Policy Commitments

Please see below for policies relating to the Building Bridges programme, which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The policies are included in full and a table noting any revisions to these policies (including the date they were revised) is also included:

Policies

Environmental and Sustainability Policy

Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy

Whistleblowing Policy

Environmental & Sustainability Policy

In the UK Sustainable Development Strategy ‘Securing the Future’ 2005, the government aims to have a sustainable, innovative and productive economy that delivers high levels of employment, a just society that promotes social inclusion, sustainable communities and personal well-being, in such a way as to protect and enhance the physical and natural environment and use resources and energy as efficiently as possible.

The three core issues to be addressed are:

  1. A better local environment
  2. A better local economy
  3. Better social conditions

The Building Bridges Partnership recognises its responsibility, both as a Partnership and as individual organisations, to Sustainable Development and is committed to meeting the requirements of relevant legislation to ensure the project meets the environmental, economic and social needs of both current and future generations in an integrated way. Our aim is to reduce the impact on the environment from our operations.

Our environmental/sustainability action plan

We will comply with environmental legislation and will commit to continuously improve our environmental performance. We will make it a priority to encourage the development of environmentally policies and behaviours in out organisational activities.

We aim to:

  • Minimise consumption of resources.
  • Use materials and equipment and develop practices and procedures which do not cause harm to the environment.
  • Promote awareness and a balanced understanding of environmental issues through courses and organisational activities which address environmental issues and promote sustainable practice.
  • Seek to persuade partner organisations, external agencies and suppliers through our contracting policies and other business relationships to adopt an environmentally responsible approach themselves.
  • Promote recycling and develop embedded procedures for recycling waste.
  • Promote the use of transport and travel plans and other sustainable forms of travel that contribute to the overall aims of the Building Bridges Partnership
  • Encourage behaviour change

Objectives

Purchasing

  • To include environmental criteria to guide the procurement of goods and equipment, and ensure that these requirements are reflected in all standard contracts’ conditions.
  • To encourage partners and suppliers to switch to biodegradable materials where possible, e.g. cleaning materials.
  • To encourage the purchase and consumption of sustainable catering supplies.
  • To encourage minimising the amount of paper usage by encouraging alternative methods of disseminating information, e.g. use of file sharing systems, discs, downloading from internal systems, E-mail information, etc.

Recycling

  • To encourage recycling by providing a means of collecting waste products which can be recycled, e.g. aluminium cans, paper, and glass.
  • To encourage partners and other suppliers to re-use any disposable items and consider the implications before disposal

Energy and Consumables

  • To encourage conservation of energy in the Building Bridges partner buildings
  • To encourage partner organisations to periodically monitor consumption, including use of electricity, heating fuel, gas, water, paper, and other consumables.
  • To monitor, consider and evaluate new green initiatives and promulgate them within the partnership where practicable.
  • To identify efficiencies and incorporate into our internal systems.

Waste Management

  • To encourage partner organisations to use materials and equipment and to develop practices and procedures which minimise harm to the environment. This includes disposal of all special wastes.
  • To encourage partner organisations to keep an inventory of all special wastes, together with the approved method of disposal.

Catering

  • To encourage partner organisations wherever possible to use sustainable and locally sourced food streams for partnership activities.

Transport

  • To encourage the use throughout the partnership of alternative, environmentally responsible means of transport, including the provision of lift sharing and facilities for the safe parking of cycles at our office.

Staff Development and Sustainable Lifestyles

  • To encourage the development of ‘lifestyles’ and practical and personal ‘skills of citizenship’ which enable both partner staff, management and the participants we are supporting to evaluate and address the environmental issues associated with both their work and lifestyles.
  • To encourage the development of environmental awareness training across the staff and trustees of the partner organisations and as part of the support we provide to participants.

Monitoring

The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored by the Strategic Partnership Group including setting measurable targets in the following areas:

  • Minimising energy usage
  • Waste management
  • Resource efficiency
  • Enhancing/ protecting the physical and natural environment
  • Improving the wellbeing of people through improving the local environment
  • Training, awareness and communication

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually and when there is new legislation.

Approval:

The Building Bridges  Sustainable Development Policy and implementation plan is endorsed by Lynn Gibson, Chief Executive of Community First.. This version (1st Edition) takes effect from: 1 December 2016

Policy Owner:

Community First, West of England Works Project Manager

Edition NumberDate AgreedApproved ByChanges Made
1st Edition01/12/2016Lynn Gibson - Chief Executive, Community FirstPolicy written and approved

Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy

1. Our aim

1.1 The Building Bridges partnership is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and delivery of any of our activities.

1.2 We therefore aim to ensure that the values of equality, diversity, and respect for all are embedded into everything that we do.

2. About our policy

2.1 This policy is intended to demonstrate the commitment to eliminating discrimination and encouraging and valuing diversity among staff, managing committees, trustees, volunteers, partners, suppliers and those people we support.

2.2 We recognise our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, and are committed to meeting them in full. We believe that a culture that embraces equality and values diversity will help us to ensure that everyone feels involved and included in our plans, programmes and activities.

