Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

National Museums NI is committed to providing enjoyable, safe environments for all children and vulnerable adults participating in museum activities.  Whilst the primary responsibility for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults' welfare rests with the supervising adult, National Museums recognises our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation. 

The Policy endeavours to uphold the rights enshrined within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the requirements of all other relevant UK and NI legislation relating to children and vulnerable adults.

  • The age of a child as defined in UK legislation is 0-18 years.
  • A vulnerable adult is defined as a person of 18 years and over, who is, or may be in need of, community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

National Museums NI acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and is committed to ensuring that our safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and best practice.



  • We promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults who visit National Museums NI sites.
  • We believe that every child and vulnerable adult has the fundamental right to be safe from harm and to have their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being promoted by those looking after them.
  • We believe that children and vulnerable adults have a right to be heard, to be listened to and to be taken seriously.
  • In all situations the welfare of the child or vulnerable adult will always be the paramount consideration.



  • National Museums will establish and maintain a safe and enjoyable environment where children and vulnerable adults can participate free from abuse, bullying and discrimination.
  • National Museums is committed to safe recruitment, selection and appropriate vetting arrangements for employees and volunteers. 
  • National Museums will provide effective management of staff and volunteers through appropriate levels of supervision, support and training.
  • National Museums will inform children and carers and external parties coming onto all sites of its Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures, as appropriate.
  • National Museums will ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and will provide appropriate training opportunities to ensure that abuse can be recognised, identified and responded to.
  • National Museums has in place structures, procedures and guidelines to ensure that appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents or concerns of abuse.  This includes a network of Designated Officers and a Safeguarding Forum.
  • National Museums takes seriously all concerns and allegations of abuse and responds to these appropriately, whilst also supporting those individuals who raise or disclose the concern.
  • National Museums will ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns or incidents are maintained and stored securely.


Contact Details for Duty Managers and Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults’ Designated Officers

National Museums Northern Ireland has a Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy which is operated by all staff.  A copy of the Policy can be downloaded here (Safeguarding-policy-19-01-17.pdf) and we would ask that you comply with our Policy by informing your group of the need to report any incident that occurs to Museum staff.

Please note you must report any matters in relation to Safeguarding to the Duty Manager on site, in the first instance, in order to discuss concerns immediately.


  • Ulster Museum – Duty Manager               07500 829 638  
  • Ulster Folk & Transport Museum - Duty Manager 07775 421 199


Designated Officers - Ulster Museum

Les McLean                02890 440011                                            

Colleen Watters        02890 440103

Kevin Guinchard       02890 440012


Designated Officers - Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Nick Ferguson   02890 395272                                    

Greg Borne         02890 395275

Jenna Collier      02890 395273     


Designated Officers - Ulster American Folk Park

Richard Hurst                      02882256307                                                    

Catherine McCullough      028 82256300


Safeguarding Champion

Paddy Gilmore                  Mobile 07919 914 809                                    

                              028 90395090

The Safeguarding Champion has overall responsibility for safeguarding, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of National Museums.

If you are worried about a child’s wellbeing you may also contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.