At World Child Cancer we have been saddened and horrified by the shameful behaviour of a small group of former staff at other charities misusing power and exploiting vulnerable girls or women who they should have been protecting.
Our mission at World Child Cancer is to support treatment for very sick children. We have a robust Child Safeguarding Policy which we enforce rigorously. We will always report abuse, or suspected abuse, of a child to the authorities and do whatever we can to get that child out of danger.
There has never been any reported incidents of anything remotely similar at World Child Cancer. But it has been a stark reminder of how inappropriate behaviour can occur in any organisation, and how we must be on our guard to protect our beneficiaries and our staff and partners.
As a children’s charity we are particularly aware that there can be people who will try and use us to get access to children. We will do everything we can to prevent that happening. But we know we cannot be complacent – and we have commenced a thorough review of our policies and our Code of Conduct and we will be refreshing the training of all our staff.
Our staff and volunteers are all subject to criminal record checks and we have strengthened our whistleblowing policy with a hotline direct to a Board member. We have written this week to all our staff, volunteers, and partners inviting them to use this hotline for any current or past concerns they may have. We will always report any breaches of our policies to safeguard children, or abuse vulnerable adults, to the Charity Commission and to the appropriate authorities.
This is a fantastic organisation and we are all strongly dedicated to it – and to the children we help. However, we must all be vigilant to keep that mission honest and honourable. It must be a safe place for children and their families to come for help. And it must be a safe place for our staff, volunteers and partners to work without fear of inappropriate behaviour. We will all work together as one team to make sure it always stays that way.