Orbit’s safeguarding award is a first for the sector

Orbit has become the first registered provider of affordable housing to achieve the ‘Leaders in Safeguarding’ accreditation.  

This quality mark is awarded to organisations in recognition of their commitment to keeping adults and children safe.  

Orbit has become the first registered provider of affordable housing to achieve the ‘Leaders in Safeguarding’ accreditation.  

This quality mark is awarded to Orbit on 25 March, in recognition of its commitment to keeping adults and children safe.

Orbit provides housing and support services across the East, Midlands and South, covering 45,000 properties and approximately 100,000 customers. Every year it carries out approximately 140,000 repairs of people’s homes and it builds in the region of 2,000 new homes.

Dr Dan Grant, safeguarding expert and the founder of Leaders in Safeguarding said: “Orbit has received this accolade because they have created a strong safeguarding culture to ensure their tenants remain safe. We congratulate them and recognise their highly effective and robust safeguarding arrangements.”

Andrew Meyer, Head of Tenancy Services and Organisational Safeguarding Lead at Orbit said: “We are delighted to achieve this accreditation because the safeguarding of our customers is paramount and to know that our practices have been recognised, is testament to the hard work that every one of our colleagues puts in each day.  

We have come a long way in our safeguarding journey in a short time and we know how important it is to maintain these standards, so we will be constantly reviewing how we work to ensure best practice and to achieve re-accreditation in two years’ time.”

During the audit process, Leaders in Safeguarding interviewed managers, as well as operational colleagues. They also undertook an in-depth review of Orbit’s safeguarding policy, case files and recruitment and employee vetting arrangements.

The key findings were:

  • Orbit is committed to the principles of community safety and social justice in the services they provide. There is a very strong safeguarding culture and really clear it is a priority for the business.
  • Using the best interpretation of safeguarding - wide scope and playing the ‘long game’, not about minimum standards.
  • Detailed but concise policy which references the relevant legislation.
  • Progressive, dynamic service meeting need with smart analysis.
  • Employees have positive attitudes and show high levels of respect tenants. Managers are very effective role models for employees.
  • Works effectively with other organisation’s – not trying to fix things alone.  Respects other organisation’s and recognises the benefits of multi-agency work.
  • Employees receive high quality training.

In the year 2019/20, Orbit recorded 2,385 safeguarding concerns and in cases where formal safeguarding alerts were needed to be made to local authorities; 81% were accepted meaning that those referred received support and protection.

Orbit has an Executive Director as sponsor for safeguarding, an Organisational Safeguarding Lead and across the business, over 20 Designated Safeguarding Leads are in place to provide advice and support. There is also an Organisational Safeguarding Forum which oversees safeguarding arrangements and responds to identified trends and themes.  Finally, there are 26 trained Mental Health first aiders across the business.