2.3 We aim to create an environment which respects and welcomes everyone, and in which no form of bullying, harassment, disrespectful or discriminatory behaviour is tolerated by anyone towards anyone. This particularly applies in relation to the ‘protected characteristics’ named in the Equality Act 2010:

Age
Disability
Gender reassignment
Marriage or civil partnership status
Pregnancy and maternity
Race
Religion or belief
Sex (gender)
Sexual orientation

3. Our responsibilities

3.1 The Building Bridges partners understand that for equality to be achieved this policy needs to be made understandable to, and embraced by staff, volunteers, suppliers, partners, participants and trustees.

3.2 All staff, volunteers, suppliers, partners and trustees have a responsibility to ensure that their own language and actions are consistent with the spirit as well as the contents of this policy.

3.3 Overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with each Building Bridges partner organisation and its Trustees.

4. Our commitments

4.1 Building Bridges recognises that an Equality and Diversity Policy alone is not enough to ensure that equality and diversity are central to everything that we do.

4.2 We will therefore seek to create an environment in which diversity and the contributions of all staff, volunteers, suppliers, partners, residents, managing committees and trustees are recognised and valued in all that we do. In this way we hope to provide an example of good equality practice and promote community cohesion within (area/client group).

4.3 In introducing this policy we recognise that many people are unfamiliar with the ways in which discrimination and disadvantage affect people’s health, well-being and quality of life. We will therefore support people to develop equalities awareness and understanding.

4.4 To ensure that we are meeting the aims and the spirit of this policy we will:

a) Discuss and review how well we are implementing this policy, and (adjust our practices/develop an action plan) where necessary, including as part of our Strategic Partnership Group meetings

b) Assess any significant new or revised policies and procedures for their impact on equality

c) Embed equality and diversity into our delivery plans

d) Ensure our employment practices and procedures are consistent with the aims of this policy.

e) Ensure project staff and participants can disclose any disabilities or learning difficulties or other needs relating to protected characteristics that they may have.

f) Ensure that reasonable adjustments are made in response to disclosure and will never advantage a participant or staff member on the basis of such needs.

g) Participants will be empowered and supported to challenge practices and behaviours within the project activities which they feel contravene the West of England Works policy in relation to Equality and Diversity.

h) Communicate the policy to staff, participants, partners and sub-contractors as necessary

i) Using accessible venues for events and meetings

j) Using Plain English, and offering accessible communications, for example, emails, letters, reports and publicity materials as far as it is within our means to do so.

Complaints and Compliments

There are a number of ways in which staff, volunteers and participants can raise concerns in relation to this policy through line managers and key workers as well as through forums and surveys. We will also track examples of good practice and provide case studies of best practice to inform learning across the Partnership.

Monitoring

The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored through staff and project participant data. The monitoring will include monitoring of progress towards the key objectives identified in the action plan which includes monitoring representation and performance of different groups (sex, age, disability, race etc).  An assessment of Equal Opportunities will be built into the Evaluation Plan for the project.

The Strategic Partnership Group will receive bi-annual reports on equalities data gathered and will oversee the project evaluation.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually or when there are changes in the workplace such as new tools, systems or conditions.

Approval:

The Building Bridges Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy and Action plan is endorsed by Lynn Gibson, Chief Executive of Community First. This version (1st Edition) takes effect from: 1 December 2016.

Policy Owner:

Community First, Building Bridges Programme Manager

Edition NumberDate AgreedApproved By:Changes Made
1st Edition01/12/2016Lynn Gibson - Chief Executive, Community FirstPolicy written and approved

Building Bridges Whistleblowing Policy

Policy Statement

The Building Bridges Partnership will not condone any form of malpractice in the delivery of the programme and is committed to creating a safe, fair and honest environment for those employed in the delivery of the programme and our participants.

The Building Bridges Partnership’s Whistleblowing policy encourages and enables those employed in the delivery of the programme and our participants to speak out when they encounter or suspect malpractice.

No one who raises a genuine concern about malpractice will be at risk of losing their job or suffering any other form of retribution or detriment as a result of doing so, including harassment or victimisation.

This Policy applies to all those employed in the delivery of the programme and our participants.

We recognise that individual organisations within the Building Bridges Partnership will have their own Whistleblowing Policies and this Policy is intended to operate in conjunction with these in matters relating to the delivery of the Building Bridges Programme.

Principles

If a person has any concerns regarding the behaviour of others in relation to the delivery of the programme (including illegal, improper or unethical acts), they can take confidential action to raise their concerns.

  • The person raising the concerns will be protected from any detriment if:
  • they raise a genuine concern in accordance with the procedures set out below
  • it is made in the public interest
  • they have a reasonable belief that the behaviour in question is occurring, has occurred, or is likely to occur.

If the person’s concerns relate to the delivery of the programme by one of our partner organisations, they should first try to resolve the matter through the policies and procedures (including Whistleblowing) of that partner organisation.

If the person feels that they are unable to resolve their concerns through the policies and procedures of the relevant partner organisation, or they feel it relates to the wider delivery of the Building Bridges Programme, they should raise their concerns in accordance with this policy.

