Complaints Procedure

Here at Ocean Youth Connexions we aim to provide high quality services which meet the needs of local young people. In order to ensure our services remain at a high standard, we have a procedure where you can highlight any concerns you may have. If any young people we work with, funder or third party organisation wishes to complain, Ocean Youth Connexions will ensure their complaint is treated seriously, is then handled without bias or discrimination and that confidentiality is respected.

Our complaint procedure is available to children and young people, funders and third party organisations who have used our services or to those who think they have not received a service we said we would provide. Complaints can be made by advocates or representatives on behalf of others, but we ask for written confirmation that they have agreed to act on someone else’s behalf. In addition, complaints should be made within 3 months of the event or outcome that is being complained about.

If at any point you are not happy with any of Ocean Youth Connexions activities please tell us we would like to know and resolve it amicably:

  • If you are unhappy about any Ocean Youth Connexions services or activities, please first speak to the relevant staff member and resolve all issues. This then can be followed up by the Service Contract Manger coordinator __________________, Project Coordinator ________________ and then the Directors.
  • If you are unhappy with an individual in Ocean Youth Connexions sometimes it is best to tell him or her directly. If you feel this is difficult or inappropriate then speak to the project coordinator or the Director.

Often we will be able to give you a response straight away. When the matter is more complicated we will give you at least an initial response within five working days.

Making a written complaint

If you are not satisfied with our response or wish to raise the matter more formally, please write to the Director, (if your complaint is about the Director, please write to the Chairperson.) at Ocean Youth Connexions, Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way London E1 3DG or email responses to

All written complaints will be logged. You will receive a written acknowledgement within ten working days.

The aim is to investigate your complaint properly and give you a reply within ten working days, setting out how the problem will be dealt with. If this is not possible, an interim response will be made informing you of the action taken to date or being considered.

If after we have responded you are not satisfied, please write to the Chair who will report the matter to the next Executive Committee meeting, which will decide on any further steps to resolve the situation.

Each complaint will be assessed individually. Ocean Youth Connexions will not use standard responses to complaints. We will consider all relevant factors and will offer what we believe to be a fair and proportionate solution, taking into account any injustice or hardship you have experienced.

If we find that we have made a mistake, or not dealt with someone properly, we will do what we can to put things right. This may involve:

  • Apologising
  • Correcting any errors so that, where possible, the complainant is restored to the position they would have been in had we not made a mistake.
  • Taking further action in response to concerns raised
  • Telling complainants what we have learnt from the complaint and what action we will take to ensure that we do not make the same mistake again

Finally, please also let us know if you are happy with Ocean Youth Connexion’s services and how we can better provide facilities to our young people.

Equal Opportunities Policy – Ocean Youth Connexions

1. Declaration of intent

1.1 Ocean Youth Connexions is committed to taking positive action to fight unlawful discrimination in every respect of its work.

1.2 Ocean Youth Connexions is an equal opportunities employer. The aim of its equal opportunities policy is to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment based on the 9 protected characteristics as set out in the Equalities Act 2010:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

1.3 In addition to this Ocean Youth Connexions is committed to not only promote equalities in the work place but to also adhere to the public sector equality duty of ‘due regard’ which looks at fighting all forms of discrimination in the work place.

1.4 Ocean Youth Connexions will endeavour to establish a broad base for consultation to identify priorities and needs as reflected by all communities at large and in all campaign work will maintain the objectives stated above.

1.5 The executive committee shall review the content and effectiveness of the policy whenever a new staff appointment is to be made, and at other times as may be necessary. The Director’s are responsible for the policies day to day implementation.

1.6 Ocean Youth Connexions will monitor and review the composition of its executive committee with the aim of promoting a broad-based representation.

2. Recruitment of staff

2.1 A written job description and person specification shall be prepared in respect of every vacancy that arises and every new post that is created. It shall be checked and agreed by the staff and honorary officers for direct and indirect discrimination, including culture-bound assumptions and ageism before the recruitment procedures commence. Applicants should be made aware that general life experience and voluntary as well as paid work are valued.

2.2 All jobs must be advertised externally and as widely as possible. In addition to whatever channels the organisation may choose to utilise, the vacant post must also be advertised in minority press. Adverts should clearly state the minimum requirements for the post.

2.3 At both the short-listing and the appointment stage, brief notes shall be made on each application indicating clearly why the applicant has or has not been short-listed or appointed.

2.4. No interview, for any post should be conducted by a panel of fewer than three representatives or more than five members of the executive committee. All interviewing panels must have an understanding of the organisations goals and vision and be competent, impartial and unbiased in asking questions in relation to the job description and be able to give feedback to applicants when requested. Members of staff will be involved at all stages of the selection process in an advisory role. Whenever possible, an external assessor shall be invited to join the panel in a non-voting capacity.

2.5 An open invitation will be given to short-listed applicants with a disability to discuss their specific needs and requirements. Ocean Youth Connexions will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the specific needs of disabled employees are met.

2.6 During each interview, notes should be taken and at the end of the interview a form should be completed for each candidate, assessing their response to the topics and themes raised. These should be reviewed at the end of the interview process by the panel to see that each candidate has been treated fairly.

2.7 Questions on the following topics are forbidden in an interview. Any candidate who is asked these questions has the right to refuse to answer. It is the responsibility of the Chair, or any other member of the panel to stop such questions being asked:

  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Occupation of partner
  • Number of children/domestic arrangements

(It should be made clear that the organisation aims to be flexible to individual requirements)

2.8 An equal opportunity section should be included on the application form. The equal opportunities policy and the purpose of monitoring should be clearly explained.

3. Training

3.1 New staff should be inducted into the staff development and training policy and made aware of training opportunities available to them, and be positively encouraged to take them up. All reasonable facilities will be offered to staff to take study leave.

