Hertfordshire FA is lending its full support to Play Safe, a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding in football
Play Safe is being run by The FA in partnership with the NSPCC and has the full backing of the Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship. It’s also supported by every County FA and is being run across all grassroots leagues and clubs.
The main element of Play Safe is a series of short films which emphasise the importance of having safeguarding embedded in all we do.
The films also explain to 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. You can see these films below.
Karl Lingham, Hertfordshire FA CEO and Senior Safeguarding Lead said: “We work to ensure that thousands of volunteers across Hertfordshire football have a DBS check and appropriate Safeguarding training, and that all clubs with youth teams have a dedicated Club Welfare Officer, but this alone is not enough.
It’s important that everyone involved in grassroots football is clear about the importance of safeguarding and how they can play their part. Only by working together can we make sure that football is a positive experience for all”.
FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham notes: “As a youth team coach, I will be working with my club to ensure we support the Play Safe messaging. I am also pleased 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.
The Group has collectively said: “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.”
As the Survivor Group points out, you’ll see Play Safe appearing at various points throughout the season to keep safeguarding front of mind in football. Together, we want to do everything we can so everyone – particularly children and young people – has a consistently positive experience of our great game.
You can read more about Play Safe on The FA’s website