Our approach to safeguarding

In light of recent press coverage regarding safeguarding, exploitation and abuse, our CEO has written an open letter outlining United Purpose's approach:


Dear friend,

Sexual exploitation and abuse is an incredibly serious issue; it should never be tolerated and needs to be tackled at every opportunity. Recent revelations in the press have reverberated throughout the international development sector and wider society, and public confidence in international development agencies has been damaged. It is only right that we as individual organisations, and as a whole sector, are being asked to demonstrate the principles, standards and values that we guide ourselves by.

United Purpose tackles extreme poverty across the globe and as a result we work with a wide range of vulnerable individuals and communities.  We do this directly and via local partners, often working alongside local, regional and national governments. We understand the importance of providing a safe and trusted environment which safeguards anyone that we have contact with. United Purpose trustees, along with myself, the senior leadership team and country directors, lead by example to create an organisational culture that has zero tolerance towards any form of abuse. 

We have a wide range of policies, procedures and measures that are designed to enforce safeguards against abuse, and enable its reporting if it happens. We also understand how vital it is that people are safe and protected, that they are enabled to make disclosures and complaints when they need to do so, and are provided with the required support through that process. This applies equally to United Purpose staff and volunteers based in the UK, as well as those working globally. It also applies equally to the partners we work with, as well as all the beneficiaries we support. And it also applies equally to men, women and children. This is moral leadership and something I do not shy away from.

Moral leadership also means we must strive for excellence; we must go above and beyond and not be complacent with achieving the bare minimum. I will lead this within United Purpose and play my part in supporting the international development sector more widely, ensuring we are the best we can be, and living up to the high standards quite rightly expected of us by the British public.  

Yours sincerely,  

Kathryn Llewellyn 

CEO, United Purpose