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Membership terms and conditions

Summary of ACR rules and operating procedures
Alnmouth Community Rowing operates to high safety standards, but cannot eliminate all risks associated with the handling and operation of small boats on inland waters or the sea. All members participate at their own risk and are actively encouraged on every occasion to make their own judgement as to whether they participate in any ACR activity

Rowing Life Jackets
All members will wear suitable life jackets whilst in the boats, regardless of the waters (sea, lake, estuary, river). Please read the Life Jacket Policy in the ‘Operational Documents’ page on the website.

All crew members must obey the commands of the Cox.

All crew members are also required to provide every assistance to the cox, for example by keeping a good lookout and checking that the cox is warm.

All crew members must ensure that the boat they are taking out is properly equipped. The cox is responsible for briefing the crew before any trip out.

It is the responsibility of each member to confirm that they (or their children/wards wishing to row) do not suffer from any disability or medical condition that might render them unfit for strenuous exercise.

Should a medical condition exist, this will not necessarily prevent participation, but it must be declared. Members are advised to seek advice from their doctor if they have any doubts about any condition.

With particular regard to the incidence of Covid-19, it is important that you apply the above consideration and criteria.

All members are expected to work at acquiring and maintaining a basic level of competence in rowing and such other skills as they choose. All members are expected to know how to tie simple knots, use the VHF radio and operate flares.

ACR is respectful of cold-water dangers. There is an absolute requirement for all members taking a boat out to sea in the period 1st October to 31st March to wear a winter rated wetsuit covering at least the legs and body core, or a full dry suit. Members must provide their own clothing to deal with the full range of weather conditions AND have available sufficient dry clothing to change into.

Boats will only be launched under the command of a cox who is recognised within ACR to have the skills and experience to manage the conditions on the day

The overriding policy of ACR is expressed as “If in doubt, don’t go out”. It is the responsibility of every member to continuously apply this policy. There may be “doubt” about many different things including the weather, the sea state, the crew, the cox, the planned route etc.

Maintenance of boats and equipment 

Use of tools
It is the responsibility of members to assess their competence in the use of any tool before starting any work. Tools may be provided by a number of different people and may be of a form that is unfamiliar.

Protection from fumes and dust
Working on boats tends to involve the creation of both dust and fumes. These may be hazardous and members must ensure that they are using adequate protection. If a member has a known allergic reaction, they must ensure that they stay away from the work area.

ACR resources and equipment 
It is the joint responsibility of all members to clean, check, store and maintain all ACR equipment. Typically, this is done immediately after use but there are also periodic maintenance sessions.

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
ACR has a clear policy on the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults and membership of ACR is conditional on both reading the policy and implementing its requirements.

Risk assessment
ACR has completed risk assessments which are available on the club website. Members are required to both read the risk assessments and contribute to their update and improvement.

Updating personal details and contact details
It is essential for club operation that members keep their own contact details and their emergency contact details up to date. Changes should be notified to the Secretary promptly as necessary.

The Association’s rules and procedures are continually subject to change. Members must ensure that they are pro-active in keeping up to date.

Safeguarding Policy

Alnmouth Community Rowing: Policy for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

This policy applies to all rowers, coxes, coaches, non-rowing members and anyone involved in the running of ACR activities. All of these people have a duty of care to safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults within the club. Definitions for the purposes of this document: A child is anyone under the age of 18 years. A vulnerable adult is anyone aged 18 or over who is unable to care independently for themselves or may need assistance to participate in ACR activities. A cox is the person in charge of the crew and boat whenever it is launched.

Introduction Alnmouth Community Rowing (ACR) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults (C/VAs) while they participate in any activities organised and run by ACR, on and off the water. Every person who participates in skiff rowing has the right to do so in an environment free from discrimination and abuse. ACR is committed to taking all reasonable steps to protect its members from harm, bullying, neglect and abuse of a physical, sexual or emotional nature. Discrimination on any grounds will not generally be tolerated although there may be circumstances when the safety of the crew on the water takes precedence. ACR is committed to taking seriously all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse and to responding to these appropriately.

ACR will do the following to meet these commitments.

  • Nominate a Designated Welfare Officer (DWO) who will be the committee member with responsibility for safeguarding. The DWO will have a current Disclosure and Barring Service certificate.
  • On occasions when the DWO is unavailable the Chairperson of ACR will temporarily assume the role.
  • Clearly display the contact details of the DWO in the ACR club base. Also clearly display contact details for outside organisations such as the NSPCC Child line number, the police or the relevant Northumberland County Council department. See appendix 1.
  • Endeavour to have operating procedures in place which reduce the risk of harm to any of its members.
  • Regularly review its safeguarding policy and make necessary alterations to reflect changes in ACR activities or to take into account changes in legislation or government guidelines.
  • Regularly inform all ACR members about this policy and their responsibilities regarding their own behaviour as well as informing them of the reporting procedures if abuse is suspected. 

The role of the DWO is to:

  • Respond quickly to any concerns or allegations of abuse, keep accurate and confidential records of such and, if appropriate, inform the relevant external agencies and the ACR committee.
  • Ensure that every member of ACR has read this policy document.
  • Ensure that all members of ACR are aware that they share the responsibility of safeguarding C/VAs during association activities.
  • In the event of a concern being raised complete a written report using the form in appendix 2.

The role of the cox is to:

  • Ensure that the physical demands placed on C/VAs are appropriate for their physical capabilities.
  • Be confident in the ability of all crew members to understand/obey instructions.
  • Ensure that while on the water all crew members wear the appropriately sized life jacket and that during all activities they wear clothing suitable for the prevailing conditions.
  • Make a decision every time a C/VA wishes to row about that person’s suitability to be part of the crew. For each launch the cox’s decision is final.

The role of every member of ACR is to:

  • Avoid all unnecessary physical contact with C/VAs.
  • Prevent inappropriate language being used by anyone engaged in ACR activities.
  • Avoid communicating with a child via email, texts or social media. Information relating to ACR activities will be communicated to children via the parent/guardian/ carer.
  • Ensure that no photographs or videos of children are taken or used for publicity purposes without the written consent of the parent/guardian. Any such material should not identify the C/VA by name or include any personal details.
  • Ensure there is always an appropriate ratio of adults to C/VAs. (Good practice would be a minimum of 2 adults to15 C/VAs).
  • Know the identity of the DWO and how to contact him/her.
  • Report any disclosure, indication or suspicion of abuse to the DWO. This is not optional.

GOLDEN RULE. During ACR activities no adult other than the parent or guardian should be alone with a child. 


Appendix 1.

In an emergency dial 999

ACR Contact numbers.

ACR Designated Welfare Officer: Nicola Chadd 07955488763
ACR chairperson: Rhoda Foote 07949152172

Northumberland Safeguarding Children
Non-emergency telephone Onecall: 01670536400 If you know there is already a social worker involved telephone 01670 622930

Northumberland Safeguarding Adults
Onecall: 01670536400 email:

0800 1111