Given the serious information that continues to come to light regarding child abuse in football, The FA has commissioned a dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry.
The launch of the free, independent helpline follows former footballers Andy Woodward, Steve Walters, Paul Stewart and David White bravely speaking out about the abuse they suffered as young footballers.
Staffed by independent, experienced NSPCC professionals, the helpline will offer support and guidance for adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse within the game at all levels from grassroots to Premier League and is a safe space for any further whistleblowing.
The helpline will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.
Trained staff will offer support, advice and guidance, and will refer cases on to the police or other agencies as appropriate, such as if a child is in immediate danger.
Referrals of concerns about recent and non-recent abuse should continue to be made directly via the designated persons’ network in football, or directly to The FA’s safeguarding team via firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> and a safeguarding professional from the team will make contact .
The Football Academy of the Swindon Town Football Club acknowledges and accepts its main responsibility, the well-being and safety of those children and young persons who are trialing at the Academy, or who are registered at the Academy as students. It does so in the belief that placing their welfare at the Academy of its concerns provides a solid foundation for the development of the young players of the future and for effective Child Protection practice.
The Football Academy of the Swindon Town Football Club adopts the policy of the Football League on Child Protection. Following consultation with the Swindon Social Services Department, the Academy adopts the guidelines and procedures on child protection given in the Swindon Councils publication.
The Football Academy recognises that the Social Services Department, the NSPCC and the Police have a statutory duty to protect children and young persons at risk.
The Football Academy accepts that it must work in partnership with these agencies when child protection issues arise. At the Football Academy, Jeremy Newton, Academy Manager is the designated person to whom any cause for concern about a child’s wellbeing must be reported.