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Club News

READ | Play Safe campaign... Introducing Julie Shore

21 November 2022

Club News

READ | Play Safe campaign... Introducing Julie Shore

21 November 2022

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With it being National Safeguarding Week, we wanted to formally introduce our own Safeguarding Officer Julie Shore.

Julie is one of many unsung heroes at the club and plays a key role in ensuring the safeguarding of youngsters and vulnerable adults across a number of events from matchdays, to community activities and, indeed, anything connected to Rotherham United.

Having never previously been presented with the opportunity to put a face to a name in the matchday programme, we wanted to take this chance to highlight the fantastic work she does at AESSEAL New York Stadium and beyond…

Hello everyone, I’m Julie Shore and I am the club’ Designated Safeguarding Officer.

My role includes covers safeguarding throughout the club and when I say that I means every area from matchdays to those involved with the club's Academy and everything that happens within the club throughout the week.

When we say 'safeguarding' we are talking about keeping people under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults safe in everything that we do.

There has been significant improvement in the way that sports clubs are looking at safeguarding and that comes following the extensive reports that have been put together around abuse.

The FA and the EFL have made my role a full-time requirement in the Sky Bet Championship, which is a massive step in the right direction and I think it is vital that clubs across the country continue to strive to ensure that safeguarding is a top priority.

There are now processes in place to make sure that everything that goes on in normal life is recorded and reported correctly and, subsequently, those reports reach the people that they need to. That means that those children or vulnerable adults who have been affected are supported in the right way.

We don't just safeguard whilst we are in the building. Anybody that has anything to do with Rotherham United is safeguarded under our team. Whether they are out in the community, taking part in one of our activities or even at home or school. We are here to support across the board.

My role involves ensuring that all of our policies and procedures are up-to-date and we're always looking at ways in which we might be able to improve them to reflect the work that we do.

I am also responsible for dealing with any incidents that are brought to my attention. Those issues can range from low-level ones like a young player being unhappy at a training session and perhaps requiring our support to much more serious things like high-risk issues that may need a referral to an outside agency, whether that be social care or the police.

What I hope is the biggest part of my job is to create information which is readily available to people across the club, whether that be on the website, at the training ground or on social media. We want everyone to be able to have access to information which helps us create an environment in which safeguarding comes naturally.

I think people sometimes mistake safeguarding for child protection and whilst the two are connected, the child protection is when a minor has been identified as being at risk. The safeguarding element of it are the preventative measures that are put in place before anything happens.

You can apply safeguarding to every single area of the club. It might be in the hospitality lounges on a matchday or even a ball retriever at the side of the pitch. We support staff from waiters and waitresses to our stewarding team and always look to make sure that everyone is being treated fairly.

The club website is really good for publicising all of the phone numbers and email addresses of people that can help in the area of safeguarding, including HR and I would advise anyone who is unsure on how to contact us to take a look there.

We've recently spent time reviewing and improving the information online and will continue to do that on a regular basis.

On a matchday there will always be a safeguarding officer on-site. We are given our information from the Control Room, so if you were to see something in the stand that you consider to be an issue, the best thing would be to report it to the nearest steward. 

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