Welfare Officers from clubs and leagues are the focus of the latest category of our re-launched #CelebrateEssex Twitter competition as the popular contest returns for 2019/20 to help recognise some of local grassroots football’s unsung heroes.
#CelebrateEssex showcases personal stories from local legends, increasing their visibility as role models to engage new members and inspire them to join the grassroots community as volunteers. Welfare Officer nominations close on Thursday 10th October, when submissions will be assessed to decide who’ll feature in a Twitter poll to identify the latest hero.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing football. The game needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this monthly Twitter competition, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.
October is the month of the ‘Welfare Officer’ category. A proficient welfare officer ensures their club or league operates a safe, child-friendly environment and promotes good practice in-line with their Child Protection Policy. They may also be responsible for safeguarding adults within their club or league so they can enjoy secure football participation.
The category has been scheduled to coincide with Parents in Sport Week and a free training event for Welfare Officers discussing knife crime and youth mental health. Future months will feature: November: Footie Dad, December: Football Family, January: Media Manager, February: Coach (Youth and Adult), March: Footie Mum, April: Treasurer, May: Secretary, June: Chairperson.
Last year’s winner was Claire Priddle from Trinity YFC. She reacted: “I absolutely love my job at the club and I have a really good relationship with the managers, and players, because of issues which I have helped them to resolve. I always learn something from every situation I deal with. It can be extremely tough, but it’s a challenge and helping the children keeps me so enthusiastic.”
#CelebrateEssex, now in its second season, captured the imagination of the community during 2018/19, resulting in media coverage plus thousands of Twitter interactions. Twelve winners were named, with presentations at the County FA's annual Awards Evening.
104 nominations were made, with 8,703 votes cast. All nominees were publicly thanked. Then, in June, #CelebrateEssex received a special commendation in the ‘Digital Engagement’ category of the County FA Recognition Awards staged by The FA.
Stage One: Make Your Nomination on Twitter
If you know a Welfare Officer who you think should receive some special thanks, anyone can make a nomination by tweeting (by 10th October):
“I nominate [Insert Name or Twitter Username] from [Insert Club/Team or Twitter Username] as @EssexCountyFA #CelebrateEssex Welfare Officer because…”
State why your nominee should be the winner and be as descriptive as you can in 280 characters! It’s important to use the #CelebrateEssex hashtag to ensure your entry is registered.
Stage Two: Nominations Reviewed
Once the window closes, all the nominations received will be collated and a panel will decide which individuals will be progressed to the Twitter poll/vote...
Stage Three: Let Voting Commence!
A Twitter poll/vote will be available at @EssexCountyFA for seven days, featuring profiles of the nominees so voters can make an informed decision on who to vote for.
Stage Four: And Our Winner Is…
The winner of the poll will be contacted to be that month’s ‘Volunteer of the Month’, who’ll receive a prize, publicity and an invitation to the Essex County FA’s 2020 Awards Evening.
Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the competition! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, click on the 'Volunteers' menu above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions
* prizes must relate to the category the individual has won
* previous category winners are ineligible for 2019/20 nomination
* irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category
We Support Parents in Sport Week
Will You Make the ‘Sports Parents Promise’?
Parents in Sport Week, running this year from 7th to 13th October, looks to increase positive parental involvement in youth sport and, by doing so, improve the experiences of young people across the UK. This year's aim is to get parents to make the ‘Sports Parents Promise’ to encourage their child's safe enjoyment of sport.
The Promise outlines what makes a great sports parent. Making this promise allows parents to acknowledge the contribution they make to their child's enjoyment of sport, and allows clubs, coaches and other sports organisations to really get parents on board and take an interest in their child's sporting life. Find out more at http://bit.ly/PISW19.