The FA would like all clubs to come together and support 'National Safeguarding Weekend, 20th and 21st November
On Saturday and Sunday 20/21 November, The FA are asking the whole of football to come together to promote the importance of safeguarding in the game we all love. It’s the start of an ongoing campaign called ‘Play Safe’, which will also surface at other relevant moments across this and the next two seasons, such as Safer Internet Day, Parents in Sport Week and Anti-Bullying Week 2022/23. Chief Executive Mark Bullingham has written to all clubs explaining what is required.
'Play Safe is being run in partnership with the NSPCC and has support right across the men’s and women’s professional game and County FAs.
So you can get involved and demonstrate your club’s commitment to safeguarding, we have created three short films. The first two are aimed at parents/carers and children for you to share. The third film is for you, the club officials. They all feature England players and among their key messages are the importance of listening to children, knowing how, and who to speak to if concerns do arise.
On Monday 15th November, we’ll send you a link to download these films, so you can use them on your website and social media channels. The same link will also give you access to download digital assets for your website and social media platforms and a description of Play Safeto download and use as you wish.
We encourage you to use the opportunity of Play Safe – particularly over the weekend of November 20/21 – to reflect, build on and communicate how your club provides a safe and positive environment for every child and young person.
Play Safe emphasises the importance of clubs having safeguarding at the heart of all that they do. And that parents/carers and children themselves know what to do if they feel unsafe or worried, because nothing matters more than making sure football is safe for everyone, especially children and young people.
As a youth team coach, I will be working with my club in the lead in to 20/21 November to ensure that we support the Play Safe messaging. I am also pleased to note that the campaign has the support of the former footballers with lived experience of abuse in football, who are on our Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group. They asked me to include this message to you:
“Learning from the past is crucial, so that we can prevent the horrific experiences that happened to us and so many others in football, from happening again.
“As a group of survivors, we fully support the ethos and important messages that Play Safe conveys –whether to club officials, parents/carers and or vitally, children and young people themselves. Equally important is that Play Safe is not a one-off campaign – it will be used at key points in the football calendar to remind everyone in football, that children’s welfare and keeping them safe, should be at the heart of all that we do.”
I wholeheartedly echo the sentiments of the Group.
Thank you for everything you do to make safeguarding an everyday reality in grassroots football.
We’ll be in touch again on 15th November.'
Chief Executive, The FA