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Spond believes that the role of a coach, volunteer or group leader is very rewarding – it offers the chance to make a real impact on children’s lives and see them develop and progress in their chosen activities. This is a powerful role to have and your behaviour will shape your influence on young people. At Spond our communication platform is designed to make organising the activities as simple as possible and through this website we want to make safeguarding simple and straightforward for all involved.
This website will support coaches, group leaders and volunteers of all ages to ensure they know what steps to take to keep all the children involved in activities safe and protect them from risks of abuse. This will make it easy for all involved to know the standards expected of them and the safeguarding prevention measures that are necessary to protect children. It will support coaches, club leaders and volunteers to prevent them being placed in an uncomfortable situation in which they do not know how to respond if they witness something they think is strange or they are uncomfortable about. Under 18s can also be involved as coaches and volunteers – safeguarding training is very important so they understand what actions or communications are appropriate with children and what is unacceptable. See our safeguarding policy and communication procedures in the resources page for detailed information.
The children you work with and who are involved in the group look up to you and trust you. An adult or under 18 volunteer is in a position of trust where a young person in their care has some dependency on them and there is an element of vulnerability involved. Adults who regularly coach, teach, train, supervise or instruct a child in a sport or activity are particularly influential over a child’s development. As a result, there is a significant power imbalance between the adult and young person – even if the young person may not view the relationship as abusive or exploitative – which would amount to an abuse of the adult’s position of trust and leaves the child open to manipulation and grooming.
Any coaches, group leaders or volunteers who are under 18 should be kept safe and not placed in a vulnerable situation. They do not count as adults; they are still children.
No matter what their role they should:
If you’re worried about someone’s behaviour towards you, tell an adult you trust, this can include the safeguarding officer in your club or organisation or the person responsible for safeguarding in the governing body. You can also contact ECPAT Norway for help and advice. Asking for help is a sign of strength and confidence. Our safeguarding training is designed to support you and give you the knowledge you need to know and the pathways for how to respond if you witness something you think is strange or makes you uncomfortable. We want to safeguard you in your role while also safeguarding the other children involved in the activity. We want you to find your role rewarding and enjoyable.