4. Support

4.1 All workers should have access to support. If a worker feels isolated, provision should be made for support from other parts of Ocean Youth Connexions or outside the organisation. If groups of women, black or minority ethnic workers, or lesbian or gay workers, for example want to set up a support group, this should be encouraged.

5. Discipline and grievance procedures

5. 1 It will be made clear to all employees that discrimination, abuse or harassment on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexuality-if proven-is a dismissible offence.

6. The scope of this policy

6.1 This policy applies to:

  • All staff employed by Ocean Youth Connexions irrespective of funding agent.
  • All aspects of promotional, educational, and campaigning functions of Ocean Youth Connexions.
  • Members and affiliate organisations. Ocean Youth Connexions would expect its membership to concur with and actively promote these objectives.

7. Implementation

7.1 Employment procedures and practices will be undertaken strictly in accordance with the following and all other relevant legislation:

  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Acts 1975-85
  • Equal Pay Act 1970 & 1983
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Human rights Act 1998
  • Equalities Act 2010

7.2 In order to implement this equal opportunities policy, Ocean Youth Connexions accepts that it needs to ensure that all members and staff involved in selection and recruitment within the organisation are given adequate and appropriate training in:

  • Interview techniques
  • Codes of practice
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures as contained in the Ocean Youth connexions staff manual.

8. Equal opportunity in service delivery

8.1 Ocean Youth Connexions is committed to ensuring equality of access to all its services. The executive committee will take action to provide genuine equality of opportunity to counter past discrimination and to monitor the outcome. The executive committee will aim to ensure that no sector of the community shall be denied access or receive a poor service on the grounds of age, race, gender, disability, being a LGBTQ person, marital status, ethnicity or religious belief. The executive committee will aim to ensure that all its services will be provided in line with this anti discrimination policy. In order to promote equality of access the executive will aim to ensure the following:

  • That service’s are based on consultation with those who receive the services and positive steps are taken to include excluded groups in decision making.
  • That all services are flexible and responsive to the changing needs in the community.
  • That information on services is widely available and where necessary targeted to ensure maximum awareness of provisions.
  • That system’s are developed to audit and monitor service delivery and consumer satisfaction.
  • That an accessible complaints procedure will be developed to ensure against discrimination in service allocation and delivery.
  • That positive action programmes will be developed to target the needs usually excluded groups.
  • That in advertising and publicity materials will be presented as an organisation committed to promoting equality of access to employment and services.

8.2 Corporate Organisational Arrangement

  • All executive committee members and chairs of Ocean Youth connexions executive sub-committee will be responsible for the overall implementation of the equal opportunities policy their respective services.
  • All staff have a duty to implement Ocean Youth Connexions equal opportunities document

The Director shall be the secretary of the equal opportunities policy committee that will be the corporate mechanism for achieving greater equality by:

  1. Devising and advising on corporate priorities.
  2. Receiving and monitoring organisational work programmes.
  3. Overseeing the work and pursuing the recommendations of executive subcommittee.
  4. Overseeing priorities and performance of the organisation as a whole

The Chair and the Director will manage and oversee the development and implementation of equal opportunities work corporately and with the appropriate executive sub-committee chairs.

8.3 Key tasks in developing and implementing policy

Sub-committees may be set up to develop action plans based on this statement. This should include short or long term objectives such as:

  • Establishing guidelines for service monitoring and developing and producing mechanisms for consumer consultation.
  • Design training packages for the organisation which ensure that staff feel confident to promote the policy progressing and updating the corporate equal opportunities work programme.

9. Review

9.1 Ocean Youth Connexions will monitor and review the effectiveness of this equal opportunities policy and update it when new laws are introduced.

10. Information

10.1 This document shall be circulated to all employees and job applicants.



a. All Management Committee members and staff are required to declare interests which might influence their judgment in financial matters or be perceived to do so in accordance with the Ocean Youth Connexions conflict of interest policy.

b. All Management Committee members and staff have a responsibility to use Ocean Youth Connexions resources economically and effectively.

c. All staff have a responsibility to raise with the Manager or Management Committee of any concerns they have about the financial administration of Ocean Youth Connexions.

d. All restricted funds granted to Ocean Youth Connexions will only be used for the specified purposes.

e. All financial records will be retained for the statutory time periods.

f. Ocean Youth Connexions will keep its financial records in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and any subsequent legislation.

g. Ocean Youth Connexions will seek to maximise its income from any funds and minimise interest charges.


a. The Management Committee will be ultimately responsible for the financial control of the organisation and for financial reporting to its members and others.

b. The Treasurer will be responsible for maintaining proper accounting records and producing regular quarterly reports for the Management Committee, members and individual funders.

c. Notwithstanding the above the Management Committee and Treasurer may delegate certain of their functions to Ocean Youth Connexions staff and to outside persons appointed for specific purposes.


a. The Treasurer in consultation with the Manager and Management Committee will prepare an annual budget of income and expenditure in accordance with relevant legislation and practice.

b. The Treasurer may also prepare a cashflow forecast giving the projected bank balance at the end of each month.

c. The budget and cashflow will be submitted to the Management Committee for approval on or before 30th September each year.

d. The Treasurer and Manager may recommend any changes to the budget or cashflow projection to the Management Committee which may make necessary alterations to the budget at any time.

e. The Treasurer will monitor income and expenditure but may delegate the monitoring of specific expenditure items to Ocean Youth Connexions staff.

f. The Treasurer will prepare a quarterly variation report for the Management Committee incorporating the budgeted and actual expenditure against each item and the variance if any with the anticipated budgeted spend against that item in that quarter with explanation of the reasons for any variance.

g. Quarterly financial reports will be signed by the Chair at each presentation.

h. The Treasurer will ensure that action is taken to address significant variations against expected performance.


a. The Treasurer will recommend to the Management Committee that Ocean Youth Connexions will open such bank accounts as the Treasurer considers necessary.

b. All bank accounts will be reconciled to bank records during the monthly/quarterly recording of transactions.

