Safeguarding Officers

Each club has a safeguarding officer responsible for the safeguarding and wellbeing of the members.  

Throughout Volunteer Week 2020 we celebrated the work of our club safeguarding officers and finding out from some of them about their role, how they got into volunteering, and how the relevant training benefits different aspects of their life.  To hear what they said, scroll down the page.

Safeguarding Officer Role and Responsibilities

A key appointment in helping clubs meet the safeguarding requirements set by Scottish Gymnastics is that of a safeguarding officer.

They will be encouraged to promote best practice throughout the club by ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities and the role they have to play in safeguarding at the club. The safeguarding officer should also become a member of the club's organising committee and act as advisor on all safeguarding matters.

The safeguarding officer should be over 21 years of age and should not be a coach within the club or a close family member, spouse or partner of a coach (including helpers) within the club.

Characteristics of a Safeguarding Officer (SO) within a gymnastics context include:
•  An understanding of, and support for the introduction of safeguarding policies and procedures
•  An understanding and appreciation of the need for confidentiality at all times
•  The ability to communicate clearly and effectively at all levels
•  The ability to follow procedures and the confidence to know when to seek advice and not rely solely on own judgment in relation to referring concerns/cases externally

The role of the Safeguarding Officer:
•  Ensure all persons working with children, young people, and vulnerable adults at the club are fully aware of what is required of them within the guidelines of Scottish Gymnastics Code of Practice and safeguarding policy and procedures
•  Conduct the administrative work associated with the safe recruitment of coaches, helpers and officials, including PVG applications (verify ID documentation) ensuring Scottish Gymnastics procedures are followed consistently
•  Be the first point of contact for coaches, helpers, parents, and gymnasts on any issues concerning safeguarding and the wellbeing of the club members, (poor practice, or potential alleged abuse)
•  Act as adviser to the club’s management committee on matters of policy and procedures related to safeguarding
•  Ensure that all coaches, helpers, chaperones, and officials, attend relevant safeguarding courses
•  Ensure that all incidents are correctly recorded and reported in accordance with Scottish Gymnastics policy and procedures
•  Ensure confidentiality is maintained and information is only shared on a genuine ‘need to know’ basis

Role Requirements:
Training:  Safeguarding 2 and PVG Workshop
PVG Disclosure accessed through Scottish Gymnastics

If you have any question or require further information, please contact Scottish Gymnastics via email safeguarding@scottishgymnastics.org


Nicola talks about her role as safeguarding officer for Duo Gymnastics Club

 

 

Here's what Kirsteen, safeguarding officer from Dumfries Y Gymnastics Club has to say: 

How long have you been volunteering?
I have been the Safeguarding Officer at Dumfries Y Gymnastics Club for two years.
 
Why did you start volunteering for our club?
I got involved in the role as my daughter is a gymnast in the club.
 
What does your role involve?
Before I could start the role I was required to attend Scottish Gymnastics Safeguarding and PVG training where I got a great insight into the importance of the role and a chance to meet other Safeguarding Officers.  Scottish Gymnastics have a code of practice for all clubs, officials and coaches.  To me this is quite a valuable resource as I have access to the Scottish Gymnastics (EWC) Safeguarding Team and they are experts in their field.
In our club I meet with groups of gymnasts and their coaches where we chat about how to stay safe and happy in the gym and who to report their concerns to.  Our coaching staff also receives safeguarding training and can often resolve issues on their own. 
Some concerns are escalated to myself to investigate, report and resolve and with the advice and support of the club management as well as Scottish Gymnastics, who are always on hand to help and advise.
 
What’s the best thing about your role?
During my time volunteering with the club I’ve watched it grow from around 50 gymnasts to over 300. The club has also moved to its own facility, so much of our fundraising has been dedicated to improving the building and purchasing new gymnastics equipment. This can’t be done without volunteers.  I’ve helped out at discos, fetes, bag packing, bucket shakes etc. 
 
What do you get out of it personally?
The role has also helped me develop new skills and knowledge whilst volunteering which are transferrable to my role in my working life as a medical staffing officer.  And also my skills at work can be brought into the role of Safeguarding Officer. 
 
What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?
I encourage everyone to get involved in volunteering, even if you can spare half an hour in a competition day to serve teas and coffees, or sell raffle tickets.  Your club appreciates so much and they can’t function without you. You’re also being a positive role model for your kids, your gymnasts, and you never know you might just inspire them to become coaches and volunteers for the future.
 

Suzy, safeguarding officer from Dynamic Gymnastics Academy:

How long have you been volunteering?
Since 2012 and safeguarding officer since July 2013.
 
Why did you start volunteering for our club?
The club needed help and I wanted to give back to the club for all their efforts with my two daughters.
 
What does your role involve?
It involves ensuring that every member of the club be it gymnasts, parents, volunteers and coaches know that whatever issues they have they know they can come to the Safeguarding Officer for help and advice.  Ensuring that all members are know that they are training and working in a safe environment.  Keeping an eye out for any potential issues.
 
What’s the best thing about your role?
Being in contact with gymnasts, parents, volunteers and coaches.  Being part of the club which has a high impact on the community.
 
What do you get out of it personally?
Satisfaction of watching the club grow and being part of the process of ensuring that everyone is in a safe environment. Seeing the progress of the gymnasts throughout the years achieving their goals time after time.
 
What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?
The club is constantly looking for volunteers and being a volunteer takes some of the pressure from the coaches and allows them concentrate on coaching the gymnasts.  You get satisfaction from helping and seeing how far the gymnasts and club get in their love of the sport.