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.
Commercial Business Manager
Laura joined the CPSU 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 held multiple roles within the CPSU team including leading the Wales team, and leading as Senior Assessor in a pilot project with the Football Association.
In her current role, Laura is responsible for the CPSU’s commercial activity. By developing the commercial capabilities of the CPSU we hope to extend the reach of our work.
The England team work to support and improve safeguarding and child protection practices within sport's National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Active Partnerships in England. This involves training, consultation and conducting annual safeguarding reviews to ensure safeguarding is being maintained and embedded within organisations. As part of this work, the England team aim to:
- build the capacity and knowledge within sport organisations
- enable sports organisations to recognise and respond to concerns relating to children
- play an important role in Sport England's Uniting the Movement, working to ensure equity of safety for all children by building a shared understanding of the risk's minority groups face
The CPSU also Manages the safeguarding arrangements and provides safeguarding support for the national School Games which take place bi-annually. This support includes the development of the event safeguarding plan, training the events safeguarding team and managing the safeguarding team during the event. This team consist of:
The FA365 Project team independently assess each of the 52 County FAs against a set of safeguarding criteria which looks at evidence across areas of the business such as governance, operational delivery, case management, voice of the child and monitoring and compliance.
Where relevant, the assessors will look at how examples of best practice can be shared within The FA, and to the wider sport safeguarding setting. The team consist of:
Information, content and digital production
The Information, content and digital production team work closely with colleagues from across the CPSU team, the wider NSPCC and specialist subject matter experts to develop and review digital content to help sports club and activity providers to keep children and young people safe in sport. The team find new and informative ways of getting safeguarding information to the sports sector. The team consist of:
Paul Stephenson is our Senior Consultant for Northern Ireland. He works to support sport's governing bodies to achieve and maintain their safeguarding standards. Paul assists organisations in having robust safeguarding policies and procedures but also encourages self-reflection to enable sports to examine their own culture and communication with their own stakeholder.
The Northern Ireland project supports sports organisations to:
- engage parents to help their child to enjoy their sporting experience and fulfil their full potential
- engage with young people and listen to their voices when shaping the delivery of sports activities and competitions
- understand the role they have in supporting a young people's mental health and wellbeing
- Raise awareness of sexual abuse prevention
The UK Sport team provide safeguarding and child safeguarding guidance, support and training to UK Sport sole funded organisations. The team supports performance organisations to maintain and embed safeguarding standards to help create safer sporting environments and cultures for elite and talented young athletes. This team consist of:
Our Wales team support and guide the Welsh National Governing Bodies and National Partners Organisations with their child protection and safeguarding provisions within the sector.
This is implemented through our CPSU framework for safeguarding and protecting children in and through sport in Wales. We work with the organisations on safeguarding aspects such as, policies & procedures, case management processes, engaging and consulting with children and young people, education and training, implementation and monitoring and influencing. Overall enabling them to maintain and embed a safeguarding culture and promoting best-practice safeguarding throughout the organisation. The Wales team consists of: