Working with Sport England to safeguard children in sport

Last updated: 10 May 2022 Topics: Safeguarding children

The NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit is amongst a group of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) will receive expertise, support and an investment of £2.6million, over 5 years, of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitions of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode.

With this 5-year investment from Sport England, the CPSU aims to:

  • work towards equality of safety for all children by improving safeguarding standards for unregulated bodies and emerging sports
  • develop a programme that will see volunteers engage with communities across the UK, for the purposes of, and raising awareness of, safeguarding issues at local levels
  • ensure that our safeguarding standards reflect the needs of different minority groups and that these are shared proactively with the sport sector
  • increase knowledge of safeguarding in sport among parents and carers through digital awareness raising, campaigns and engagement

Over £550 million is being invested in total, with the partners, including the CPSU, receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.

All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of, no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to partner and collaborate with innovative organisations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active in a safe and inclusive environment.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:

“Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.”

Michelle North, Head of the CPSU, shared:

“We are excited to work with Sport England to support the delivery of Uniting the Movement. We are passionate about helping to build the capacity and knowledge within the sports workforce to recognise and respond to concerns relating to children.

"The CPSU will work collaboratively with the other safeguarding partners to drive forward system change in safeguarding in sport and physical activity so that children and adults know what being safe should look and feel like”

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