Places of Welcome: Risk assessments

When setting up a Place of Welcome, it is advisable to have a risk assessment of possible dangers. Taking a sensible and proportionate approach is the key to making sure things go smoothly and safely and avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy.

You may find that a risk assessment has already been carried out and is available for you, so ask the property manager first and ask to see a copy so it can be shared with your team. Check and amend it as necessary, as there be other risks that are risks primarily associated with your POW and not the building generally.

What should I do if there is not a risk assessment in place?

If there is not a risk assessment then a simple risk assessment can be done using the government tool found on

Look for the ‘Health and safety checklist for village and community halls on:

Once you have set up the Place of Welcome, we have risk assessment examples to help you.

Some things to think about could be:

  • Trailing wires- to minimise risk of tripping- tape them down with ideally coloured tape (tape that stands out)
  • Uncovered plug sockets- to minimise the risk of children harming themselves by putting their fingers in- buy plug sockets covers Kettles: to minimise children or vulnerable adults scalding themselves- perhaps keep kitchen facilities 12+ only or authorised people only.

How often should I review the risk assessment?

It is good practice to review the risk assessment check list once a year or following completion of alterations and building works. It is then advisable to elect a person or persons to carry out a simple visual safety check before each session to ensure the environment remains safe for volunteers and visitors.

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Where are the Places of Welcome?

Check the map to find a venue locally or nationally