witness at the earliest opportunity to a Club Welfare Officer, our NEOA Safeguarding Officer or British Orienteering’s Lead Safeguarding Officer.

Our region is committed to the principles of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults and our region Safeguarding Officer is always there if you need any support or would like any advice.

Further information is available on British Orienteering’s Safeguarding pages.

Reporting a concern or incident

All reports are taken seriously and dealt with in a sensitive manner. Should you wish to report a concern or incident please contact either:

  • Your Club Welfare Officer:   see website safeguarding page for the organising club of the event  at which the concern/incident occurs
  • NEOA  Safeguarding Officer
  • British Orienteering’s Lead Safeguarding Officer

This includes any concerns about safeguarding either within orienteering or outside of orienteering and any concern over adult behaviour related to the welfare of children or adults at risk, including those away from the sport that involves members or participants.

All reports will be logged in confidence with the Lead Safeguarding Officer who will also explain the processes which will be followed depending on each case.

Your Association Safeguarding Officer

Allie Wilson Craw  has been a NATO member and member of the NEOA committee for many years and has held several roles within both organisations.  She has also been a regular competitor and planner of events to all levels and has been a controller  of events around the region and elsewhere.   Her experience of safeguarding stems from both work as a Bikeability instructor in schools  and  setting up safeguarding policies in two voluntary organisations.

Reporting Forms

In addition to contacting the region Safeguarding Officer, Club Welfare Officer or Lead Safeguarding Officer, there are a couple of forms you can also use to report a concern or incident.

British Orienteering Quick Report Form

British Orienteering has introduced a quick report form which can be used to make immediate reports to the Lead Safeguarding Officer. This form is user friendly on mobile devices.

On completion of this form the Lead Safeguarding Officer will follow up with you directly.

Other Reporting Forms

If you complete one of these forms, it will then need to be emailed to either your Club Welfare Officer or the Lead Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible.

If you need any advice on how to complete a form or what should you do if someone reports something to you, this short video will help you.

Safeguarding Policies

As a club, we support and follow British Orienteering’s two safeguarding policies, these can be found via the links below:

For further information including resources and training opportunities visit the British Orienteering website or contact the Lead Safeguarding Officer.

Additional Information

When you bring your children orienteering we will help you to ensure their welfare and safety by ensuring that;

  • The people who run the sport are safe to be with.
  • We take all reasonable steps to ensure that your children will be safe from other participants and strangers.
  • The challenges set will be manageable so that your children are able to find their way around the course.
  • They are not likely to be injured but if they are there are people and procedures in place to look after them.
  • Your children’s individual needs will be considered as far as possible within the nature of the sport.

The people who run the sport are safe to be with:

Our coaches and officials who have unsupervised regular contact with children and adults at risk have satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service checks (England and Wales), Access NI (Northern Ireland) or PVG (Scotland) checks.

Our club has a welfare officer.

We take all reasonable steps to ensure that your children will be safe from other participants and from strangers:

Organisers of events and activities carry out risk assessments and have procedures for managing safety in public places.

We have had no reported incidents of children coming to any harm from strangers in public places whilst orienteering.

The challenges set will be manageable so that your children are able to find their way back, the ground they cross is not too rough for their experience/strength:

Planners of courses and activities follow rules and guidelines to provide courses or activities with different levels of challenge to meet different needs.

We record  every individual  who participates at every event or activity to ensure that they are accounted for at the end of the event.

We will give you information so that you understand the level of challenge on courses offered.  We expect you to follow our guidelines about which course is appropriate for you or your children to complete. In order to meet our safeguarding and insurance responsibilities, we may refuse to let you do a course if we consider you are taking undue risk.

They are not likely to be injured,  but if they are, there are people and procedures in place to look after them:

Officials organising events and activities carry out risk assessments.

They have procedures for finding and looking after lost children and for providing first aid.

Your children’s individual needs will be taken care of as far as possible within the nature of the sport:

At events, we will explain what physical and navigational skills are needed to complete a course and how we can help with an individual need.

At activities led by coaches if you tell us about any special needs we will tell you what adaptations can be made to make our activities accessible.