COVID-19 Closure

June 2021 - Woodhouse Community Centre is still closed to the public to protect public health.

We are planning to re-open some of our facilites on a limited basis from week commencing 21st June as we deem safe.

However, we are open to interest for future bookings and we are carefully considering what is safe to do in our building.

We are currently taking bookings for support groups, training, exercise classes, and some other planned activities. Apologies but we're not currently considering bookings for parties and gatherings.

We are available for questions via email and phone during office hours - / 0113 2459610

Main Oblong office will not be occupied. In person enquiries will be possible on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1000-1500 from 15th June.

If you are in need of support while shielding or self-isolating, you can call 0113 378 1877 (LCC city-wide helpline) or 0113 8980034 (Woodhouse Mutual Aid group)

Lone Working Policy and guidelines

Please note that this policy requires various other procedural documents, which have been kept confidential for the safety of volunteers and employees.

1. Oblong policy

Oblong acknowledges that there may be an increased risk to the health and safety of it’s employees, volunteers and tenants when working alone. Oblong therefore acknowledges its duty to make adequate provision for the health and safety of lone workers. It is the policy of Oblong to fully implement the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in respect of lone working.


2. Key legislative requirements

General duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974 and specific duties of the Management of Health Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require Oblong to provide a safe environment, safe equipment and safe systems of work for its employees and those working on its premises, including volunteers. Risk assessments must be carried out to identify risks to lone workers and control measures introduced to minimise the risks wherever practicable. These requirements are applicable to all work situations/activities and in particular where staff and students are working alone or outside normal working hours.


3. Oblong’s responsibilities

Oblong Shall;

  • ensure that a risk assessment of lone working is carried out, a procedures flow diagram which forms part of this policy (appendix A) and that appropriate records are maintained

  • ensure measures are implemented and maintained to reduce the risk of lone working to its lowest practicable level

  • ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of Oblong’s procedures for lone working through appropriate information, instruction and training.

  • ensure that sufficient resources are made available to control and manage lone working arrangements

  • ensure the effectiveness of this policy is monitored


3.1 Oblong employees

Oblong employees shall;

  • ensure that they comply with the lone working procedures and they report any incidents at the first available opportunity.

3.2 Volunteers

Volunteers shall;

  • ensure that they comply with the lone working procedures and they report any incidents to their designated ‘buddy’ immediately.


4. Risk assessment and control

A lone working risk assessment will form part of this policy (appendix B) to ensure that the hazards to the lone worker are identified and that suitable and satisfactory control measures are implemented, monitored and reviewed.


5. Guidelines for lone working

This guidance offers guidelines to staff and volunteers of Oblong. It is not intended to provide a rigid, restrictive system.


5.1. Hazard categories

The assessment of hazard rating based upon a suitable risk assessment should be made by the Centre Co-ordinator. In selecting which particular category an activity fits within, the following guidance should be considered.


5.2. High risk activities - Category 1

No person should work alone where there is a serious health or safety hazard. Practical examples of this include:

  1. Working at height;

  2. One to one meetings with anyone who is believed to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or is known to have a history of aggressive behaviour.

Wherever the above work is carried out, a second person should remain within calling distance whenever these acute hazards are present.

Volunteers would not normally be allowed to work on Category 1 activities unless

adequate and immediate supervision is provided.

5.3. Medium risk activities - Category 2

Medium rated hazards fit into this category. The dangers would not be so immediate as those outlined under the Category 1 heading, but it would still be desirable for a second person to be present where reasonably practicable to take emergency action.

Example of Category 2 activities:

  1. work involving manual handling likely to cause injury,

  2. Staffing reception during events with over 20 participants

  3. taking rubbish out under darkness

  4. cash handling in public spaces

  5. leaving the building on own with cash

  6. staffing reception for events that are primarily aimed at under 18s

Volunteers would not normally be allowed to work on Category 2 activities unless

adequate and immediate supervision is provided or have the appropriate skills and experience for the situation.

5.4. Low risk activities - Category 3

Where there is no hazard involved in the activity, e.g. reading, writing, use of rooms for Rooms for general purposes, computer terminals, etc., it is not necessary for a second person to be in calling distance. The only action required for such activities outside normal working hours would be to complete logging in and out book at reception

5.5. Category assessment

The assessment on hazard categories should be based upon an adequate risk assessment Risk assessments should be undertaken by a competent person.


Ratified May 2015 by trustees, with condition of additional development of Buddy system and amendment to procedure document.
Procedure document & Buddy system finalised June 2015.