c. The Manager will be responsible for the safe custody of cheques and any passwords associated with bank accounts.

d. All cheques and cash will be paid into the relevant bank account within a week of receipt.

e. All cheques and cash will be placed in a safe prior to banking.


a. Any funding agreement between Ocean Youth Connexions and a funder must be signed by the Chair, Secretary and/or Treasurer.

b. The terms of any funding agreement must be agreed by at least the Chair, Secretary and/or Treasurer.

c. The Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that all funding due to Ocean Youth Connexions is paid properly at the times specified in the funding agreement.


a. The Management Committee will approve the establishment, deletion and salary level of all paid staff posts.

b. The Manager will establish and delete all volunteer staff posts.

c. The Management Committee will approve all promotions and salary increases including annual increments.

d. The Management Committee will approve any cost of living increases which form part of a salary payment.

e. The Treasurer will ensure that all salaries, wages and other emoluments to all Ocean Youth Connexions staff are paid in accordance with legislative and contractual provision.

f. Payroll services will be provided either in-house or by an external organisation appointed for this purpose by the Management Committee, currently this is carried out by our approved Accountant.

g. Salaries will be paid in the manner prescribed by the payroll system.

h. Once every five years the Manager and Treasurer will invite three suitably qualified firms to tender for the right to provide payroll services to Ocean Youth Connexions under the terms of the Ocean Youth Connexions procurement policy and will be recommend at the Annual General Meeting that either the firm which presents the best tender in terms of price and quality or Ocean Youth Connexions itself be appointed to provide payroll services to Ocean Youth Connexions.

i. Loans or advances may be made to Ocean Youth Connexions staff in circumstances where serious loss impinging upon the staff member’s ability to perform their duties with Ocean Youth Connexions may otherwise occur.

j. Any loans or advances to the Manager will be authorised by the Management Committee and loans or advances to other staff will be authorised by the Programme Manager.


a. Four cheque signatories will be appointed by the Management Committee who will be the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Manager unless otherwise agreed.

b. All cheques will be signed by two of these four signatories.

c. Cheques will not be signed by the person to whom they are payable.

d. Blank cheques will not be signed under any circumstances.

e. Cheques cannot be signed by two people that are related or from the same household.

f. All expenditure will be requested on Ocean Youth Connexions requisition slips bearing the requisition slip and cheque number, payee, amount of cheque, purpose for which the cheque is requested and the person requesting and signed by an authorised person.

g. Cheques will not be signed unless accompanied by an invoice and/or requisition slip.

h. Ocean Youth Connexions staff are authorised to sign requisition slips for expenditure of no more than £100 and all expenditure on postage, utility bills, rent and rates and other exceptions as approved by the Management Committee.

i. Requisition slips for expenditure of £100 or more with the above exceptions should be signed by a cheque signatory.

j. Requisition slips will not be signed by the person to whom the resulting cheque would be made payable.

k. Any instructions to the bank to make payments by direct debit, standing order, BACS or any other automated credit system must be signed in accordance with the above rules governing cheque signatories.

l. Documents authorising transfers between accounts must be signed by two signatories and reported to the Treasurer who will record them as soon as possible.


a. All petty cash expenditures (incomings and outgoings) will be recorded by the Manager in a petty cash book kept in the safe with the cheque and paying in books, invoices and receipts, requisition slips and other financial documents.

b. The Management Committee will set the optimum level of the petty cash float which will be £150 unless otherwise agreed.

c. All petty cash payments will be made against invoices signed by the person who incurred the expense or requisitions signed by an authorised person and recorded in a discrete petty cash book.

d. All monies received for the purposes of adding to petty cash will also be recorded in the petty cash book.

e. The petty cash book will be kept according to the imprest system1 recording all outgoings and incomings and the amount remaining in petty cash after each transaction.

f. Transactions will be recorded on the day they occur as far as is practicable.

g. All petty cash invoices and receipts will be kept, dated, numbered consecutively and related to the expenditure item to which they refer.

h. Copies of each of the above invoices and requisitions will be kept in a discrete financial file.

i. The petty cash book records will be written in black ink.

j. The petty cash book will be divided into headings which will reflect the agreed annual budget items or more detailed headings as considered appropriate and petty cash expenditure under each heading will be totalled before a new addition to the petty cash float is recorded.

k. When the petty cash float drops below the level of £25 a new cheque for the difference between the optimum level of the float and the amount remaining will be requested.

l. A cheque which transfers money to the petty cash float will be treated as one transaction which will subsequently be subdivided into the budget headings in the petty cash book for accounting purposes.

m. The above manual petty cash system may be supplemented by a computerised system recording the same information in a format agreed by the Management Committee.


a. All incomings and outgoings will be recorded in a cash book kept in the heavy steel cabinet by the Manager with the cheque and paying in books, invoices and receipts, requisition slips and other financial documents.

b. All invoices and receipts will be kept, dated, numbered consecutively and related to the expenditure item to which they refer.

c. Copies of each of the above invoices and requisitions will be kept in a discrete financial file.

d. The discrete financial file may be supplemented by additional files of copies of invoices and receipts relating to items of expenditure or particular funders provided that copies of all invoices and receipts are placed and remain in the discrete financial file.

e. The Treasurer will be responsible for recording each incoming or outgoing transaction manually in the cash book each month from invoices and receipts, petty cash receipts and automatic transfers and making monthly bank reconciliations.

f. The cash book records will be written in black ink.

g. The cashbook will be divided into headings which will reflect the agreed annual budget items.

h. A cheque which transfers money to the petty cash float will be treated as one transaction which will subsequently be subdivided into the budget headings in the petty cash book for accounting purposes.

i. The above manual cash book system may be supplemented by a computerised system recording the same information in a format agreed by the Management Committee.


a. All manual records and files of financial transactions and accounts will be further photocopied and kept in a discrete file in a separate place from all other financial information.

