Safeguarding and Wellbeing Week

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This week saw the launch of Badminton England’s Safeguarding and Wellbeing Week, where we have celebrated great practice, supporting the badminton community with new resources and delivered free webinars to help create safe and inclusive environments for everyone involved in our sport.

Commenting on Safeguarding and Wellbeing Week, Badminton England Safeguarding Manager, Victoria Brown said: “It is our intention to continue to build on the commitments that we made when we published our Safeguarding Strategy for badminton in England in June 2023.

“We’ve already made some great progress and I’m delighted to share some of that with our members during this focus week.”

You can read the Safeguarding Strategy for badminton in England HERE

Areas of success over the last 12 months include:

  • Increasing contact with our clubs, visiting sessions and meeting our coaches and volunteers. These visits have provided National Clubs Manager, Julie Pike and Safeguarding Manager, Victoria Brown, with many examples of great practice to share with others.

At South Leicestershire Badminton Junior Club, we met with Head Coach Ray Phipkin and Club Welfare Officer Lorraine MacNeill. A club that offered a friendly welcome to players of any ability between the age of 8 and 18 years.

Ray and Lorraine shared with us their tips on engaging with young players, making them feel included and ensuring they know the club is there to support them with any worries.

By building these relationships we have also been able to offer additional support to enhance the good work that is already taking place.  South Leicestershire were receptive to our recommendation that they appoint a second Club Welfare Officer and have already found a willing volunteer to take on the role!

At the Arboretum Badminton Club, Helen Garrigan and Heidi Wiltshire invited us to their No Strings session. Thanks to the Badminton England Development Fund, Arboretum have doubled their number of sessions, offering adults a space to improve their skills, have some fun and get involved at club level.

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Arboretum recognise that it is important to create positive environments where everyone feels at ease when it comes to their physical and emotional safety. To provide additional support to all adults attending their sessions, Heidi has taken on the position of Club Welfare Officer, attending training specifically developed for the role and joining the growing number of Club Welfare Officers in the badminton community.

  • Active involvement in the project group to co-design the Sport Welfare Officer (SWO) network following Sport England and UK Sport’s response to the Whyte Review.

The network is now in place, and we are delighted that SWOs Joe Gamble (Hertfordshire) and Sarah Goodard (Hampshire) will both be joining the webinars that we have planned during Safeguarding and Wellbeing Week. This will be chance for them to explain their role and the help they can provide to our clubs.

We have also been fortunate to visit Welcome to Badminton in Newcastle with SWO Sarah Baylis. This is a project that has gone from strength to strength, ran by Ruth Ashford, providing regular badminton sessions for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

On working collaboratively with Badminton England, Sarah Baylis said: “It’s been a real team effort in supporting Welcome to Badminton with their safeguarding and welfare practices, utilising Victoria’s expert safeguarding in badminton knowledge, my local contacts and experience, and of course working with the volunteers – who know the participants the best!

“Together we’ve been able to ensure a safe environment for everyone to participate in and enjoy badminton.”

We’re excited to be working alongside all these new SWO roles and look forward to reporting on how our relationship with them is contributing to a culture of good practice and safer club environments in the coming months.

  • Listening to our National Youth Voice Forum we created a QR code keyring tag that we have shared at events and club visits. Providing a quick and direct link to safeguarding and wellbeing information.

The launch of our keyword partnership with Text Shout, offering free and confidential mental health text support for everyone, across all ages, whatever their level of need.

You can find more information about this support HERE

But this is just the start. Real and meaningful progress will not be possible without everyone committing to doing what is required, even when what we are asking seems difficult at times.

We will continue to work with everyone to ensure that badminton is a safe place and the welfare of all members of our badminton community remains a priority.

For any further information or for support with any concerns contact the Badminton England Safeguarding Team HERE.

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