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Safeguarding

The safety and comfort of all attendees is the number-one priority for 15-Minute Friendships.

Please find our safeguarding policy below.

Safeguarding Policy

This safeguarding policy is reviewed and updated on a regular basis and is designed to protect both the host and attendees at any 15-Minute Friendships event. This policy was written by our host, Bridie, and constitutes a promise to facilitate the safety and comfort of attendees wherever possible.

18+ Only

15-Minute Friendships is designed for adults only. If I have reason to suspect an individual is under the age of 18, I will ask for proof of age and will end the session if this is unavailable.

Trusted, Public Spaces

15-Minute Friendships will only ever be hosted in a public space and will never change location mid-session. The venues for 15-Minute Friendships have been carefully selected and vetted by the host and are chosen based on inclusivity, safety, and accessibility.

No Photos/
Videos

No photos or video recordings will be taken during 15-Minute Friendships sessions.

Privacy

15-Minute Friendships is designed to combat loneliness and individuals may choose to share personal stories or anecdotes during a session. This information will never be repeated outside of the session unless a serious safety concern is identified, in which case, the appropriate authorities may be contacted. 

 

Individuals will never be asked for their contact information during a session, nor will the host use the session to arrange a meet-up outside of a session.

Accountability

As the host, I take accountability extremely seriously and will provide personal information such as my name, address, and phone number to the venue / facilitator so that I am contactable / traceable should any issues arise.

Reporting Safeguarding Concerns About the Project or Host

Because 15-Minute Friendships is a voluntary project ran by a single individual, safeguarding concerns regarding the host should not be addressed with the host directly. If you have a safeguarding concern about the project and/or the host, there are a couple of different avenues you can take. Depending on the nature of the concern...

 

A) You may wish to make a report to the owners of venue where the safeguarding concern arose. The venue will be able to provide feedback to the 15-Minute Friendships host anonymously on your behalf if this is deemed appropriate or escalate the matter to the appropriate authorities if needed. 

B) The non-profit organisation Thirtyone:eight also offers a Safeguarding helpline that you can use for advice and information if you have a concern about a person or situation:

"Whatever your concern - recent or non-recent, if it relates to safeguarding or even if you're not sure - call us Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm, on 0303 003 1111. "

C) For more serious concerns, you may wish to contact the appropriate authorities directly, such as the police on 999. Each hosting venue will have the 15-Minute Friendships host's details on file for accountability and traceability purposes should these need to be provided  to the relevant authorities.

We hope this helps. If you have any feedback or suggestions on the reporting process, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Comfort

Your comfort is the priority at 15-Minute Friendships and I will do my very best to create a safe, open, and judgement-free space where you are free to talk as little or as much as you want. There is never any obligation to stay for the entire session and I will aim to inform all attendees of the tap-out policy at the start of each session.

Tap-Out Policy

The Tap-Out Policy is designed to make it as simple as possible for individuals to leave a 15-Minute Friendships session at any point, with no questions asked. All you have to do is say "I'd like to tap-out" (or some variation of this statement) or tap the tap-out card on the table and the session will come to an immediate and polite end with no questions asked. I will do my best to inform / remind attendees of the Tap-Out Policy at the start of each session.

Feedback

Feedback is both welcome and encouraged and can be submitted (anonymously, if you'd prefer) via our Feedback form. This form can also be used for complaints.

Please note that anything submitted via this form goes directly to 15-Minute Friendships. If you have a serious concern, please follow the advice under “Safeguarding Concerns”.

Zero Tolerance

15-Minute Friendships operates a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to aggression, oppression, or harassment of the host, attendees, or venue staff. Sessions will come to an abrupt end and individuals displaying such behaviour will be asked to leave. 

Learning

We are all human and, as the host of 15-Minute Friendships, I am not infallible. While I am committed to facilitating my own learning when it comes to social issues or marginalisation, there will always be gaps in my knowledge that I will strive to fill.

 

I would never ask an individual to perform the emotional labour of filling these gaps for me but, equally, I want to foster a space where individuals feel comfortable addressing areas of discussion where my lack of knowledge may be making them uncomfortable. If there is ever anything you think I need to educate myself on, you are always welcome to communicate this to me directly or anonymously via the Feedback form.

"What happens if we bump into each other outside of a 15-Minute Friendships session?"

There may be instances where you (the attendee) and I (the host) come into contact outside of a 15-Minute Friendships session. This could be anywhere from in a supermarket to at an independent LGBTQ+ event. While I will never use a 15-Minute Friendships session to personally arrange a meetup with an individual, there may be times where we learn that we are going to be in the same space in the future (at a Pride event for example).

 

In these instances, I might not approach an individual I recognise from a 15-Minute Friendship Session unless they've previously expressed that it is okay for me to do so, but I will be friendly and courteous should the individual wish to approach me. This is for your safety and comfort.

 

"Do you hang out with people outside of the 15-Minute Friendships sessions?"

 

The only time I will ever meet up with an individual I have met in a one-to-one 15-Minute Friendships session is if we have gotten to know each other in a casual or group setting and/or formed an organic friendship outside of the session through mutual friends or interests. Even then, this would be with the heaviest of discretion and consideration with regards to any vulnerabilities this individual may have.

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