b. All electronic records will be stored on retrievable discs which will be kept in the safe with the financial records.

c. All electronic records will also be copied daily onto backup discs to be used in the event of disc failure and stored in a separate place from the financial records.

d. If a backup disc is used a new backup disc containing that information will be created.

e. The Manager will be responsible for arranging the storage of the backup manual files and discs and will keep a record of their whereabouts to be lodged with the Chair, vice-Chair, Treasurer and other persons as agreed.


a. The Treasurer will be responsible for preparing or arranging for the preparation of the annual accounts in accordance with relevant legislation and best practice.

b. Draft annual accounts will be presented to the Management Committee for approval no later than four months after the end of the financial year, 31st January.

c. Approved accounts will be presented to the most proximate Annual General Meeting and circulated according to the Memorandum and Articles of Ocean Youth Connexions.

d. Annual returns will be completed by the Company Secretary and submitted to Companies House and the Charity Commission.


a. Auditors will be appointed by the Management Committee in consultation with providers of financial services to Ocean Youth Connexions.

b. Auditors will be appointed annually with the presupposition that the incumbent will be reappointed if performance and fees are satisfactory.

c. Once every five years the Manager and Treasurer will invite five suitably qualified firms to tender for the audit under the terms of the Ocean Youth Connexions procurement policy and will recommend to the Annual General Meeting that the firm which presents the best tender in terms of price and quality be appointed.

d. The Treasurer will agree the timetable for the yearend audit with the auditors and ensure that all the information required is available at the start of the audit.

e. If the auditors produce a management letter highlighting weaknesses in financial control and accounting systems this will be presented to the Management Committee for acceptance along with a report from the Treasurer on how such weaknesses will be addressed.


a. The Manager will be responsible for the maintenance of a register of fixed assets in which the details of each Ocean Youth Connexions asset will be recorded.

b. The Manager will ensure that all equipment is adequately maintained and safeguarded.

c. The Manager will be responsible for the security of all Ocean Youth Connexions assets.

d. Ocean Youth Connexions staff will have responsibility for the correct use and maintenance of individual assets and of premises under the Ocean Youth Connexions Health and Safety policy.


a. The Treasurer will maintain a risk register recording the major risks faced by Ocean Youth Connexions, the probability of them occurring, the severity of their impact if they did occur and control measures to be taken in respect of each risk.

b. The risk register will be reviewed by the Chair every six months and by the Management Committee every year.


a. All financial books and records will be kept in the safe (or Locked Cabinet).

b. Keys to the safe (or Locked Cabinet) will be held in the locked keybox.

c. The Management Committee will decide who is given a key to the keybox.

d. A person without a key may only access the keybox through a keyholder at the discretion of that keyholder.


a. The Manager will be responsible for maintaining adequate insurance cover for all Ocean Youth Connexions activities which will include employers liability, public liability, office contents and legal expenses insurance and any other insurances as decided by the Management Committee.

b. The Manager will keep the level and appropriateness of insurance policies under review and will report on these matters to the Management Committee annually and as issues arise.

c. The Manager will be responsible for keeping a schedule of insurance policies and cover held and update this in the event of any alteration.

d. Any procedures for ensuring compliance with insurance policies will be formally documented and updated as and when necessary.


a. This financial procedure will be reviewed annually by the Management Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting which will receive a report on the outcome of this review and any proposed amendments for decision.

b. The Manager may make reasonable alterations to this procedure at any time provided these alterations are reported to the Management Committee within one month of their taking place and recorded in the annual review of this procedure.



a. Ocean Youth Connexions will raise funds from any legal source including charitable trusts, local and national government, statutory and voluntary agencies and private business in order to provide its services.

b. Ocean Youth Connexions will set aside dedicated staff time for fundraising purposes.

c. Ocean Youth Connexions will produce a funding strategy detailing what funds will be obtained for and who should be approached as part of its triennial business plan.

d. The funding strategy as published in the business plan will be agreed by the Management Committee.

e. Ocean Youth Connexions will seek to ensure that fundraising will be carried out in advance of needs.


a. Funding applications will be made by an appropriate staff member.

b. The staff member making the application will ensure that other staff and Management Committee members understand the contents and purpose of the application.

c. The Management Committee will remain ultimately responsible for the application and its contents.

d. Draft applications will be completed at least ten working days before the application deadline and comments will be sought from the Management Committee.

e. Any comments will be evaluated and acted upon if desirable.

f. The final application will contain no material misstatement.

g. The final application will be signed by the Manager and either the Treasurer or Chair in addition to the external referee unless the application form dictates otherwise.

h. A different external referee will be sought for each application where practicable.

i. A member of the application team will act as the contact person for the application.

j. A copy of each application will be made and kept in a clearly marked and accessible place.

k. The application will be either posted or hand delivered to the prospective funder and a receipt or acknowledgement will be obtained.


a. Ocean Youth Connexions will find out on which date a decision will be made on the application and ask for information on its progress no later than five working days after this date where possible.

b. All communications from the prospective funder will be addressed promptly by the contact person.

c. When a decision has been reached on the application feedback will be sought where possible from the funder explaining the reasoning behind the decision whether positive or negative.

d. The result of any funding application will be made known to members by any means considered appropriate.

Data Protection Policy

1. Data protection principles

The Charity is committed to processing data in accordance with its responsibilities under the GDPR.

Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:

a. Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;

b. Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;

c. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;

d. Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;

e. Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and

f. Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.”

g. “The Controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with paragraph 1 accountability”.

2. General provisions

a. This policy applies to all personal data processed by the Charity.

b. The Responsible Person shall take responsibility for the Charity’s ongoing compliance with this policy.

c. This policy shall be reviewed at least bi-annually.

d. The Charity shall register with the Information Commissioner’s Office as an organisation that processes personal data it is currently exempt from paying the fee

3. Lawful, fair and transparent processing

a. To ensure its processing of data is lawful, fair and transparent, the Charity shall maintain a Register of Systems.

b. The Register of Systems shall be reviewed at least annually.

c. Individuals have the right to access their personal data and any such requests made to the charity shall be dealt with in a timely manner.

