NEWBA leading the way in safeguarding children

Posted by Laura Morgan at 10:10 on 22 October 2014


NEWBA has made excellent progress with regards to safeguarding over recent years. They have shown a genuine commitment to improving their safeguarding provision, investing time, effort and resource in this area, which has resulted in them making great strides forward.

BW asked NEWBA a few questions to promote the great work they have done and continue to do around safeguarding!

BW: How did your safeguarding structure begin? What set the wheels in motion?

NEWBA: A nominated officer with responsibility for child protection existed in the NEWBA set up for many years. Clubs could refer to this nominated person for advice; however, NEWBA did not have nominated officers for child protection/safeguarding at club level. 

Over the past few years the structure has changed. This has been a top down change with the committee working with clubs to try and improve safeguarding systems which provide more secure procedures for dealing with any issues that may arise and clubs taking responsibility for ensuring the safeguarding of their members.

Following a year of clubs voluntarily nominating a club Safeguarding officer, the committee asked all clubs to nominate an officer and ensure that person's name was provided to the committee.  It was agreed that should clubs not nominate someone, the chairperson of the club would automatically assume this role. This would ensure there was a single contact for any welfare/safeguarding issues.

Clubs were encouraged to ensure at least one person attended child protection/safeguarding training and that they adopted the Safeguarding Policy and procedures issued by Badminton Wales.

BW:  How do you feel the clubs in your area have benefitted from having welfare officers?

NEWBA: A growing number of clubs are receiving safeguarding training and utilising this to support them in ensuring safeguarding practices are being followed at club level. Clubs are more aware of safeguarding procedures as a whole and this helps them act proactively to deal with any potential issues promptly when they arrive, hopefully before.

We have had very few safeguarding issues and they have been dealt with efficiently by clubs with trained staff.

BW: Any tips for other clubs wishing to recruit welfare officers?

NEWBA: Working with local authorities, sports development officers and Badminton Wales to ensure suitable training events are available to club members is a good starting point.

County/league committees need to work with their clubs, explaining the importance of having a nominated person to act on the behalf of members and other youngsters. It is important that the provision of a welfare/safeguarding officer allows concerns to be reported/raised with someone who can advise or access further advice and support.

BW: What support is available to welfare officers?

NEWBA: Club welfare officers are able to access further support through contacting the League Welfare Officer. Discussions with clubs have been instrumental in dealing with issues. This link provides a detached viewpoint and can be useful in helping clubs reflect on the issues they have. It also helps ensure clubs take matters as seriously as they need to and provides the link to Badminton Wales where necessary.

BW: What are your future plans/goals with regards to safeguarding in NEWBA?

NEWBA: To continue to work towards ensuring all clubs have nominated welfare officers and that those people receive suitable training to support them in their roles.

We would also like to help clubs to develop a robust system for ensuring any volunteers, who fall outsider the remit of the coaches register, receive enhanced DBS checks if they are working with or around youngsters.

Chief Executive Eddie O’Neill commented:

“NEWBA have set the benchmark in this critical area, keeping our children safe and secure has to be top priority for any sport and in Badminton Wales we are working hard to achieve Level 3 status. This, of course, requires clubs to evidence that safeguarding is a priority for them by having a nominated Welfare Officer and I would encourage all clubs to address this issue with urgency.”