Safeguarding Policy

The Macmillan Safeguarding Policy sets out our approach to removing, reducing and managing risks within the course of our work. 

Key facts about the Safeguarding Policy

The Macmillan Safeguarding Policy sets out our approach to removing, reducing and managing risks within the course of our work, and the agreed action that anyone representing Macmillan are required to take to follow best practice in dealing with Safeguarding concerns.

On this page, you will find a condensed version of the Macmillan Safeguarding Policy. If there are any queries about this condensed policy, need further information or a PDF copy of the full version, please contact


Purpose of the full Safeguarding Policy

The activities carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support mean that there are a range of employees and volunteers who may come into contact with people who are at risk of harm, including children and adults who the law says are vulnerable.  The contact may happen in different ways, for example face to face, on the telephone or on-line.  

Macmillan is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of everyone the charity interacts with, including all our service users, donors, customers, employees and volunteers who are involved in, or affected by our work.  All children and adults, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse and the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

All employees and volunteers have a duty to prevent the abuse of children and adults and report any safeguarding concerns to the Safeguarding Team and their own manager.

Who is covered by this Policy

Our approach can be summarised under the two headings of Safeguarding Service Users / Supporters / Customers and Safeguarding our Employees and Volunteers. This condensed version relates solely to how we safeguard all individuals who interact with Macmillan seeking support and guidance.

Safeguarding Service Users Supporters Customers

Macmillan will:

  • Carry out criminal background checks on applicants for eligible employee and volunteer roles.  
  • Ensure that allegations of abuse or concerns about the safety and wellbeing raised by, or on behalf of service users/supporters/customers are properly handled.
  • Have a nominated Safeguarding Manager who has organisational responsibility for monitoring safeguarding issues, ensuring compliance with this policy and acts as the main point of contact for external organisations who want to discuss safeguarding.    
  • Ensure that employees and volunteers across the organisation receive training in safeguarding.  

Safeguarding Team

A Safeguarding Team, consisting of Safeguarding Officers and led by the Senior Safeguarding Manager is available to provide advice and support in relation to this policy.  

The Senior Safeguarding Manager (or designated deputy) is responsible for acting as the independent person within Macmillan for any child or vulnerable adult who wishes to discuss a concern within Macmillan should be able to contact an independent person.

Policy covers

1. Recording and Reporting Concerns

The process for considering allegations of abuse to service users/supporters/customers will differ from that used when looking into allegations made against employees or volunteers. Macmillan Partners are required to ensure they follow their own safeguarding policies and processes with the support, advice and guidance of the Macmillan Safeguarding Team where required.

2. Support for those who report abuse

All those making a complaint or allegation or expressing concern, whether they are employees, volunteers, service users, supporters, customers, carers or members of the general public should be reassured that:

  • They will be taken seriously
  • Their comments will usually be treated confidentially, but their concerns may be shared if they or others are at significant risk
  • If service users/supporters/customers, they will be given appropriate support and the allegation or concern will be acted on at the earliest possible opportunity
  • If employees or volunteers, they will be given support and afforded protection 
  • We will contact emergency or other support services where we consider it is necessary or appropriate to do so. 

3. Investigating Allegations of Abuse

Formally investigating allegations of abuse can be complex and requires great sensitivity and discretion and is, in many cases, the role of the Statutory Authorities and not the Safeguarding Team. 

4. Allegations of Abuse made against Macmillan Employees and Volunteers

All allegations will be looked in to and as a minimum will involve an initial process to establish the facts and decide whether a formal investigation is warranted.  The Statutory Authorities have thresholds which must be met before an alleged offence will be investigated by them and therefore not all allegations will be forwarded to the relevant authority for investigation. In all cases however, the Safeguarding Team will be involved from the outset.

5. The Duty to Refer

If following external and internal processes regarding an alleged abuse, a decision is made to permanently remove an employee or volunteer from carrying out regulated activity or regulated work, Macmillan has a legal duty to pass this information to the DBS (England &Wales), Access NI (N. Ireland) or Disclosure Scotland.   


To ensure that individuals have confidence in Macmillan handling of their personal information, it is important personal information is kept safe and secure. All documentation relating to incidents or allegations of people being harmed, or placed at risk of harm, will be kept and treated confidentially and in accordance with the DPA 18 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This includes information from Safeguarding Reporting Forms and details of all investigations and their outcomes.  Only those people who need to know about an incident will be informed.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer to ensure that any information relating to actual or suspected abuse is kept confidential.

A full copy of Macmillan’s Safeguarding Policy can be requested by contacting