Organisations should listen to members and create an environment where people’s concerns are listened to and addressed appropriately (be that service users, participants, volunteers or employees). Individuals should feel confident about how to respond to, report and refer any safeguarding concerns either within their organisation or community.

Throughout the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign, we have promoted the foundations of a safer culture. Safer cultures:

  • Listen
    An environment where everyone is confident their concerns are welcomed, listened to and addressed appropriately.
  • Learn
    Where organisations encourage continuous learning and reflection at all levels in order to create and embed a safer culture.
    Find out how your organisation can learn
  • Lead
    Organisations should lead with positive actions and values to empower everyone with the confidence to challenge and instigate change.
    Find out how your organisation can lead

As part of the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign, we are asking organisations to create a culture of listening. Learn how your organisation can listen more effectively.


Ways your organisation can listen

We have brought together a number of resources to help your organisation listen more effectively. As part of the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign we will continue to create more helpful guidance.


Listen to the experiences of all participants and athletes

Listening to the experiences of athletes, participants, staff members and volunteers from all sporting environments can help your organisation understand how you can support your own members.

We have a number of podcasts where we speak to individuals about their own experiences and those of others:

  • Charlotte Gilmartin: “Just because you’re successful in sport, doesn’t mean you’re happy”
    Winter Olympian Charlotte Gilmartin talks to Nicola Dean about the considerable pressures of performing at an elite level. Charlotte has first-hand experience of just how fraught and intense life can be for elite athletes. Charlotte talks about how the “hunger” of being an elite athlete makes happiness and contentment effectively impossible.
    Listen to the Charlotte Gilmartin Safeguarding Matters Podcast
  • The Vulnerability of Elite Athletes
    Elite athletes might not always meet the criteria for being an adult risk. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find themselves in situations that could put them at risk. In this episode of Safeguarding Matters, Nicola and Kimberley discuss this new guidance. They also explore why too many in sport might overlook safeguarding elite athletes.
    Listen to The Vulnerability of Elite Athletes Podcast


Get involved in Sport Participation Groups

We have an opportunity for you to share your experiences about what is working well and what could be improved in relation to safeguarding and sport.

Our Sport Participation Groups are open to anyone participating in sports or activity at a grassroots, semi-professional, professional or elite level, as well as staff and volunteers in the sport and activity sector. The participation groups give the opportunity to discuss experiences and for everyone to be listened to.

Find out more about Sport Participation Groups.


Encourage open conversation

Encouraging open conversation in your own organisation can take many forms. You will want to consider both how you practically manage this, as well as how you will react and respond. Some ways you can encourage open conversation in your club or organisation include:

  • Participant and staff surveys: Running regular surveys of everyone involved in your organisation can be an effective way of gathering feedback. Be sure to consider your questions carefully and be transparent about what you will do with the feedback gained.
  • Anonymous suggestions: This can be a very relaxed or formal process – depending on your organisation. Within toxic cultures, it can be tremendously difficult to be the one to speak up, so consider how anonymous feedback could help.
  • Group discussions: Setting aside some time to address and actively ask everyone at all levels of your organisation for their thoughts.
  • Lead safeguarding officer: Make sure you have someone everyone knows they can go to if they have a serious concern and reassure them that it will be responded to appropriately.
  • Be transparent: When asking for honest feedback and discussion, you must be transparent and commit to responding to input appropriate – otherwise, it can quickly feel like a box ticking exercise rather than a meaningful element of creating a safer culture.


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Join the #SaferCultureSaferSport Campaign

We’re asking organisations to commit to focusing on and improving their cultures and the #SaferCultureSaferSport campaign is here to provide you with the tools you need to help.

Join the campaign