Local groups I am involved with have raised the starting age in recent years as they believe that the responsibilities associated with having under 18s in the group would be too onerous. The end result makes it harder for young people to be able to mix with adults in a social setting and hinders intergenerational understanding.
Guidance and regulations around Safeguarding Children and Child Protection are complicated and often misunderstood and/or misinterpreted by small voluntary groups (such as amateur theatre groups and choirs). Trying to find clear guidance is difficult.
I feel that a set of simple, well publicised "safeguards" for such groups would be very helpful – for example making sure children are not left alone with a single adult.