4. Lawful purposes

a. All data processed by the charity must be done on one of the following lawful bases: consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task or legitimate interests.

b. The Charity shall note the appropriate lawful basis in the Register of Systems.

c. Where consent is relied upon as a lawful basis for processing data, evidence of opt-in consent shall be kept with the personal data.

d. Where communications are sent to individuals based on their consent, the option for the individual to revoke their consent should be clearly available and systems should be in place to ensure such revocation is reflected accurately in the Charity’s systems.

5. Data minimisation

a. The Charity shall ensure that personal data are adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

The types of information we collect

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Contact details (telephone, mobile, email)
  • Education, training or employment details
  • Emergency contact: Parent/carer/guardian and address type
  • Medical Information

Optional information provided

  • Age range
  • Religion
  • disabilities, special education needs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Photographic consent
  • Medical records for sports, recreation and club purposes

6. Accuracy

a. The Charity shall take reasonable steps to ensure personal data is accurate.
b. Where necessary for the lawful basis on which data is processed, steps shall be put in place to ensure that personal data is kept up to date.

What we use to ensure data is accurate

  • Registration forms
  • Consent forms
  • Emergency Contact list for trips, journeys and visits

7. Archiving / removal

a. To ensure that personal data is kept for no longer than necessary, the Charity shall put in place an archiving policy for each area in which personal data is processed and review this process annually.

b. The archiving policy shall consider what data should/must be retained, for how long, and why. This is for a period of six years after your last interaction with us.

8. Security

a. The Charity shall ensure that personal data is stored securely using modern software that is kept-up-to-date.

b. Access to personal data shall be limited to personnel who need access and appropriate security should be in place to avoid unauthorised sharing of information.

c. When personal data is deleted this should be done safely such that the data is irrecoverable.

d. Appropriate back-up and disaster recovery solutions shall be in place.

9. Breach

a. In the event of a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data, the Charity shall promptly assess the risk to people’s rights and freedoms and if appropriate report this breach to the ICO.

Recruitment and Selection Policy

Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC) is an Equal Opportunity Employer; the management will ensure that fairness is in place towards employing the right person for the vacant job. The organisations recruitment and selection procedures are carried out in line with the Equal Opportunities Policy and with the aim of adopting good and consistent employment practices.

Whenever practicable, job vacancy will be offered internally and all applicants who meet the minimum job specification will be given the opportunity for an interview.

The following legislation and guidance has been taken into consideration in the development of this procedural document.

1. Data Protection Act 1998
2. Equalities Act 2010
3. OYC Employment Check Standards
4. DBS Code of Practice

Recruitment procedures:

1. The need to recruit arises in two ways: either to replace an employee who is leaving or has changed job position; or to create a new position whether because of expansion of services or a change in the structure.

2. The management will discuss the job requirements and a Job Description will be drawn up.

3. The job will be advertised, internally, adverts, through service contacts, or approved agencies.

4. A recruitment pack will be sent out to applicant’s containing an application pack, job Description, and any other specific or general information relevant to the job.

5. The admin worker receives applications and the interview panel will make an initial shortlist of those selected for an interview, in line with the job/person specification.

6. Successful applicants will be called for an interview. The interviewing panel will formulate questions and ensure that they ask questions relevant to the job specification.

7. Once a suitable candidate is selected the admin worker will carry out the necessary administrative procedures. This includes confirming unsuccessful candidates within 14 days. Candidates with potential for other purposes in the future are informed that their details will be kept safe on file and referred to if a suitable vacancy arises within a year.

Candidates with disabilities

Applicants for interview are asked to clarify any special needs that they may have in relation to attending the interviews so that appropriate arrangements can be made where necessary.


All appointments are made subject to satisfactory references. The organisation will ensure that they receive the references from the named person on the application in written form or via email. Contact will be made by phone/email and a letter will be sent to the referees. If an unsatisfactory reference is received this will be discussed at the management meeting or with the interviewing panel to pursue in employing the individual or not. All references will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence and will not be given to other employees or passed on to third parties.

Pre-employment checks

In addition to references the organisation also reserves the right to request a true identity check to verify the individual and a medical examination if the candidate has potential health problems, which may affect suitability for the job or may have health and safety implication.

Qualified staff will be required to produce originals of their qualifications for the records.

A full Disclosure Barring Service check form will be sent after a potential candidate is given the job opportunity. This is because the centre mainly works with young children and young people aged 8-19 years of age and vulnerable adults that are SEN upto the age of 25. Checks will be made prior to employment and successful applicants will be offered employment upon a satisfactory DBS clearance and consistency between information provided on the application form.

Work permits

It is essential that all employees are legally able to work in the UK and any non-British applicants are required to give details on their application form of any relevant permits and to produce satisfactory evidence of these as a condition of employment.

Confidentiality and accuracy

All information provided to the company by the candidate will be treated in the strictest of confidence during the recruitment process. Any information that is given in the application form or CV or during an interview is expected to be truthful and accurate. If such information is to be found false or inaccurate this will be grounds for summary dismissal.

Offers of appointment

The admin worker will send out all letters confirming appointment and ensure that the correct terms and conditions are offered.

Employment of relatives

Any applicant found to be a relative to any member of present staff or management will be treated on its own merit, i.e. their qualification and suitability. Applicants will not be interviewed by a panel, which includes anyone whose is a relative or who has a close connection. This is to ensure equality, fairness and transparency for all applicants that have applied.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

All employees and volunteers are considered as having substantial access to young people and the organisation is therefore exempt from the provisions of the above Act. Consequently, applicants are required to reveal any information concerning criminal convictions, either spent or otherwise. Such information is given in the strictest confidence and is considered only in relation to the post concerned. An employee who has deliberately withheld information about convictions will be liable to disciplinary action, including summary dismissal, if the true situation is discovered and verified by the organisation.

