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Safeguarding and Accidents

What to do in the unlikely event of falls or accidents

It is important to highlight that walk and talkers are their own responsibility and anybody joining a community led Walk and Talk does so at their own risk. 

So please take care of yourself, walk at your own pace and for as long or short as you feel comfortable with. You can stop or leave a Walk and Talk any time.

The Walk and Talk Movement also recommends Walk and Talks are run in public places and green spaces, rather than rough terrain, hiking or steep hills, so risks should be minimised. 

This said, despite the low risks, falls and accidents may occasionally occur. In this instance, whilst Walkers and Talkers are not medical professionals, participants may naturally want to help others.

Here is our simple guidance

  • If you are have a fall or accident please let other Walkers and Talkers know immediately.
  • If somebody has a fall or an accident, the first thing other Walkers and Talkers can do is to ascertain if they are comfortable and feeling ok. This may involve halting the walk temporarily and finding a comfortable place for somebody to rest. If appropriate two people may want to stay back with the person to ensure they are ok.
  • If there are any doubts at all about the health of a participant, then you should halt the Walk and Talk and call 999 immediately.
  • If the Walker and Talker has suffered a minor injury, where possible and if you have access to a First Aid Kit, you could provide temporary assistance.
  • If you feel the Walker and Talker is uncomfortable and needs more medical attention and support you should call 999 immediately.

Some important points to keep in mind

It is not the role of Walkers and Talkers to collect personal information about other Walkers and Talkers. You can be kind, supportive, helpful and sympathetic to others, but it is not your responsibility to contact people outside of your Walk and Talk. You are not responsible for any medical care, treatments, recommendations or follow-ups for Walk and Talk participants. Of course you can contact the emergency services, as and when required, or signpost any help participants may be able to get.

In summary, if somebody has a fall or an accident, we recommend you are kind and caring and point participants in the right direction to get the help they need from medical experts, as this is the right thing to do to help the community.

​But it is important to say that you shouldn’t be responsible for that medical help, the effectiveness of that help or following up on that help as in this role you are not required to be medical professionals.

How to deal with Data Protection

Under data protection rules, any personal data you collect should be treated confidentially and sensitively and not distributed to third parties. 

Our guidance is that you should not collect personal data or give out personal data. 

How to deal with Safeguarding and Health and Wellbeing Concerns

Walk and Talks are making an important impact across the community.

Supporting people when concerns are raised about abuse or neglect can be very difficult and distressing for everyone involved. 

However, from time to time you may have serious concerns about the safety and health and wellbeing of some participants. As a community-minded person you may well want to help people. 

Safeguarding is defined as the protection of a person’s health, wellbeing, and right to live in safety, free from harm, abuse, and neglect.

However, it is not your responsibility to investigate or to provide a solution to any Safeguarding or Health and Wellbeing issues, or any personal issues a Walker and Talker may face from time to time. 

You are likely not a trained expert. Your help needs to be limited to signposting to relevant experts and support or contacting emergency services in the event of an immediate crisis.

Here is our simple guidance about what to do if you become concerned.

Raising a Safeguarding Concern

Informed of Issue
You are informed, or become aware of, possible abuse or neglect of a Walk and Talk participant during a Walk and Talk or are concerned about the health and wellbeing of a Walk and Talk participant during a Walk and Talk.

Understanding
Gather information.

How does the adult wish for the concern to proceed?

What changes/support would they like as a result of this concern being raised?

Take Action
Take action to ensure the immediate safety and welfare of the adult (and any other person/child at risk):

Consider:

  • Does medical attention need to be organised? (Dial 111)
  • Is urgent police presence required? (Dial 999)

Crime
Has a crime been committed? If so, does it need to be reported?

(Dial 101 unless there is an immediate risk, in which case, dial 999. Preserve forensic evidence, if any).

Raise Concern
Decide whether to raise a safeguarding concern with a relevant local charity, GP Surgery, council or other organisation that could help. Do this immediately where the concern is urgent and serious.

Inform Others
Ensure key people are informed. For example, volunteers or participants could inform Walk and Talk leaders to see if they can help, always respecting the confidentiality of the person that is the subject of the safeguarding concerns.

Support
Provide support or feedback for the person raising and identifying the Safeguarding concern.

You can also raise any concerns to Local Councils and Authorities who will normally have contact details for their Safeguarding team on their website.