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Club News

📝 Play Safe Weekend is back: Bristol Rovers

Play Safe Weekend is back

30 September 2022

Club News

📝 Play Safe Weekend is back: Bristol Rovers

Play Safe Weekend is back

30 September 2022

Play Safe is football’s national campaign to focus attention on the vital importance of safeguarding in our national game, and Exeter City will be supporting the cause against Bristol Rovers this weekend.

The campaign is officially supported by the NSPCC as well as the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship. It’s also being backed by every other level of the game across England.

This year’s focus remains on the key role of parents/carers in safeguarding, with two main messages being conveyed:

• Are you aware of the vital safeguarding role you play in football?
• Please take the new, short and free safeguarding course specifically developed for parents/carers, which can be accessed here.

As part of the activation, managers will be wearing Play Safe pin badges, with captains also donning a special Play Safe armband for the fixture.

Kay Crawford, Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer at Exeter City said: "At Exeter we are fully committed to ensuring the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people and the Play Safe campaign is very important initiative that as a club we are proud to be supporting."

Importantly, encouragement to take the new course has come from FASSSAG – The FA’s Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group:

“We have inputted into the course and helped frame its key messages from our collective experiences. It’s vitally important to us that every parent/carer understands the role they need to play in football. Taking this course can make a real difference – we are asking every parent/carer to commit to help ensure football is ever-safer.”

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So whatever your role in football – whether an active participant or an administrator – please remember safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

For example:

If you’re a coach working with children:
• Is your DBS Check up to date? 
• Are you up to date with The FA’s ‘Safeguarding Children’ course? 
• Do you regularly check-in with your players and help them to feel safe to share their thoughts and speak up about any concerns?
• Are you following safe practice when communicating with under-18s for example via social media and in your coaching sessions?

If you’re a board or committee member at a club or league: 
• Have you taken or refreshed The FA’s ‘Safeguarding for Committee’ members’ course?
• Does your club have a formal welcome process for new players and their parents/carers? 
• Are all your club’s safeguarding policies and procedures up to date?
• Are your club welfare officers contact details widely available?
• Is safeguarding a constant item on your main meeting agendas and in your club’s day-to-day practices?
• Does your club encourage openness and ensure that members adhere to the codes of conduct and acceptable behaviours? 

If you’re a parent/carer:
• Do you know your child’s club welfare officer? 
• If so, do you have their telephone number in your phone, as well as that of the NSPCC?
• Are you up to speed with your child’s club’s safeguarding policies and procedures?
• Have you taken The FA’s free online ‘Safeguarding Awareness for Parents/Carers’ course? 
• Do you regularly check-in with your child to see what they are enjoying/not enjoying and why?

If you’re a club or league welfare officer:
• Do you know who your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer is?
• If so, do you have their telephone number in your phone?
• Have you reviewed your club’s or league’s safeguarding policies and procedures recently?
• Are you proactively encouraging parents/carers to do the free FA ‘Safeguarding Awareness for Parents/Carers’ course?

For more information on the safeguarding framework The FA has in place, together with numerous helpful guidance notes, please click here.

If you are worried about a child, it’s vital you report your concerns. Doing nothing is not an option. It’s also important you stay calm, and if any child is present, reassure them they are not to blame. But don’t make promises of confidentiality or outcome.

There are five ways to report a concern:


1. To your club or league designated safeguarding officer – please find out from your club who these people are;
2. To your County FA designated safeguarding officer. Click here for a list of County FA contacts;
3. By emailing The FA safeguarding team at safeguarding@TheFA.com;
4. If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA designated safeguarding officer, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline for expert advice and support on 0808 800 5000 or help@nspcc.org.uk;
5. If it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police or children’s social care in your area.


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