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Safeguarding Update

Safeguarding with Nick Lewis

TREDS: Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.

Safeguarding is a proactive concept based around promoting the child’s welfare in every way. It means protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect but stretches much further to include all that we can do to ensure their appropriate development and to maximise life opportunities. Put simply, safeguarding is about all the things we do to create child centred rugby and to prevent
problems arising.

The 2018/19 season will see a number of positive developments with the Old Pats Safeguarding team and the work we undertake.

The Club Safeguarding Officer, Nick Lewis, has been joined by 2 new assistant safeguarding officers, Paula Phillips and Amanda Hazeldine. Paula lives in Winchcombe and may be familiar to older lad’s parents as her Son, Beck has progressed from the Colts to Senior rugby having made a number of 1st XV appearances already. Paula has always had a love for both codes of rugby, growing up in the land of rugby league (surrounded by St Helens, Widnes and Warrington) but has been a rugby union fan for the last 8 years since Beck started playing.

Amanda lives in Charlton Kings with her two boys, Jules (U11) and Lisle (rugby tot) and her husband Phil. Amanda is an engineer and works in Gloucester. She also runs a mixed social hockey team called winner, winner chicken dinner, and is usually carrying an injury of some sort. She is a Welsh rugby supporter having grown up in Swansea.

Both Amanda and Paula will be visible throughout the season visiting the various age groups to support the coaches and players.
Injuries Injury prevention and post injury management is one specific subject we will be focusing on along with concussion at the top of the list.

All coaches are required to complete the RFU’s online “Headcase” course but we will want better communication with Parents and Schools. It is vitally important that Parents inform their respective Team Manager or Head Coach if their Child has had a head knock in the week leading up to Sunday training / playing.

More information can be found here:

In the event of an injury occurring during an Old Pats training session or match, Team Managers will make contact with parents to inform them of that injury. We will require updates from parents with regard to the player’s recovery and of informing their child’s school or any other sports clubs that they are involved in of any injuries or concerns that affect the players ability to partake in sport. Likewise we expect to be informed of any injuries that will affect the player when attending Old Pats sessions especially if they have had any suspected concussion or head knocks in the week leading up to playing and training. Please do not push your child in to returning too early following injury. We will, where necessary, assess a player on their return and take any appropriate action we see fit.

Rugby union is a powerful and positive influence where enjoyment goes hand in hand with achievement. The RFU and Old Patesians RFC believe that for the game to thrive we must look after the children who play rugby as they are the future of this fantastic sport. We all want the rugby environment to be a safe and happy one and as such their welfare and wellbeing is fundamental. And it’s our intention that everyone that a child comes into contact with can act as a positive role model.

Under our care, we work hard to impart these values, so that as a child develops skills such as confidence, commitment and concern for others,
they are well positioned to become leaders for the future.

To achieve this, it’s essential that we provide them with a positive experience and give them the opportunity to achieve their true potential. We have a duty and commitment at Old Pats to ensure that Safeguarding of all within our care is a priority and that each child’s rugby experience is the very best that it can be.


The Disclosure & Barring Service is utilised by the RFU to operate and manage a criminal record checking process for those working with children or vulnerable adults. The DBS runs checks at three different levels providing information on an individual’s criminal records.

Old Pats Safeguarding team, working with the RFU, manages the DBS checking process and our policy is to ensure all coaches have up to date DBS
Certificates. We have improved the DBS application process to ensure all coaches have appropriate DBS in place and attend relevant courses from Play it Safe to First Aid to Referee and enhancing coaching qualifications.

The RFU Safeguarding Policy Guidance & Procedures is fully endorsed and forms the very foundations ofthe way we operate as a Club and as individuals. This Policy statement is based on the following key principles:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability
    or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual
    identity, have the right to protection from harm
  • All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will
    be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly
    and appropriately
  • Everyone will work in partnership to promote the
    welfare, health and development of children

In cases of possible abuse of any kind we act swiftly, working in partnership with police, social services and the RFU Safeguarding teams to protect an individual or individuals from harm. We have robust safeguarding procedures to manage these situations with confidence and efficiency.

This Policy and the following Guidance and Procedures are based on the principle of empowering children and young people. The onus is on everyone who has contact with children and young people to protect them from harm as well as to create a positive environment in which to participate. Based on best practice, the Policy provides information about abuse, advice on identifying problems, as well as policies and procedures for use by those involved in delivering rugby union.

The RFU provides support for clubs, assisting them in making safer recruitment decisions for those involved with young people, systems for dealing with allegations or concerns and training programs for all working with young players, as well as effective systems for working with other relevant agencies. Old Pats very much appreciates the army of volunteers who give up their time to organise mini and youth rugby and strive to provide the highest standards of care for children in a safe and enjoyable environment however the volunteers need to be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and how they should respond to child protection concerns by working with the Safeguarding Officers.

You can find the RFU Safeguarding Policy and guidance here:

At the time of writing the Safeguarding team are reviewing and where appropriate amending the Club’s various Policy’s, namely, Social Media, Tour, Player / Parent and Coach code of conduct together with updating expectations  for pitch side behaviour and respect of officials, opposition parents, players and coaches alike.

Please contact one of the CSO team for further information or if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss.

Contact details:

Old Patesians RFC Safeguarding Officers
Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO)
Nick Lewis
Mobile: (Use website contact form)
Email: (Use website contact form)

Assistant Club Safeguarding Officer
Amanda Hazeldine
Mobile: (Use website contact form)
Email: (Use website contact form)

Assistant (Use website contact form)
Paula Phillips
Mobile:07487 697 411
Email: (Use website contact form)

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