Penny Roberts is a volunteer with the British Mountaineering Council, assisting them with their safeguarding policies and practice.
From her professional experiences as a nurse, a safeguarding trainer for Bradford Local Authority and the owner of a care agency, Penny has developed a real understanding of the safeguarding of adults.
Penny will be speaking at our Safeguarding Adults in Sport Seminar at the University of Nottingham on the 9th May this year. To see our full list of speakers find out more about the day and book your place.
‘To my mind people think of ‘safeguarding’ as a new responsibility we now have; we have to write a policy and show we’re enforcing it to protect insurance and liability. But if we are protecting ourselves from blame we are not writing the policy for the right reason. Yes, all of the above is important but what does it mean if we don’t care and watch out for those who are vulnerable?’
Penny also has a personal interest in safeguarding. Penny’s son Peter is 18 and has been attending his local climbing wall at the Harrogate Climbing Centre since a school visit. He attended a special school and has a diagnosis of PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome – a condition that is being increasingly recognised as part of the autistic spectrum. In addition, since a sporting accident Penny is physically disabled, she uses an electric wheelchair and receives support from a personal assistant.
Penny met with Nicola Dean, ACT Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager, to look at safeguarding adults. During the conversation it became apparent just how positive the experience of climbing has been for Peter, his confidence has greatly improved. She says, ‘At school he struggles, because he’s aware of his disability, it is nice that he can climb and excel at it’.
‘Policies are fine but you have to put them into practice, don’t just have them sitting on a shelf somewhere. If clubs are going to include everyone they have to get the environment right’. Penny firmly believes that by creating such a positive experience for Peter, Harrogate climbing centre are safeguarding him.
Penny will be speaking at our Safeguarding Adults in Sport Seminar at the University of Nottingham on the 9th May this year where she will be giving a Parents Perspective on some of the things the club are putting into place to help support Peter and them as a family. To see our full list of speakers find out more about the day and book your place.