As National Safeguarding Adults Week begins, and as we look ahead to this year’s National Safeguarding Weekend on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 November, North Riding FA is shining a light on several individuals to celebrate some of the great work going on in the county and raise awareness of safeguarding best practice.
For further information on National Safeguarding Adults Week and National Safeguarding Weekend, and to download some promotional resources for your club, please visit the Ann Craft Trust’s website here.
For more information on safeguarding in grassroots football, head to:
Please note: this section will be updated with more profiles throughout the week…
Name: Shane Close
Club: Leyburn Utd JFC
Role/s: Welfare Officer / Committee Member / U15 coach
How long you have been Welfare Officer? Five years
What your responsibilities as a Welfare Officer are: Making sure all coaches are up to date with DBS / first aid /safeguarding etc.
Why you think safeguarding is important within football: It’s important that everyone understands safeguarding for children
Something you have implemented at your club/league to promote safeguarding: Social media posts on safeguarding
Thoughts about FA National Safeguarding Weekend: It’s important to make everyone aware of the importance of safeguarding
Name: Kieran Janicki
Club: Redcar Athletic
Role/s: Coach/Welfare Officer
How long you have been a Welfare Officer: One year
What your responsibilities as a Welfare Officer are: I am responsible for dealing with any safeguarding issues within the club, but also supporting new coaches with their coaching and personal development. I regularly work with coaches to ensure that all qualifications and DBS checks are in date.
Why you think safeguarding is important within football: Safeguarding is important in football because it is a sport based (especially at grassroots level) on enjoyment. If an issue is impacting a child's happiness, then the issue needs addressing so that the child can enjoy football again.
Something you have implemented at your club/league to promote safeguarding: We regularly check in with coaches to ensure everything is running smoothly, and also offer advice if and when needed. Prior to Covid, we held regular sessions on things such as behaviour management and safeguarding for our coaches to fully understand their role and share best practice.
Thoughts about FA National Safeguarding Weekend: The FA National Safeguarding weekend is important as we need to ensure we keep the fun in football and help our footballers of tomorrow be the best version of themselves, letting them express themselves on the pitch with freedom, happiness and enjoyment.
Name: Angie Casterton
Role/s: League Welfare Officer: York and District Youth, City of York Girls, York FA U19s, York Minster Adult League, North Riding Adult League.
How long you have been Welfare Officer: Circa 15 years since inception. I was a Club Welfare Officer first.
What your responsibilities as a Welfare Officer are: Ensure the leagues provide a safe and compliant environment for children, young people and adults at risk. Support Club Welfare Officers and North Riding FA in the resolution of any issues or concerns.
Why you think safeguarding is important within football: Safeguarding is important throughout all walks of life and football should provide a safe regulated haven to support development and enjoyment within the game.
Something you have implemented at your club/league to promote safeguarding: Support all FA initiatives through the League’s media outlets, offering free DBS checks and Safeguarding courses to Adult Leagues, host Junior League Welfare Officer forums.
Thoughts about the importance of FA National Safeguarding Weekend: Safeguarding is everybody’s business and through the Safeguarding Weekend activities, I believe this message will be further embedded.
Name: Lauren Coulton
Club/league: Grangetown Boys Club
Role/s: Child Welfare Officer / Social Media
How long you have been Welfare Officer: Four seasons
What your responsibilities as a Welfare Officer are: To make sure that our players are part of a club that is fair, equal, diverse and safe; to make sure every player feels valued and is treated with respect. To support managers, coaches and volunteers in keeping up to date with safeguarding qualifications, DBS checks, knowledge and understanding so they can make sure they are able to make informed decisions to keep players safe as well as making sure they are safe adults that are responsible for our players
Why you think safeguarding is important within football: Children and Young People have a passion about football, they develop positive relationships with coaches and managers; adults who promote their hobbies and interests and aren’t ‘on at them,’ about school work, chores etc. Without managers and volunteers being committed to keeping children and young people safe, their welfare will be seriously impacted. Football is a place of belonging and helps express identity. Without keeping children safe in football, we look to decrease trust with adults and increase the likelihood of children losing passion and enjoyment from a hobby, becoming socially isolated or withdrawn. We need to make sure that the adults and coaches that work with our players are safe, and understand how to keep players safe so that they continue to promote a happy environment for our players to develop in, and that we, as trusted adults, are not putting someone who could harm a child or young person in a position of power.
