Our aim is to create a welcoming and supportive setting for our members to enjoy being part of the club and most of all feel safe. We want members to know that there is a safe space to talk to us, if they have any concerns about their own welfare within the club.
We also want to ensure that members feel confident in knowing how to raise any concerns they may have about the welfare of a member and how this will be dealt with.
As an England Athletics affiliated club we adopt the follow policies for club welfare:
- UK Athletics (UKA) Safeguarding Children Policy
- UKA Safeguarding Adults Policy and Guidance Procedures.
This process provides details on how we as a club, implement these policies within the club environment.
There are 3 types of welfare concerns that can be raised at the club. A concern that:
- requires immediate action
- regards a situation outside of the athletics environment
- regards a situation within the athletics environment.
There are different ways in which you may become aware of a concern. For example:
- a member may confide in you about a concern they have about themselves
- you may witness something that causes you concern
- a member or parent may confide in you about a concern they have about another member.
When you become aware of a concern it is important that you do not:
- probe for more information than is offered.
- speculate or make assumptions.
- show shock or distaste.
- make comments about the person against whom the allegations have been made.
- make promises or agree to keep secrets.
- give a guarantee of confidentiality.
Reporting a concern
All members have a duty to raise the concern with a club Welfare Officer to ensure that matters are appropriate managed and recorded by the club. It is not the members’ responsibility to investigate concerns.
If the concern does not require immediate action, it should be reported in writing to the club Welfare Officers so that an accurate record is logged which may be required at a later time.
In the case of an adult welfare concern, it is important that you also consider the needs and wishes of the person at risk, taking into account the nature of the alert.
Club Welfare Officers
Our club Welfare Officers are Marie Brazier and Andrew Smith. Report any concerns to them when it requires immediate action.
If there is an immediate risk to the safety of an individual, you need to contact The Police immediately and report your concerns. Please consider your own safety as well as that of the individual at this time.
When it is appropriate to do so, you should inform a Welfare Officer of the action taken for official club records and will use this to consider what, if any further action is required by the club.
When a concern is raised regarding a setting outside the athletics environment
If you become aware of a welfare concern that is not directly related to the club environment, you still have a duty of care to share this information.
If the concern does not require immediate action, you should report the matter to a club Welfare Officer, in writing as previously described.
The Welfare Officer will refer to the flow charts located in the appropriate policy and take the appropriate action.
The Welfare Officer may be required to make contact with local services to report this concern. Those services include:
- Kent Children’s Social Services – 03000 41 11 11 or 03000 41 91 91 for out of hours emergencies.
- Kent Adult Social Services – 03000 41 61 61 or 03000 41 91 91 for out of hours emergencies
Managing a concern within the athletics environment
Report your concern to a Club Welfare Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Club Welfare Officer will then refer to the flowcharts located in the appropriate policy to decide if the concern meets the threshold of being reported to UKA.
If the threshold is met for reporting the matter to UKA, the Welfare Officer is required to follow this process:
- Email email@example.com or call the UKA Welfare Department on 0121 713 8450 (selecting option 2).
- UKA welfare staff will talk you through the process that will subsequently follow and are on hand to answer any questions/concerns you may have.
- UKA welfare staff will also offer you advice in relation to reporting back to club officials and managing your club environment appropriately.
If as a Welfare Officer, you are unsure if the concern meets the threshold you should contact UKA using the means above to check.
Managing a concern that does not meet the threshold for reporting to UKA, but still requires intervention at club level. If the concern does not meet the threshold for being reported to UKA, it does not mean that the concern will be dismissed. It is possible that this concern is still causing distress to a member or members and requires intervention at a club level.
In this instance the club Welfare Officer may need to speak to another member of the committee. In the first instance this should be another Welfare Officer or if this is not appropriate the Chairperson or other senior committee member. An agreement will then be formed on what action should be taken. It may be the case that some mediation is required. If as part of the concern, a formal complaint has been raised, the club will use its Disciplinary Process to manage the complaint.
If there is uncertainty regarding what action to take the Welfare Officer may sense check the proposed action with the England Athletics Club and Compliance Manager, or their local Club Support Manager.
Support available for Welfare Officers
Occupying the role of Welfare Officer can be challenging at times, mainly due to the vast and unpredictable nature of issues and concerns that can and may arise within your club setting.
Please always ensure that you place the importance of your own health and wellbeing at the forefront of your work.
If you find that a particular matter or simply a build up of issues are causing you a degree of upset or stress, please ensure that you reach out to one of the following organisations that will be more than happy to talk the matter through with you and offer you the reassurance, guidance and support you rightly deserve.
- England Athletics Athlete & Club Compliance & Wellbeing Manager – 0121 713 8450 (option 3)
- UKA Welfare Department – 0121 713 8450
- Mind – 0300 123 3393
- NSPCC – 0808 800 5000
- Ann Craft Trust – 0115 951 5400
This process will be reviewed and updated every 3 years by the committee: It was last reviewed on 5 May 2020.