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“Safeguarding, an introduction” – a workshop by Andrea Richards

Review of the talk presented by Andrea Richards on 7th January 2024 via Zoom.

Andrew Knight, Secretary of the Morris Federation writes:

“We were lucky to have Andrea Richards give a talk on Safeguarding vulnerable groups recently. In the talk, following hearing the length of Police service in this area and experience that Andrea has, she covered the background to safeguarding and the various forms of observations to make.

“This is a Duty of Care subject for all teams and awareness of this will help support the membership – it will be increasingly asked about by people looking to join and informs of the policies and processes a team will need to both protect the vulnerable themselves and to reduce possible issues that would only get in the way of enjoying our hobby!

Another attendee wrote:

“A well-timed talk for me, as I am dealing with a safeguarding issue right at the moment. I was able to ask how to handle a stranger who has been visiting the hall when we are with our young people. Andrea reassured me that we were doing the right thing and gave advice on how to proceed next, should the unwelcome visitor reappear.


thumbnail of MF-Talk-Safeguarding-Slides-20240107Slides from Andrea’s talk: Safeguarding, an Introduction (slides) [PDF].

See the MF Safeguarding guidance at:

Government Guidance on ‘After-school clubs, community activities and tuition: safeguarding guidance for providers’:


Video Recording

Unfortunately, the video audio and visuals went out of sync on the recording, so we are unable to share it with you.  However, the slides are available: Safeguarding, an Introduction (slides) [PDF].

About Andrea Richards

Andrea Richards says: Back in 1988, I joined Merseyside Police at 19 years old at a time when there were very few women in policing, so despite my young age and lack of life experience, I was allocated to deal with all things relating to Child protection or family matters – apparently being female was the only qualification I required!  I followed a VERY steep learning curve, knowing that many of my early victims were failed by my lack of knowledge and skills and I quickly realised this was something I was passionate about and wanted to get right.

My police career was wide and varied, but no matter how many times I changed roles, there was an underlying theme of sex, grief and abuse!  Victim focus was something I was keen on – as I felt with in investigation,they were often on an unstoppable roller coaster ride.

I regularly veered back to a safeguarding function in some guise or another; working in “Child Protection”, “Domestic Violence” and Vulnerable Adult Units, Public Protection, Surveillance of high risk sex offenders and in training other officers so they didn’t have the same steep learning curve I had.  I worked within National Police Training and helped devise the training programme for “Specialist Child Abuse Investigators”.

I was also a Family Liaison Officer for Murder and Manslaughter and worked on a number of major incidents in different roles throughout my career.

Since retiring, I set up as an independent training consultant – delivering all the specialist skills I’d developed throughout my career to many different audiences, Police, NHS, Home Office Asylum Decision makers, Schools and Colleges.

Throughout all of this I have been involved in Carnival Morris dancing almost since I could walk!  As part of a Morris family, I’ve danced, trained, judged, helped run organisations, been a troubleshooter for struggling teams and more recently set up a new organisation called REMIX, now going into our second season.  So I have a vested interest in making sure that all we do in the morris world is safe, inclusive and enjoyable for all.

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