Something you have implemented at your club/league to promote safeguarding: Since 14th June, our club has made it mandatory for volunteers and coaches to complete the BT Playmaker course [if they do not have their L1] - they are not able to train or coach without this. We have an open door policy which works well so that no child slips through the net or is at risk of potential harm. We have ‘what to do if…’ flowcharts implemented so that managers and coaches can continue their safeguarding duty outside of a footballing event if they are concerned about a child suffering abuse in the community or at home – this includes a detailed flowchart of what agencies are available outside of the football safeguarding community. We also share regular updates regarding safeguarding concerns from social care and children services [videos on county lines for example]
The importance of FA National Safeguarding Weekend: Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility; it’s important to recognise and highlight safeguarding good practice so that clubs and Welfare Officers can learn from each other and continue to promote good practice and safe clubs for our players.
Name – Matt Hewison
League – Scarborough & District Minor League, which has 14 member clubs, 52 teams and 640 registered players
Role – League Welfare Officer
How long you have been welfare officer? – Five seasons
What your responsibilities as a welfare officer are? – Ensuring that the league's policies and procedures are reviewed and updated, liaising with the County FA staff on appropriate training for CWOs, proactively engaging with the member club CWOs and promoting good practice, dealing with any welfare incidents and taking the appropriate course of action, work with clubs to ensure appropriate standards are been met in terms of DBS, FA Safeguarding, etc.
Why you think safeguarding is important within football – Safeguarding is important in all areas of life and not just sport and football; we all have a responsibility to ensure everyone involved in the game has a fun, safe, inclusive environment to play in that leads to a positive experience that they’ll want to become a lifelong habit.
Something you have implemented at your league to promote safeguarding – Highlighting good practice from member clubs, effective communication with clubs, ensuring that safeguarding is embedded in our league and always on agendas, the introduction of the Smoke Free Sidelines initiative.
Thoughts about the importance of FA National Safeguarding Weekend – If you're attending a game, just take the time to reflect on what safeguarding means to you and all those involved in the game; do your actions on a match day have a positive impact on everyone involved in the game?
Name: Anthony Cooper
Team: Bedale Juniors U10 girls
Highest coaching qualification: Level 1
How long you have been coaching: Since I was 12/13 years old
What does safeguarding mean to you as a coach: Abiding by all the rules laid down by the FA and implementing them.
What do you do to ensure all your players are safe?: As a coach I have always ensured that:
• Players have been treated with respect, enjoyed training and matches.
• That they all get game time.
• That at this development level; it’s taking part and not winning is the main thing and to be gracious in defeat.
• Ensured challenging children have been encouraged and had individual help.
• I personally have never turned any child away.
• Keeping parents informed of team dynamics.
• As a last resort involving the Child Welfare Officer.
Thoughts about the importance of safeguarding: Having been in football for so long and seen how football has evolved me personally – think before you speak and speak within the FA’s guidelines.
Name: Ian Suter
Club: Wigginton Grasshoppers
How long you have been secretary: Six years
What does your club do in relation to safeguarding children?: Listen. With eyes and ears we encourage the coaches to make note of any changes in behaviour and report any concerns to the CWO, who does an amazing job following up with the correct action.
Who is your club welfare officer: Alison Sadler
Thoughts about the importance of Safeguarding: Safeguarding means for us a safe place for all players. The club is somewhere, something that's a constant, a place to be free of issues in their lives and a time each week that's purely for them - a release or whatever emotionally they want it to be that allows balance to be found in their lives.