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Our policies

Community Wise has adopted the following policies:


 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES CODE OF PRACTICE

Community Wise, with its Christian foundation, seeks to treat all people of all ages and social backgrounds at all times without partiality, and with honesty, integrity, fairness, justice and consideration. Community Wise recognises that British society is diverse in race, culture and beliefs and that this diversity is a fundamental feature of our country. Community Wise believes that its work is to promote equality of opportunity for all people in society, especially those who face disadvantage.

In practice this means that:

  1. No person using the premises or joining the activities of the Community Wise Centre will be treated less favourably than any other person on the grounds of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.
  2. The Charity will seek to recruit staff and volunteers from all sections of the community, provided that those individuals are prepared to carry out their work in a manner which does not undermine the Christian faith.

SERVICE DELIVERY

  1. The Charity encourages participation and membership in its groups and projects.
  2. Group leaders are encouraged to involve members in decision making.
  3. The Charity encourages the young people in its programmes to be involved in programmes and service delivery.

EMPLOYMENT

  1. The Charity offers written agreements to new volunteers who have regular responsibility.
  2. The Charity will continue to budget for, and undertake, training courses for new volunteers who have regular responsibility..

ACTION TO BE TAKEN

  1. A lift to the first floor was installed in 2006. A designated fully accessible toilet was installed in October 2007.
  2. When funding permits, the Charity aims to produce copies of its information leaflets on tapes, in braille and large print.
  3. When resources permit, the Charity aims to produce a statement which lets it be known that the Charity is willing to speak on behalf of those suffering discrimination.

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Christian Foundation Policy

What the Christian Value Base of Community Wise means in practice

Faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is the statement of faith that is held by Community Wise and undergirds the values and principles of the organisation. The YWCA of Great Britain holds the same statement of faith. This was adopted when the community premises in Ocklynge Road were built and incorporated into the YWCA in 1964. Community Wise became an independent charity during 2000 after being relinquished by the YWCA. It was agreed by members, committee and staff that this basis should be retained.

In practice this means that Christian principles undergird all activities carried out in the name of Community Wise and on its premises. Trustees and senior members of staff are required to sign the statement of faith. Other staff are required to respect the Christian faith and work within its principles. As far as is possible, the Christian faith is incarnated throughout the organisation.

All Community Wise staff and volunteers are asked to aspire to the following:

  • To treat all individuals with kindness and consideration, warmth and love, without discrimination.
  • To use language which is respectful and to avoid all swearing, however mild.
  • To work in the service of others and go out of the way to provide for their needs, over and above the normal course of duty if necessary.
  • To support all activities that take place at the Centre and to be acquainted with the Centre programme, promoting it as opportunity allows.
  • To support and co-operate with other staff, helping them to fulfil their roles as need arises.
  • To maintain an egalitarian attitude to all colleagues and volunteers within the management structure.
  • Personal qualities such as trustworthiness and integrity are essential.

Community Wise is an interdenominational Christian project. This means that no single Christian denomination is held in higher regard than others (eg Baptist, Roman Catholic, free church etc) but that all are respected. Good relationships with all churches in the Old Town neighbourhood are fostered. Living Stones Community Church has used the premises since 1982 and fully shares and supports the aims, objectives and values of Community Wise. A close working relationship has developed. The Trustees of Community Wise comprise members of the Living Stones Church Leadership Team.

People of other faiths, such as Muslim, Hindu, new age, Bahai, or no faith, such as agnosticism or humanism, are fully respected. However, their beliefs are not promoted. Community Wise has an equal opportunities policy.

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AIM OF COMMUNITY WISE YOUTH WORK

To enable and encourage young people to value themselves as an important and integral part of the whole community, with a significant part to play in promoting the good of others

OBJECTIVES OF COMMUNITY WISE YOUTH WORK

To provide opportunities within which relationships can be developed and in which young people can be secure and valued and where the principles can be worked out and the aims fulfilled through a range of activities

To provide opportunities which will enhance the character development of young people in particular to

  • encourage the development of the quality of other-centredness
  • encourage the development of an appreciation of interdependence
  • encourage the development of respect for all others, whether in authority, in the peer group, or in the community
  • encourage the development of maturity which includes character qualities such as perseverance, reliability, resourcefulness, appreciativeness, confidence and wisdom
  • encourage honesty and integrity

PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY WISE YOUTH WORK

  • It is voluntarily engaged in by young people
  • It is led by adults whose lives model the qualities we seek to develop and encourage
  • It values excellence
  • It is holistic
  • It is relational rather than programme orientated
  • All young people are valued equally

SERVICE DELIVERY

Currently Community Wise provides the following for young people:

  • Wise Up - for teenage girls in Year 8 plus
  • Live Wires (in partnership with Living Stones Church) for all young people aged 9 plus

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Wise Up Youth Policy

Wise Up is responsible for ensuring the protection, safeguard and welfare of young people who take part in its activities. It is committed to value, listen to, relate effectively with, and encourage young people, looking to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development, and ensuring their protection whilst taking part in any of its activities.

It will do this by:

  1. Taking up references for anyone appointed to work with young people, either voluntary or paid, temporary or long term.
  2. Ensuring that in activities for girls, the leaders and volunteers will be women.
  3. Requiring all such workers to sign a confidential declaration form.
  4. Making sure that all youth workers are made aware of this policy during their induction.
  5. Ensuring that there is no substantial unsupervised access to young people on a sustained or regular basis. Leaders will minimise the amount of time they spend alone with a young person, and inform another leader when it is necessary to do so.
  6. Ensuring that Health and Safety Policies and procedures are adhered to, and that safety is paramount in all activities.
  7. Ensuring that the numbers of adults to young people, in the absence of parents, is as recommended by the Children Act: at the very minimum, one adult to twelve young people; and by ensuring that whatever the number of young people, at least two adults are present. When over 20 young people are present, a further adult will be present.
  8. Ensuring that, where harm is disclosed or suspected, the correct procedures are sensitively followed at all times.

Wise Up Child Protection Policy

If a worker suspects that a child or young person in his or her care has or is suffering harm, they should report their concerns to the senior person responsible for the group. A list of warning signs produced by Kids Club Network is attached.

If a child or young person is in need of urgent medical attention, then either a doctor must be called, or the child or young person taken to hospital immediately. If the parents or guardians are not present, they should be informed that this action was deemed necessary. All Wise Up team volunteers must know what their responsibilities are if they suspect harm and must adhere strictly to the procedure.

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Volunteers Policy

Community Wise has adopted the following volunteers policy as recommended by the East Sussex Volunteer Bureau Organisers Group:

To manage, support and protect volunteers by:

  1. Taking up references where appropriate and police checks for volunteers who will be solely responsible for children under 16.
  2. Providing volunteers with adequate training and supervision.
  3. Providing a written job description.
  4. Providing volunteers with an induction period covering grievance procedures, health and safety regulations, a description of the organisation and its work, including lines of responsibility, so that the volunteer knows to whom they are accountable.
  5. Ensuring that volunteers are not involved inappropriately where industrial action occurs.
  6. Reimbursing volunteers for their out of pocked expenses incurred when working for the organisation.
  7. Providing reasonable working conditions and adequate insurance cover.
  8. Providing suitable tasks to give sufficient challenge to sustain interest.
  9. Investing resources for the management, training and support of volunteers.
  10. Informing paid staff of the rights and responsibilities of the volunteer.
  11. Providing regular opportunities for appraisal.

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