Pont-y-pwl and District Runners

WELFARE POLICY

a) The aim of the Club is to create and provide a diverse schedule of quality training opportunities so that all of our Members feel they have the potential to develop in a safe but enjoyable environment and without being subject to any form of harassment, bullying, verbal or physical abuse or excessive pressure.

b) The purpose of the Club’s Welfare Policy is to ensure that all Members’ welfare is safeguarded at all times whilst they are both a Member of and/or train with the Club.

What is Welfare?

a) Welfare can cover a wide range of issues, including but not limited to:

Safeguarding and protecting of children and adults; Anti-bullying;
Equality;
Poor practice in coaching;

Harassment;

Disciplinary and grievances matters.
b) The Club takes the welfare of its Members very seriously and will not tolerate any breaches of its Welfare Policy by any of its Members

Responsibilities of the Club

a) Through the Club’s Welfare Officer(s) and Committee, the Club will ensure the Welfare Policy is always implemented and complied with by all Members, to adhere to good practice and to respond to any suspected breaches.
b) The Club will take appropriate action where it has been determined by the Welfare Officer(s) in conjunction with the Club’s Committee that there has been a breach or suspected breach of its Welfare Policy

c) The Club must always have at least one Welfare Officer (preferably two – one male and one female). These will be appointed by the Club’s Committee. The Welfare Officer(s) do not necessarily have to reside on the Club’s Committee but should always have an open line of communication with the Club’s Committee should the need arise to raise any matters of concern, suspected or actual breaches. d) If one or both Welfare Officers step down, then suitable replacements will be chosen and appointed by the Club’s Committee.

e) The Club’s Committee will ensure that the appointed Welfare Officer(s) are comfortable in the roles they have agreed to undertake and are made aware of andcan attend appropriate training courses as recommended by the governing bodies with which the Club is affiliated to.

Who does the Welfare Policy apply to?

a) The Club’s Welfare Policy applies and should be adhered to all times by existing Members, whether they be in the capacity of an athlete, qualified coach, or leader.
b) All Members of the Club who have concerns in relation to the welfare, safety and wellbeing of fellow Members can raise their concerns either verbally or in writing directly to the Club’s Welfare Officer(s) or a member of the committee. Any communication or information provided will be held in strictest confidence. The reporting Member though is not responsible for deciding or determining whether there is a breach or suspected breach of the Club’s Welfare Policy. This will be the responsibility of the Club’s Welfare Officer(s) in conjunction with the Club’s Committee (where necessary and appropriate).

Roles and Responsibilities of the Welfare Officer

a) The roles and responsibilities of the Welfare Officer(s) are to:
i) Be the first point of contact and available for Members to refer any concerns

they may have about the welfare of their fellow Member(s) to them or any suspected breaches of the Welfare Policy;

ii) Listen to any welfare concerns referred to them by Members and respond to them appropriately. This may require referring the issue to another Welfare Officer and/or the Officers of the Club’s Committee so that an appropriate response and action can be taken in accordance with its Welfare Policy

iv) Make discreet contact with the Member(s) whose welfare has been raised as a concern and make them aware that the Welfare Officer is there to support them. Where possible and appropriate, encourage them to contact their GP or seek external advice and support

v) Highlight (together with Club coaches or session leaders) where the Member is undertaking a session or training plan which in their best judgment is inappropriate in terms of volume and intensity;

vi) Advise and support the Club’s Committee to implement its Welfare Policy. b) The Welfare Officer(s) though are not responsible for and will not:

i) Actively identify Members with welfare related issues or diagnose the specific issue unless they have had relevant training and/or have the relevant professional qualifications to do so;

ii) Discuss any welfare related concerns raised with other Club Members except where it is necessary to do so and with consent;

iii) Make any decisions or respond to welfare issues referred to them on their own without first referring it to either another Welfare Officer and/or the Officers of the Club’s Committee but strictly on a “need to know basis” only so that an appropriate response can be made;

iv) Be personally liable for any support, help or guidance provided to those Members whose welfare has been referred to them.

Confidentiality and sharing of information and disclosures

a) All information or disclosures provided to the Club’s Welfare Officer(s) will be treated in the strictest of confidence;
b) In certain situations, or circumstances, where there is, including but not limited to, a suspicion of self-harm/abuse, violence against others or putting other Members in harm or potential danger, the Welfare Officer(s) have / has the discretion to share such information with the other Welfare Officer(s), Officers of the Committee but strictly on a “need to know basis only”.

Grievance and Disciplinary Process

If any Welfare matter or issues raised or reported by Members is determined by the Club’s Welfare Officers (and where required in conjunction with the Club’s Committee) to be either a breach of the Club’s Welfare Policy or Club Constitution and Rules, then the disciplinary procedure as stated under the Club’s Constitution and Rules will be followed.

Statement of Intent

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can participate in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all athletes or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a club welfare officer or any committee member.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
· Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically) sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding spikes/clothing, threatening gestures)

· Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence· Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
· Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments· Homophobic – because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality

· Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Athletes who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

This club have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

Objectives of this Policy

· All committee members, coaches, athletes, parents and club members should understand what bullying is.
· All committee members, and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.

· All athletes and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
· As a club we take bullying seriously. Athletes and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.

· Bullying will not be tolerated.

Signs and Symptoms – children

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
· says he is being bullied
· is unwilling to go to club sessions

· becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
· feels ill before training sessions
· comes home with clothes torn or athletics equipment damaged· has possessions go “missing”
· asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
· has unexplained cuts or bruises
· is frightened to say what’s wrong
· gives improbable excuses for any of the above

In more extreme cases
· starts stammering
· cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares· becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
· is bullying other children or siblings
· stops eating
· attempts or threatens suicide or runs away

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Procedures

1. Report bullying incidents to the club welfare officers or a member of the committee 2. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
3. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted

4. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
5. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
6. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action under the club constitution.

Recommended club action

If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation they should follow the procedure outlined below.
1) Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be a genuine apology solves the problem.

2) If this fails/not appropriate a small panel (Made up from chairman, Welfare Officer, Secretary, committee members) should meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.

3) The same 3 persons should meet with the alleged child/ren who has instigated bullying and parent/s and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes should again be taken and agreed.

4) If bullying has in their view taken place the athlete/s should be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.

5) In some cases the parent of the child/ren who has instigated bullying or bullied athletes can be asked to attend training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.

6) All coaches involved with the athletes should be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the process i.e. the warning.

In the case of adults reported to be bullying athletes under 18

1. Welsh Athletics should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken
2. It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation is made regarding a coach, child protection awareness training may be recommended.
3. More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.

In the case of adults being bullied

  1. Report bullying incidents to the club welfare officers or a member of the committee
  2. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
  3. The allegation needs to be investigated and reconciliation attempted
  4. If this fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinaryaction under the club constitution.