Volunteering Policy

Everyone has a right to take part in volunteering and to have a fulfilling and productive experience. The purpose of this volunteering policy is to help volunteers to enjoy such a positive experience.


This policy sets out the broad principles for voluntary involvement in Ocean Youth Connexions. It is of relevance to all within the organisation, including volunteers, staff, members, and those elected or appointed to positions of responsibility. This policy is endorsed by the management committee and will be reviewed every two years, to ensure that it remains appropriate to the needs of Ocean Youth Connexions and its volunteers.


Ocean Youth Connexions acknowledges that volunteers contribute in many ways, that their contribution is unique and that volunteering can benefit users of services, staff, local communities and the volunteers themselves. Ocean Youth Connexions values the contribution made by volunteers and is committed to involving volunteers in appropriate positions and in ways which are encouraging, supportive and which develops volunteering.

Ocean Youth Connexions recognises its responsibility to arrange its volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.


Volunteering is an important expression of citizenship as well as an important component of democracy. Volunteers are people who are, unpaid and of their own free will, contribute their time, energy and skills to benefit the community.

Statement of values and principles

Volunteering is a legitimate and crucial activity that is supported and encouraged by Ocean Youth Connexions and is not intended to be a substitute for paid employment. The role of volunteers complements but does not replace the role of paid staff. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that paid staff are clear about the role of volunteers, and to foster good working relationships between paid staff and volunteers.

Volunteers will not be used during times of industrial action to do the work of paid staff.

The volunteer role is a gift relationship, binding only in honour, trust and mutual understanding. No enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, can be imposed on volunteers to attend, give or be set a minimum amount of time to carry out the tasks involved in their voluntary activity. Likewise the organisation cannot be compelled to provide either regular tasks, payment or other benefit for any activity undertaken by the volunteer.

Although volunteers offer time freely and willingly without binding obligation, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what the organisation expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the organisation.

Volunteer Co-ordination

All volunteers will have a nominated member of staff or volunteer to offer guidance and advice to help the volunteer carry out tasks effectively. Volunteers will be informed of who to contact to receive support and supervision.

The nominated post holder with overall responsibility for the development of voluntary activities within the organisation is ______________the chairperson. This person is responsible for the management and welfare of the organisation’s volunteers.

Recruitment & Selection

Ocean Youth Connexions is committed to equal opportunities and believes that volunteering should be open to all regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or offending background that does not create a risk to vulnerable groups including children. The acceptance of volunteer assistance for a particular role is made on merit, the sole selection criterion being the individual’s suitability to carry out agreed tasks. Information about the volunteer is not relevant to the performance of the volunteering tasks concerned this will be disregarded by the organisation in terms of recruitment and selection.

Volunteering opportunities will be widely promoted in ways that makes them accessible to all members of the community.

Volunteers who are considered unsuitable for a particular task will either be offered alternative voluntary involvement with the organisation or be referred to the nearest Volunteer Centre that caters for volunteering programmes.

All volunteers will be asked to produce one reference and will be invited to attend an informal interview. The volunteer will be carrying out activities with vulnerable groups such as young people that are 8-19 years of age and young adults upto 25 if they have Special Educational Needs, with Learning Disability and Difficulties. There may be other safer recruitment procedures carried out including asking a volunteer to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check. More detailed information will be made available specific to legislative requirements and to the particular volunteer position.

Volunteers will have a clear and concise task description, which will be subsequently reviewed as and when necessary. The task description will be prepared in conjunction with the volunteer and the designated person referred to above.

New volunteers will be properly inducted into the organisation like with any new staff being employed.

Volunteers will be properly briefed about the activities to be undertaken and given all the necessary information to enable them to perform with confidence.

Training & Development

All volunteers will be made aware of and have access to all the organisation’s relevant policies, including those relating to volunteering, health & safety, safeguarding, vulnerable groups, whistle blowing and equal opportunities.

The development of training and support for volunteers is a high priority for the organisation in order to equip them with the necessary information and skills to carry out their tasks. It will be the responsibility of the designated person referred to above to see that this training is provided. It is also the responsibility of the volunteer to attend relevant training.

Training in the supervision of volunteers will be provided for all those who have direct responsibility for volunteers.

Support, Supervision and Recognition

Volunteers will have a named person to whom they can take their volunteering concerns and seek guidance and support.

Volunteers will have access to regular support and supervision. This will enable both the volunteer and the supervisor to identify, monitor and evaluate the volunteer’s involvement, recognise achievements and identify individual training needs, including that relevant to their particular volunteering role and to their wider personal development. The frequency, duration and format of these sessions will be negotiated between the volunteer and the designated officer referred to above.

Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the organisation’s wider staff, at staff meetings etc.

A process will be developed in order to give formal recognition of the contribution of the organisation’s volunteers (e.g. internal awards, articles on the website, thank you letters etc.)


Ocean Youth Connexions recognises that the reimbursement of expenses incurred in traveling to and from the place of volunteering or in the course of volunteering is important from an equal opportunities point of view. This is necessary to ensure that all individuals have access to voluntary opportunities.

The organisation’s volunteers are able to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses, subject to the production of receipts as evidence of the expenditure. What can be reclaimed from the organisation and the calculation of expenses will be explained to the volunteer before they start any activity likely to give rise to expenses.

The organisation has a consistent approach to the reimbursement of expenses which are the same for volunteers, staff, etc. and are as approved by the Inland Revenue. Where a volunteer works a longer shift period e.g 5 hours or more during the morning and afternoon. The organisation will assist in paying a reasonable set amount for lunch.

It is the responsibility of the designated person referred to above to make volunteers aware of the procedure for the reimbursement of expenses.