All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal anyone’s identity in so far as this is consistent with the proper examination and investigation of the matter.  If it is necessary to reveal a person’s identity, this will be discussed with them at the earliest possible stage before any further action is taken.

Before Taking Action

We would ask that people do not disclose confidential information or concerns relating to the delivery of the Building Bridges Programme or the partner organisations’ businesses without first raising them in accordance with the procedures set out in this policy.

Individual partner organisations already have procedures in place for employees to raise personal employment-related grievances. This policy complements, but does not replace those existing partner organisation procedures.

A protected disclosure is different to a grievance in that it will concern the conduct of another person in the workplace (whether or not that conduct affects the complainant personally) in circumstances where the complainant genuinely believes that the conduct in question amounts to a criminal offence, a breach of a legal obligation, or something likely to endanger health or safety or damage the environment.

If a person has concerns relate to the quality of delivery of the programme by one of our partner organisations, they should first try to resolve the matter through the complaints procedure of that partner organisation. If the person feels that they are unable to resolve their concerns through the complaints procedure of the relevant partner organisation, or they feel it relates to the wider delivery of the Building Bridges Programme, they should raise their concerns in accordance with the Community First complaints procedure.

Matters of Concern

  • To be protected by the Whistleblowing Policy, the person raising the concern needs to make a ‘qualifying disclosure’ about alleged or actual malpractice. This could be:
  • That a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed
  • That a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject or has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to uphold professional standards or practice and/or behaviour
  • That the health and safety of an individual is being or is likely to be endangered
  • That the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged
  • That a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur
  • That a person or organisation is receiving or has received unlawful bribes, financial incentives or inducements for personal gain or that they are involved (or generally suspected of being involved) in fraud
  • That information on any of the above has been, is being or is likely to be concealed.

For the disclosure to be protected by the law it should be made to the right person and in the right way. The person raising the concern must reasonably believe that the information is substantially true.

  • Anyone wishing to raise a concern is encouraged to put their name to their allegation. Anonymous disclosures are less powerful and more difficult to investigate, but will be considered in the context of the following:
  • The seriousness of the disclosure
  • The credibility of the concern
  • Fairness to the individual or organisation that may be the subject of the concern raised
  • Whether there is a likelihood that the allegation can be confirmed using reliable sources

Informal Procedure

If a person has a concern about wrong doing under any of the categories listed at paragraph 4.1 above, they can initially seek to resolve the matter informally and in confidence. The person can contact either the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group.

The person should set out their concerns and the reasons why they are a matter of public interest. The Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group will promptly consider whether there is substance in the concerns and if so how they can be resolved, where necessary seeking advice.

There will be no record made of informal concerns or any reference to them on official files etc., including any action taken to address them.

Formal Procedure

If the person believes that the matter of concern is of a more serious nature, and/or that it cannot be or has not been resolved satisfactorily through the informal procedure, they can raise it formally (verbally or in writing) and in confidence with the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group.

The Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group will meet with the person as soon as possible to ascertain the details of their concern. The person may be accompanied by a friend, work colleague or trade union representative at the meeting. The person will be asked if they want to disclose their identity. If the person does not wish to make a written statement the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group will write a brief summary of the meeting. The person will be given an opportunity to comment on the note, which should be agreed by both parties.

It may be necessary for the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group to carry out an investigation, make an objective assessment of the concern and determine the appropriate actions to be taken.

In some cases the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group may refer the matter to the senior management within partner organisations where this is necessary to ensure appropriate resolution of the concern in accordance with the organisational procedures.

If the resolution of the concern does not lie within the authority of the Building Bridges Partnership to resolve, the Building Bridges Programme Manager or the Independent Chair of the Building Bridges Strategic Partnership Group may refer the matter to the Big Lottery Fund Funding Officer.

The person raising the concern will be advised of progress and of the outcome of their complaint. Although it may not always be possible to provide the person with a full account, as much information as possible will be provided about the actions taken to deal with their cause for concern.

It will not be possible to protect a person’s anonymity if they discuss the case with others outside the investigation.

Appeals Procedure

Anyone raising concerns under this Policy has the right to appeal against the outcome of the original investigation in accordance with the organisational procedures. If still unsatisfied then the Big Lottery Fund Funding Officer should be informed and details of how to do this will be included in the Building Bridges outcome letter.

The appeal should indicate the full grounds upon which it is made and must be sent in writing to the Big Lottery Fund Funding Officer within seven working days of receipt of the original investigation decision letter.

The Big Lottery Fund Funding Officer will then investigate the concerns raised in line with the Big Lottery Fund’s policies and procedures.

Key Contacts

The key contacts for concerns to be raised through this policy are:

PositionNameEmail AddressTelephone
Building Bridges Programme Manager
Dave Pottsdpotts@communityfirst.org.uk01380 732826
07738 883186
Independent Chair of Strategic Partnership GroupJon YatesJon.Yates@wiltshirecf.org.uk01380 729284
07813 044172
Big Lottery Fund Funding OfficerJohn Dewingjohn.dewing@biglotteryfund.org.uk0191 376 1902
Edition NumberDate AgreedApproved ByChanges Made
1st Edition08/05/2017Dave Potts - Building Bridges Programme ManagerPolicy written and approved