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Catalyst Foundation is committed to being open, honest and accountable. This encourages a free and open culture in its dealings between the Trustees and those working in Catalyst Foundation, both employees and volunteers.

This policy aims to help the beneficiaries, their families, local schools, freelancers and partner organisations raise any serious concerns they may have about colleagues and without having to worry about being victimised, discriminated against or disadvantaged in any way as a result.

It is written in the context of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 which protects employees who ‘blow the whistle’ on malpractices within their organisation.

What types of concerns?

The policy is intended to deal with serious or sensitive concerns about wrongdoings such as the following:

It is not necessary for individuals who raise the concern to prove the wrongdoing that is alleged to have occurred or is likely to occur. However if an individual knowingly or maliciously makes an untrue allegation (e.g.: in order to cause disruption with Catalyst Foundation), Catalyst Foundation will take appropriate legal action against them. It may constitute defamation.

Individuals should note that they will not be protected from the consequences of making a disclosure if, by doing so, they commit a criminal offence.

How to raise a concern in the workplace

The officer designated to handle whistleblowing concerns is Yvonne Kandeya. She is based in Zimbabwe. Her email is  

Employees/Volunteers should in most cases, first report their concern to their line manager, who is expected to respond to that matter. If the relevant manager cannot deal with the matter, he or she will refer the concern to Yvonne.

Depending on the seriousness and sensitivity of the matter, and who is suspected of the wrongdoing, the individual can, if necessary, report directly Yvonne. If the matter concerns Yvonne, it should be raised with the CEO.

Individuals are encouraged to raise their concerns in writing where possible, setting out the background and history of their concerns (giving names, dates and places where possible) and indicating the reasons for their concerns.

Employees may wish to seek the assistance of their trade union representative before raising the concern. The trade union representative may, where the employee so desires, raise the concern on behalf of the employee. Employees may also invite a trade union representative or colleague to be present during any meetings or interviews about the concerns they have raised.

If any individual is unsure whether to use this procedure or they want independent advice at any stage, they should contact:

Disclosures made to a legal advisor in the course of obtaining legal advice will be protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

If the individual reasonably believes that the matter relates wholly or mainly to the conduct of a person or body other than Catalyst Foundation or any other matter for which a person or body other than Catalyst Foundation has legal responsibility, the disclosure should be made to that other person or body.

Protecting the individual raising the concern

If an individual raises a concern which they believe to be true, Catalyst Foundation will take appropriate action to protect the individual from any harassment, victimisation or bullying. Employees who raise a genuine concern under this policy will not be at risk of losing their job, nor will it influence any unrelated disciplinary action or redundancy procedures.

The matter will be treated confidentially if the individual requests it and their name or position will be not be revealed without their permission unless Catalyst Foundation has to do so by law. If in other circumstances the concern cannot be resolved without revealing the individual’s identity, Yvonne will discuss with the individual whether and how to proceed.

Concerns raised anonymously tend to be far less effective but Yvonne will decide whether or not to consider the matter taking into account:

How Catalyst Foundation will deal with the concern

How the concern will be dealt with, will depend on what it involves. It is likely that further enquiries and/or investigation will be necessary. The concern may be investigated by Yvonne, the Board of Trustees, through the disciplinary process or it may be referred to the police, other agencies such as Social Services, an external auditor or an independent investigator.

It may be necessary for the individual to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings.

Catalyst Foundation will give the individual feedback on the progress and outcome of any investigation wherever possible.

If the suspicions are not confirmed by an investigation, the matter will be closed. Staff will not be treated or regarded any differently for raising the concern, and their confidentiality will continue to be protected.