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Child Welfare

Gymnastics, like other sporting activities, can provide valuable life experiences for young people, and has the potential to offer significant opportunities for children to develop social skills, self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and leadership qualities that develop a well rounded individual.

It is recognised that the provision of a positive environment where young people are protected from harm is critical to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people and conducive to promoting high performance. The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club has adopted and works extremely closely within the policies and guidelines of British Gymnastics. Our GymMark accreditation from British Gymnastics indeed confirms that we provide a ‘safe, effective and child friendly environment.’

All of our staff and volunteers have received up-to-date Safeguarding and Protecting Children training and possess a clear enhanced DBS check.

How does Safeguarding and Child Protection affect the City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club?

The British Gymnastics Safeguarding and Protecting Policy provides a framework for all those involved in gymnastics to meet their duty of care towards young people and are mandatory for all members. Any individual or organisation that is providing a service to the City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club must also demonstrate that they comply with these standards. As part of our commitment to best practice in the care of children, British Gymnastics expects all of its members to comply with the policy. We have a statutory requirement to Safeguard and Protect Children – the British Gymnastics Safeguarding policies help and support us to ensure that we are able to meet this requirement.

Are coaches/volunteers background checked?

British Gymnastics requires all coaches and relevant volunteers who are aged 16 and above who work or volunteer with children or protected adults to complete British Gymnastics recognised Safeguarding training and a criminal record check. It is also a requirement for these to be updated every 3 years to ensure it is consistent with the changes in law and legislation.

 

British Gymnastics and The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club works closely with the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) and has met the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels of the NSPCC CPSU Standards for Safeguarding Children in Sport.

Who can I contact if I need to talk about Child Welfare?

Lynn Jackson and Karen Liver are the nominated Welfare Officer Team at The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club. They are contactable by email to welfare@lancastergymnastics.co.uk.

Teaching and Behaviour

Occasionally, it may be necessary to speak firmly to groups or individuals in the interests of safety. This should never be aggressive shouting nor appear to be bullying. The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club puts the safety and welfare of the children above Gymnastics and Trampolining performance. Please inform the Welfare Officer Team if you are concerned about any behaviour or activities within the club.

Social Networking

Social Networking sites are increasingly being used as methods of communication.

 

‘Members in a position of trust should not be in contact with young people through social networking sites if they hold such a position in respect of that individual young person.’

 

Guidance to club members under the age of 18:

Do not ask your club coach or teacher to be your social networking site friend – they will refuse as that would be in breach of good coaching practice.

Use the internet positively and do not place yourself at risk. Have a look at www.ceop.gov.uk for some useful tips.

Consider who you are inviting to be your friend and follow the good advice of the social networking sites to ensure you are talking to the person you believe you are talking to.

Always remember that anything you say including photos pictures and video clips posted on your site may be shared with people other than those for whom it was intended.

Never post or send any photographs, videos or make comments that may be; hurtful, untrue and upsetting and you may regret sharing later on, or may be used by other people in a way you did not intend or want.

Do not put pictures of other club members on the site within the club setting as you may be in breach of The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club Photography Policy. If you do wish to upload such a picture you must get advice and consent of your parent, the other young person and their parents and a club officer before even considering uploading such a photo. This does not prevent you having pictures of your gymnastic friends on your site taken out of the sporting arena but it is good advice to always ensure they and their parents are happy with any picture you have of them on your site.

Always be aware that social networking sites are a method of communication like letter writing and the spoken word. They are bound by the same laws and rules. Such technology is instant and this allows you as the user to react in the ‘heat of the moment’, where in the past you would have been required to write a letter which would have taken time and allowed for you to think again before sending. So never place a comment on the internet that you would not put in writing or say to the individual concerned as to do so may breach the City of Lancaster Gymnastics policy but also the law.

Equality

The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club subscribes to the principles of equality of opportunity and strives to ensure that anyone participating in gymnastics is able to do so in a discrimination-free environment. We believe that everyone is entitled to be treated fairly regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, parental or marital status, disability, religion, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, or socio/economic background.

 

Parents are welcome to stay and observe their children’s trampolining/gymnastics sessions but due to health and safety reasons, parents are asked to remain at the side of the room on the benches provided. At some sessions, there may be inadequate space and in these circumstances, parents will be asked to remain in a waiting area/gallery

 

The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club work together with families who are on low incomes to allow their children to continue participating in sessions without discrimination. Please speak to the Club Manager (Marie Gardner) if you wish to apply for help in regards to paying for subs/training fees.

Whistle Blowing Policy

The City of Lancaster Gymnastics and Trampolining Club supports an environment where people feel free to raise their concerns with the knowledge that all concerns will be taken seriously. The term ‘whistle blowing’ is often used in such circumstances to describe the raising of a concern about practices, procedures or conduct of an individual. In gymnastics context a whistleblower may be:

A coach or official

A gymnast or parent of a gymnast

A member of the public

Concerns should be raised without delay to either the clubs Welfare Officer Team or the British Gymnastics Welfare Officer (Angela Robson) pctc@uwclub.net.

 

The earlier concerns are reported, the easier it will be to take action. Anyone reporting a concern should provide as much information and detail as possible.

 

This could include: names of the people involved, other witnesses, dates of events, any other relevant documentation.

 

The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club understands that whistleblowers are often very reluctant to report concerns. Thus, we recognise that whistleblowers may wish to raise concerns in confidence. In these circumstances, the identity of the whistleblower will be kept confidential. Any subsequent reason why disclosure may be required will be discussed in detail with the whistleblower before any action is taken.

 

It must be recognised that concerns that are reported anonymously are frequently very difficult to investigate. The decision whether to investigate an anonymous allegation will be made based on the seriousness of the concerns and the credibility of the referral and the likelihood of identifying others who can confirm the allegations.

 

Initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take.

 

All concerns raised under this procedure will be treated seriously and a decision made about whether or not an investigation is appropriate. Depending upon the nature of the matter it may be referred the police. In these circumstances, the whistleblower may be asked to provide a written statement and give evidence to the police and/or at a British Gymnastics/club hearing.

The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club will provide support to the whistleblower during this process. The City of Lancaster Gymnastics Club will not tolerate harassment or victimisation and will take action to protect anyone who has raised a concern in good faith.

 

Anyone who is found to have victimised or harassed a whistleblower will face disciplinary action. Anyone who raises concerns known to be untrue may also be subject to disciplinary action.

WELFARE CONTACTS: