Meet the CPSU team
Head of CPSU
Michelle joined the CPSU team in April 2013 and was appointed as Head of CPSU in April 2020. Prior to this she worked for the NSPCC Safeguarding in Education Service.
Before joining the NSPCC, Michelle was an Education Welfare Officer with over 10 years' frontline experience and later a Senior Manager with responsibility for prosecutions and case management.
She is responsible for managing the unit’s staff across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. She also manages relationships with the respective Sports Councils and with our key partners in sport.
CPSU Senior Consultant England
Jude joined the CPSU in 2009. she's worked for the NSPCC since 2000, in training and consultancy and managing direct services for children and young people. Jude qualified as a social worker in the 1980s and, prior to joining NSPCC, worked in Children’s Services and voluntary organisations providing child protection, community and therapeutic input.
As a Senior Consultant, Jude provides safeguarding support to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Active Partnerships which involves training, consultation and conducting annual safeguarding reviews. Jude leads on the CPSU safeguarding training and the annual review process. She also oversees the CPSU Case Data Tool, working in partnership with Loughborough University.
Senior Consultant England
Carole joined the CPSU in 2005. Prior to joining the unit she was Director of Development for British Triathlon.
Having been a youth swimmer and GB International Triathlete, Carole remains a keen sportswoman. She's taught PE, been a coach educator and practitioner in sports development. Carole is currently a specialist member of the National UK Anti-Doping Panel.
All England Senior Consultants provide safeguarding support to NGBs and Active Partnerships. Carole’s role also involves supporting UK Sport organisations in developing their safeguarding work and leads our work on elite athlete wellbeing.
Senior Consultant England
Liza joined the team in March 2018. She's a qualified social worker with 18 years experience. Prior to joining the CPSU, Liza worked for Lincolnshire Children’s Services, as an advanced Social Worker and previous posts include Children’s Rights manager and Regional Participation Coordinator for Barnardos.
All England Senior Consultants provide safeguarding support to NGBs and Active Partnerships. Liza's work within the team focuses on equality and diversity in sport, involving children and young people and supporting UK Sport bodies with safeguarding guidance.
Senior Consultant England
Brendan joined the CPSU in 2021. Previously, Brendan was a children’s social worker and has a keen interest in child advocacy. He worked as a Children’s Guardian at Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). He then worked as a casework officer and lead safeguarding officer at a sport’s national governing body.
Brendan has other safeguarding roles outside of the CPSU. He volunteers on a further education college strategic safeguarding panel, as well as his role as trustee for a sporting charity Power2Inspire. Brendan is a keen sportsperson who enjoys all sports, but particularly football, boxing, angling and online games.
As a senior consultant at the CPSU, Brendan will provide safeguarding support to NGBs and Active Partnerships.
Senior Consultant Northern Ireland
Paul joined the CPSU in 2001. Prior to joining the NSPCC, Paul managed a probation-funded project working with those involved in the criminal justice system. A number of his previous clients were sex offenders with coaching awards. Paul's also worked directly with young people in the care system who have experienced different forms of abuse.
Paul works to support sports governing bodies in Northern Ireland to help them to achieve safeguarding standards and promotes good safeguarding practice. He is also secretary of the Northern Ireland branch of the National Organisation for Treatment of Offenders (NOTA).
Senior Consultant Commercial Sport
Laura joined the team in 2011. Prior to joining the unit she worked in both the statutory and voluntary social care sectors with a range of young people with complex needs. This included children with disabilities, young carers and looked after children. She also has a degree in sport and physical education.
Laura has previous led the CPSU team in Wales but she now leads a project with the Football Association. Laura is the senior assessor for this project which sees the NSPCC independently assess each of the 52 County FAs against a set of safeguarding criteria.
Senior Consultant Wales
Cerri has worked for CPSU for over 4 years as a National Development Officer in Wales, and started her role as Senior Consultant in January 2022. Before joining CPSU in 2017, Cerri worked as a Senior Officer at Sport Cardiff. She is also a UK Coaching tutor specialising in safeguarding and is a part time lecturer for the School of Sport and Health Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Cerri works closely with Sport Wales to support the Welsh NBGs with their child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures. She also supports many of the sports through the Safeguarding Standards Framework to enable them to maintain and embed safeguards.
Training and Development Consultant
Saara Ruotsalainen joined CPSU team in October 2021. Saara has moved to the UK from Finland, where she worked in developing safeguarding practices in National Governing Bodies of sport and managed a helpline for young people who have been abused in sports. Saara has managed services and projects in multiple different charities in the UK and in Finland and worked with a variety of vulnerable service user groups.
At the CPSU she provides child safeguarding training and support to NGBs and Active Partnerships in England. Saara is working with Active Partnerships to support them in maintaining and embedding safeguarding standards.
Training and Development Consultant
Di joined the CPSU in November 2021. Prior to starting at the CPSU, Di worked as a national welfare officer in a sport’s national governing body, supporting young players, their parents, coaches and volunteers involved in the national squads set up. She has also worked as a Coach Developer within an Active Partnership.
Di is a sports coach working with all age groups and with young people starting on the performance pathway. She is a coach educator and mentor. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE, which included recognition for services to sport coaching. As a mental health trainer, she has a particular interest in educating coaches to give them confidence to support young athletes wellbeing.
Di will be supporting UK Sport national governing bodies.
Denise started working at the CPSU in 2017, working with Active Partnerships as part of the Framework for maintaining and embedding safeguarding standards. She was previously a Safeguarding Lead at an Active Partnership for 12 years. Her background is in sports development and coaching.
In February 2022 Denise started a new role at the CPSU, Development Officer for the project with the Football Association. She is working with Laura and Ben to independently assess each of the 52 County FAs against a set of safeguarding criteria.
Ben started working at the CPSU in February 2022. In his 13 years working in safeguarding he has taken on a variety of roles and projects across different settings; from creating an anti-bullying service for young people for a Local Authority, working in education, children's charities, with looked-after children, housing, to working as a Safeguarding Advisor for a National Youth organisation. He has also worked as the Safeguarding Lead for 2 Premier League football teams.
Ben is working at the CPSU as a Development Officer for the project with the Football Association. Ben is working alongside Laura and Denise to independently assess each of the 52 county FAs against a set of safeguarding criteria.
Senior Content Specialist
Hannah has worked for the CPSU since 2007 and took the role of Senior Content Specialist in May 2017.
She manages the content on the CPSU website, working closely with the information officers and the digital producer to develop and review content and find new and informative ways of getting safeguarding information to the sports sector. She also manages the CPSU administration team.
Lian Gaten, Mel Addams, Laura Young and Becky Groarke
The information officers are responsible for making safeguarding in sport information widely accessible through our website and social media. The design, produce and publish content to spread awareness about safeguarding children in sport.
They also coordinate the development of our e-newsletter, monthly Lead Officer bulletin and help to run the CPSU webinars, podcasts and other digital communication.
Lian began working for the CPSU Information team in 2010, Mel joined in 2016, Laura in 2019 and Becky in 2021.
John works alongside Hannah and the information officers and works to ensure the content on CPSU digital platforms is easy to access and meets the needs of our audience.
John also acts as our link to the wider NSPCC and ensures that safeguarding resources and information are accessible through the CPSU website.
Rebecca Booth and Michaela Rose
CPSU Administration team
The CPSU administration team triage all enquiries to the unit. They also administer all CPSU meetings, working groups, training, conferences and events run by the team.