Team Up! Sheffield Safeguarding Scheme

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There is some really positive partnership work going on in Sheffield, where they are working together to make sure children and vulnerable people have a great experience as valued football spectators.

Through its role on the Safety Advisory Group, the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board routinely works with the Sheffield Licensing Authority, which has a reputation for its proactive work in safeguarding and which has a commitment to making sports grounds safer places, where everyone counts.

The initiative is being set up in partnership with the local football clubs and consultation has already taken place with Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, to identify good practice for a practical safeguarding scheme. The scheme aims to encourage parents and carers of children and vulnerable adults to talk to the club’s safeguarding officer and let them know of any additional needs their children, or vulnerable adults have, so that the club can work with them to put adequate safeguarding measures in place.

Steve Lonnia, Head of Licensing said: “Through our partnership initiatives with safeguarding, we work closely with stewards and the safety managers at sports grounds, who recognise the importance of responding to diversity. We want places where everyone can enjoy football within a safe and appropriate environment. “

Julie Hague of the Safeguarding Children Board said: “We want to make sure that children and vulnerable people with additional needs are all equally recognised and responded to. Football attracts vulnerable followers who enjoy going along to watch the sport and we think it’s important that spectators’ additional needs and vulnerabilities, such as behavioural or mental health needs, are responded to in the same way we that have measures in place to safeguard spectators with physical disabilities.”

The scheme will come with safeguarding guidance to participating clubs and offer variable measures, including:

  • the provision of suitable designated areas/seating arrangements
  • designated trained response stewards
  • membership registration
  • wristband provision
  • buddying

The scheme, which will be launched later this year, is being developed in consultation with parents, carers, children and young people and vulnerable adults along with stewards and officials who regularly attend football matches.

For more information about the scheme contact:

Julie Hague

Licensing Project Manager, Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board