This year’s Play Safe campaign focuses on the safeguarding role that everyone can play to keep children and young people safe
English football unites this weekend to promote Play Safe – our countrywide nationwide campaign to focus attention of the vital importance of safeguarding across our national game.
The FA's Play Safe campaign is endorsed by the NSPCC and will be supported this weekend across every level of English football, including the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League, Barclays Women’s Championship, National League and across the grassroots game.
This year’s Play Safe campaign focuses on the safeguarding role that everyone can play – coaches, players, parents/carers, spectators or volunteers – to keep children and young people safe, no matter what the football setting.
This season, we are asking clubs and leagues at every level of the game to make a Play Safe Pledge and to tell us what they are planning to do to make a difference and highlight the importance of safeguarding over the Play Safe weekend. This includes grassroots youth team captains wearing Play Safe armbands and youth team coaches wearing Play Safe pin badges, up and down the country in support.
In addition, as part of this year’s Play Safe campaign, we are also promoting The FA's free online Safeguarding Awareness Course for Parents & Carers to raise awareness around safeguarding and how to report any concerns. The aim is for 100,000 people from across the game to have taken the course, which only takes 30 minutes to complete, by the end of 2024. The free course provides important information that guides parents and carers through questions they should ask to ensure the club or venue where children play football has the correct safeguarding policies, people and practices in place.
FA Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, said:"We want everyone involved in football – particularly children and young people – to have a safe, positive and enjoyable experience. English football will come together this weekend with leagues and clubs across the country participating in our Play Safe Weekend, taking our Play Safe Pledge to help build awareness and understanding about the importance of safeguarding. We encourage everyone in the game to take part."
The FA’s Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group [FASSSAG] has added its support to the campaign:"Creating safe environments in every football setting is a collective responsibility. It’s really important that every single person in football – no matter if they’re actively involved or on the sidelines – understands that they have an ongoing role to play. Knowing how to act on any concerns is vital and Play Safe is a key way to ensure everyone is vigilant and knows what to do if they become aware of any inappropriate behaviour."
NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless, says:"Everyone has a role to play in preventing abuse and we’re pleased that the FA is again putting a spotlight on safeguarding awareness in football through the Play Safe weekend, which runs ahead of Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week 2-6 October. It’s great to see Play Safe is supported by every level of the game."
The FA’s Head of Safeguarding, Sue Ravenlaw, said:"The Play Safe campaign has been instrumental in helping us raise awareness for safeguarding across English football. It was very well supported last year, with over one million people reached through some truly innovative activations by many leagues and clubs. Together, with all the football family and the NSPCC, we want to build on that success, and we are encouraging anyone in football to take our Play Safe Pledge to support the campaign.
"Another of our key targets is for 100,000 people to take part in our free online Safeguarding Awareness Course for Parents and Carers by the end of 2024. The feedback that we’ve received from parents and carers is that the course is excellent, so we hope everyone will take the short time it takes to complete it."
Ian Critchley, National Police Chiefs’ Council – Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation said:“The fight against child sexual abuse will never stop, and the Play Safe campaign highlights the focus and priority that society must place on tackling these awful crimes. Policing is working hard to target offenders and safeguard children, but we need everyone to play their part in having conversations with young people, as well as identifying early and reporting those who pose a risk to children.
“We know only too well from courageous victim testimonies of the lifelong harm abuse has on a child, and there is a collective responsibility to prevent it and root out those who commit these appalling acts of abuse . Education is one area that is fundamental to ensuring the safety of young people, and it is really encouraging to see that Play Safe is embraced by so many across the footballing community. This valuable work is fully supported by all of us in policing.”
The Lincolnshire based clubs and leagues to have made a Play Safe Pledge so far are:
Carlton Football Club
Coningsby Football Club
Horncastle Town Football Club
Wyberton Colts FC
Thurlby Tigers FC
Grimsby Futsal League
Gunness and Burringham U12's
Deeping United FC U13 Girls
North Lindum Hawks
Louth Football Club
Park Tigers Juniors U11's
Barton Inclusive Football Club
Little Victories Football Club
Discoveries Jets U12
Boston Colts FC
Holbeach United Community Sports Academy
Sleaford Town Juniors
Crofts Estate Agents Youth Football League
Cleethorpes Town Ladies
Crosby United Junior Football Club
Skegness Town FC
Grimsby Town Football Club
Lincolnshire Walking Football League
Brigg Town Juniors
Bardney Panthers FC U9 Girls
Langtoft United Valkyries
Sporting Club Grimsby
Birchwood Colts JFC
St Helens FC
Burgh Athletic Juniors
Skegness Imps FC
Spalding United Blues U14's
Broughton Ravers FC
South Lincs Football Development League
Bardney Panthers FC
Scotter Junior Football Club
Bardney Panthers FC
Grimsby Borough Junior Football Club
Wainfleet United JFC
Barton United JFC
For more information on our Safeguarding Awareness course for Parents and Carers, click here.
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