Hello I'm Jane Brown. I am a member of the National Board. I am the Whistleblowing lead. Along with Complaints and Grievances, Whistleblowing is one of the ways employees can raise a concern.

I wanted to let you know why raising a concern is important.

I love L'Arche. I love the opportunities it gives people to thrive. I love it that everyone is important. I love that for most of the time we do things well. 

But I am realistic. I know that sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes the things that go wrong can be very bad. If we all take responsibility to do something, say something, when we witness something is wrong, action can be taken. Action to make a thing, a situation better. Maybe stopping a bad thing getting worse. We are all responsible for developing a culture where everyone feels safe and valued. If we know that something isn't right, we need to be part of the solution to sort it out.

When should I raise a concern?

Sometimes we can make something right ourselves, e.g. moving a trip hazard, or discussing a concern in supervision.  But there are times when you are not able to resolve a concern yourself. Usually, the first possibility in that case is to raise the concern with management via the Complaints process or Grievance process. The complaints policy is broadly for when you have a concern about standards of care and support for people with learning disabilities. Grievance is broadly for when you have a concern about your relationship with L’Arche as your employer.

When do I need to speak out?

Sometimes though a concern may be very serious. Or you may have tried raising the concern with management & they haven't dealt with it. That's when you use the Whistleblowing process. The L’Arche whistleblowing policy is for when you need to to speak out suspected or alleged malpractice or wrongdoing in L’Arche. For example, this might to raise concerns about something which could result in someone being abused, failure to comply with legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, a criminal offence, health and safety being endangered, damage to the environment, fraud or corruption, or other unethical conduct.

I know it may seen scary to raise a concern like this.  You might not want to upset someone. You might be frightened of a person or worried about how they may react. You might be worried about what other people think. It takes moral courage to raise a concern in those circumstances. L'Arche needs people to bravely speak out. It is a way that we can show love to each other. And we are committed to protecting those we raise concerns from any victimisation or ill treatment as a result. Although we cannot always tell you what specific action was taken because of the rights everyone has to confidentiality, we will take every complaint seriously.

Who should I contact?

For these serious whistleblowing cases there is an email address [email protected] which goes directly to Sarah Harrison, HR Director. But if for any reason you want to come directly to me as the whistleblowing lead on the Board, then please always feel free to do so. For example, you might have already raised the issue with the national team, or you might think they will not deal with the issue well, or you might think it’s so serious that you must go straight to the Board. It’s up to you who you approach – the important thing is that you approach someone! My email address is [email protected] and my mobile is 07925 787101.

Be assured that I will take Whistleblowing very seriously. I will deal with things in a confidential manner. I will do my utmost to make sure things are dealt with as they should be. I want to do all that is possible to make L'Arche a good place to live and work.