2020: The Year in Safeguarding Adults in Sport and Activity

safeguarding in sport 2020

As we near the end of 2020, we want to look back on some changes, and the work of ACT and the Safeguarding in Sport team.

2020 started well with some new appointments. We gained a new Safeguarding Adults in Sport Administrator, Richard Fletcher. Richard is a key part of the team now. He answers any enquiries and manages sport training requests while also overseeing the administration of the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework.

In Wales we appointed a temporary Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager, Ruth Ingram. Ruth brings a wealth of safeguarding adults experience and a real commitment to ensuring that resources and training are suitable for Welsh Sport. We are pleased that she has since been appointed as the permanent manager.

In March, Laura Thorpe became ACT’s Safeguarding Adults Manager for ACT. She dropped the sport focus of her role, but she continues to develop the work with us.

We recruited Joanne Pell as our new Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager. Another Safeguarding Adults expert, Joanne has worked as a consultant for Safeguarding Adults Boards for the past few years and she just rolled up the sleeves of her tracksuit and got to work with ACT as our work went virtual.

A Move to Online Working

Joanne delivered the first in a series of ACT seminars entitled ‘Safeguarding in Challenging Times’. More than 90 people attended her online seminar on Domestic Abuse during lockdown. We went on to deliver sessions on Wellbeing, Safeguarding Disabled Young People, and Safeguarding in Sport. You can review all of these seminars here.

Microsoft Teams enabled us to adapt and deliver training to people across the country. We have now delivered our online Safeguarding for Lead Safeguarding Officers in Sport training three times. This course has been so popular that we have planned dates for 2021 for both England and Wales. Head to our events page for more information.

We also joined the CPSU in the virtual LSO meetings. We missed the lovely NSPCC refreshments, but there was still plenty of good information and discussion.

And in November, we launched the first ever ACT safeguarding eLearning platform! There are two courses to choose from, one of which is an introduction to Safeguarding Adults in Sports. Head here for more information.

The ACT ‘Have Your Say’ Participant forums also went online with some lively discussions about what safeguarding adults in sport looks like. We’re planning more for 2021, so keep an eye out on our events page, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

2020 demonstrated how essential collaboration is to the world of safeguarding.

In October we joined forces with the CPSU to co-host an online Safeguarding in Sport Conference. The day featured presentations from funded safeguarding partners – ACT, CPSU, NWG, and Lime Culture. You can read a summary of the day’s presentations and seminars here.

Following on from that, we collaborated with NWG’s Kev Murphy and Denise Richards from CPSU to record a podcast looking at the challenges of safeguarding during the pandemic. Listen to it here.

Speaking of podcasts, the Safeguarding Matters Podcast series went from strength to strength this year. Here’s a few of the topics we covered this year:

Safeguarding Adults Week 2020

Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 took place 16-22 November.

Each day focused on a different theme, and on the Saturday we looked at Safeguarding Adults in Sport and Activity. However, throughout the week sport and activity organisations helped spread the word on social media, sharing resources and running training events. You can read more about Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 here.

The week coincided with the safeguarding children and adults week in Wales. Ruth pulled out all the stops to link in with CPSU and produce key safeguarding resources in the Welsh language. You can download these resources here.

Ongoing Work

Throughout 2020 we continued our work with funded organisations, NGBs and Active Partnerships. Our work included:

ACT is part of the University of Nottingham, and we are committed to research. During the first lockdown we surveyed organisations and individuals taking part in sport and activity to learn more about their experiences. A key message was the importance of communication in creating a positive culture in organisations. Keeping in touch during the lockdown made participants feel connected. Something as simple as a telephone call or a Zoom quiz made all the difference to their wellbeing. You can learn more about this survey and its results here.

So as we enter 2021, please keep in touch!

Our focus over the next year will be on creating safer cultures within sport and activity. That starts with communication. So tell us what you are doing! We want to know your successes and your challenges in safeguarding adults. And we want to support you wherever we can.

So get in touch!