The organisation’s liability insurance policies include the activities of volunteers and liability towards them.

The organisation does not insure the volunteer’s personal possessions against loss or damage, e.g. electrical devices, cash, jewelry, clothing, vehicles, bikes, etc.

All vehicles including personal vehicles used for the purpose of Ocean Youth Connexions activities will be insured for volunteer staff use.


The organisation will advise the volunteer on its confidentiality policy and procedures as well as the Data Protection Act 1998. This would include those relating to personal information held by the organisation relating to the volunteer.

Settling Differences

The organisation aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. The organisation seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly and aim for a positive and amicable solution based on the organisation’s guidelines for settling differences.

The designated officer referred to above is responsible for handling problems regarding volunteer complaints or conduct and these should be referred to him/her. In the event of a problem, all relevant facts should be obtained as quickly as possible. Support will be provided by the organisation to the volunteer while it endeavours to resolve the problem in an informal manner. If an informal resolution proves impossible, the organisation’s wider grievance or complaints policies and procedures (which include volunteers) will be referred to. If a volunteer’s behaviour is repeatedly or seriously unacceptable, they may be asked to change their role, or to leave the organisation.

Rights and Responsibilities

The organisation recognises the rights of volunteers to:

  • Know what is, and what is not, expected of them
  • Have adequate support in their volunteering
  • Receive appreciation
  • Volunteer in a safe environment
  • Be insured
  • Know their rights and responsibilities if something goes wrong
  • Receive relevant out-of-pocket expenses
  • Receive appropriate training
  • Be free from discrimination
  • Be offered the opportunity for personal development

The organisation expects volunteers to:

  • Be reliable
  • Be honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Make the most of training and support opportunities
  • Carry out tasks in a way that reflects the aims and values of the organisation
  • Carry out tasks within agreed guidelines
  • Respect the work of the organisation and not bring it into disrepute
  • Comply with the organisation’s policies

Further information

The Investing in Volunteers Standard requires that the organisation has a written policy on volunteer involvement that sets out the organisation’s values for volunteering involvement and highlights the need for procedures for managing volunteers, based on principles of equality and diversity.

Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre:
Local Young Volunteer Centre:

London Borough of Tower Hamlets:

Whistle blowing Policy Statement

Why have a whistle blowing Policy?

The Whistle blowing Policy has been introduced to help you raise your concerns about malpractice at an early stage and in the right way. We would rather that you raised the matter at the earliest opportunity than wait for the situation to deteriorate.

We recognize that you may be worried about raising such issues or may want to keep the concern to yourself. We assure you that, by using this procedure, if you wish, you may submit your concern anonymously your concern will be dealt with effectively, discretely and, if you wish, in confidence.

How do I raise a concern?

If you have a concern about malpractice, we hope you will feel able to raise it with your line Manager the Designated Child Protection Officer ______________or the Chairperson ______________in their absence on ______________.

However, if this is not appropriate, you can contact the Chairperson or Secretary please leave an email on with full details of your name and contact details and the office administrator will get in touch with you please label it as PRIVATE.

You can write to the Chairperson: ______________or Secretary: ______________at Ocean Youth Connexions, Stepney City Farm, London E1 3DG.

What happens when I call or make contact?

Your call (letter or e-mail) goes immediately to the Senior Officers of the organisation, if it’s regarding safeguarding then the Designated Child Protection Officer will ask you a number of questions and generate a written report, this will then be forwarded to the Management Committee and the appropriate authorities. The Management Committee will review the report and decide on the form of investigation to be taken. This will involve either an internal investigation or, if appropriate, a Social Service or Police investigation. The Management Committee will refer any complaint regarding financial matters to the Treasurer to investigate further and liaise with the relative funding bodies and Police if need be.

I am not an Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC) Employee, Can I still contact the Child Protection Officer?

Yes, Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC) encourages all paid staff and volunteers, parents, guardians, carers, including third party contractors and agency workers, (and their families) to raise concerns about malpractice.

Do I have to give my name?

No. You may raise a concern anonymously and in confidence under this Policy. However, if you do not tell us who you are, it will be much more difficult for us to look into the matter, to protect your position or to give you feedback. Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC) will not tolerate harassment, victimization or reprisals against anyone raising a genuine concern. If the situation arises where we are not able to resolve your concern without revealing your identity (for instance because your evidence is needed in court), we will discuss with you whether and how we can proceed.

Whistle blowing Procedures

The Whistle blowing Procedures are set out in paragraphs 1-12 below. In summary, these are:

  • All allegations should be submitted to the Chairperson or secretary unless he/she is the subject of the allegation.
  • Allegations about injustice or discrimination will be handled under the grievance procedures for staff or the young people’s complaints procedure for users.
  • Allegations of financial malpractice will be investigated by the Management Committee Members headed by the Treasurer.
  • Other matters will be investigated by the Chairperson or Secretary.

If an allegation involves the Chairperson or Secretary, the allegation should be made to the Directors of the organisation.

Updated Contact details can be found in the Centres Policy and Procedures folder.

1. The Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC), like other public bodies, has a duty to conduct its affairs in a responsible and transparent way and to take into account legal requirements, the requirements of the Charities Commission and the standards in public life enunciated in the Reports of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (the Nolan Committee), including the “Seven Principles of Public Life”, namely: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

2. This note describes procedures at the Ocean Youth Connexions (OYC) for handling allegations relating to the running of the Centre or to the work-related activities of members of staff of the Centre (commonly referred to as “whistle blowing”). The procedures are designed to assist in investigating and, where appropriate, acting upon a complaint by any person or persons within the Centre about any of the following matters, whether in respect of the Management itself, or about an individual member of staff or individuals.

  • Commission of a criminal offence;
  • Failure to observe a legal obligation, or to comply with an instrument of governance;
  • Miscarriage of justice;
  • Endangering health or safety or the environment;
  • Administrative malpractice (financial or non-financial);
  • Obstruction or frustration of the exercise of progressive freedom;
  • Professional malpractice (including, for instance, violation of intellectual property rights or failure of integrity at work);
  • Improper conduct or unethical behaviour;
  • Suppression or concealment of any information relating to any of the above.

Complaints falling outside these matters will be dealt with under the appropriate procedures (e.g. staff grievance procedures, young people’s complaints procedures).

The paragraphs which follow indicate the routes through which allegations of misconduct or malpractice should be raised. However, members of staff or young people may fear that their own position could be jeopardised if they raise a particular concern directly in one of these ways. A member of staff or a young person may, therefore, choose to raise a concern in the first instance with the centre coordinator/manager, or management committee and ask that person to bring the matter forward on his/her behalf.

No detrimental action of any kind will be taken against a person within the centre making a complaint of the nature described above, provided that it is done without malice and in good faith, reasonably believing it to be true. In addition, members of staff have statutory protection, provided that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (see paragraphs 11 and 12 below). A malicious or vexatious complaint, however, could result in disciplinary action.

4. Any allegations raised under the Whistle Blowing Procedure should be submitted in writing to the Chairperson and Secretary, unless the Chairperson & Secretary is the subject of the allegation or is in some way implicated in it. In these circumstances, the procedure described in 7 below should be followed.

The Chairperson & Secretary will deal with the allegation through the appropriate route set out in paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 below.

5. Allegations of injustice or discrimination made by one member of staff against another will be dealt with under the appropriate grievance procedure established by Management Committee for the category of staff to which the complainant belongs. An allegation of this kind made by a young person against a member of staff will be dealt with under the complaints procedure for young people. A copy of the Young people’s Complaints Procedure can be found in the Centres Policy Procedure Guide folder, and hard copies are available from the Administrators Office.

6. Allegations about an individual’s financial conduct will be passed to the Treasurer, who will investigate the allegation and report his/her conclusions to the Chairperson & Secretary (to whom the Treasurer has a direct reporting relationship) and to the Directors. Where for any reason the person making the allegation considers it inappropriate to refer the matter to the Treasurer, the procedure indicated in paragraph 7 will apply.

7. Allegations about other issues including, for example, the behaviour of a senior member of staff or of an independent member of the Management Committee or the Directors or other collective decision makers, should be made to the Chairperson & Secretary. If the allegation falls into a general area covered by another procedure (e.g. the procedure for considering misconduct), the allegation will be considered under that procedure. Otherwise, the Chairperson & Secretary will investigate the allegation and will prepare a report for the Directors, whose decision in the matter will be final.

The Chairperson & Secretary may appoint another person to undertake the detailed investigation on his/her behalf, provided that the conclusions of the person appointed shall have been reported to, and endorsed by, the Chairperson & Secretary before a report is made to the Directors.

Where an allegation concerns the Chairperson & Secretary or the complainant otherwise considers it inappropriate to refer the matter to the Chairperson & Secretary, he/she may raise the allegation with any of the Directors of the organisation, who will investigate and report to the Executive Committee Members and Directors, or similarly, appoint another person to undertake the detailed investigation on his/her behalf. If the person making the allegation considers it inappropriate to refer the matter to either the Chairperson & Secretary or the Directors, Executive Committee Members as a whole. Where an allegation concerns any members of the Director, or any person acting with the Directors he/she may raise the matter with the delegated authority outside of the organisation (e.g. Trade Union, Charity Commission, Child protection Agencies, and Social Services)

8. In all cases where an allegation has been made under paragraphs 6 and 7, the person to whom the allegation is made will acknowledge its receipt and keep a record of action taken. If on preliminary examination the allegation is judged to be wholly without substance or merit, the allegation may be dismissed. The person making the allegation will be informed and may wish to re-make the allegation to the Directors of the Organisation or, if he/she has previously been involved in the matter, to the other Directors of the organisation. The person or persons against whom an allegation is made must be informed of the allegation and the evidence supporting it and must be allowed to comment before the investigation is concluded. All allegations, including those dismissed after preliminary examination, and the results of their investigation must be reported to the Directors. The outcome of all allegations must also be reported to the complainant.

9. The identity of any person making an allegation under paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 will be kept confidential until a formal investigation is launched. Thereafter, the identity of the person making the allegation may be kept confidential, if requested, unless this is incompatible with a fair investigation (e.g. the need of the person(s) against whom the allegation is made to know the identity of his/her accuser) or unless there is an overriding reason for disclosure. Provided that the allegation has been made lawfully, without malice and in the public interest, the employment position of the person making it will not be adversely affected by reason of making the allegation. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 offers protection to workers making allegations in certain circumstances (see 11 and 12 below).

10. If someone who has made a Whistle blowing allegation remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation because either (1) they believe the procedures have not been followed properly, or (2) they are convinced that the decision is one which no reasonable person could have reached, there is a right of appeal on these grounds only. The Chairperson or Secretary (or the Treasurer if the allegation concerns the Chairperson or Secretary has been involved at an earlier stage) will appoint a person to hear the appeal. This will be by someone not employed by the Organisation who holds (or has held) judicial office or who is or has been a barrister or solicitor for at least ten years. If the appointed person so requests, the Chairperson or Secretary (or the Treasurer) will nominate one member of Director, to sit with the person appointed.

11. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998, allegations may be raised through a variety of procedures:

  • To the employer – (see procedure above)
  • To a prescribed person
  • To a legal adviser
  • To a Minister of the Crown (though this does not apply in the context of the organisation).

Provision is also made for:

  • A disclosure made in other cases
  • A disclosure of an exceptionally serious failure

12. Protection against victimisation, dismissal or redundancy: the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998 provides that a worker has the right not to be subject to any detriment after having made a ‘protected’ disclosure. Circumstances in which disclosures are ‘protected’ are described in the Appendix.