Ensuring the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults

find out about policies and how to report concerns

Read Social Media Guidance and Safeguarding Updates

We place the safeguarding and welfare of young people high on our agenda. It's the responsibility of every adult involved in football, thus every club is required to endorse and adhere to The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy.

It’s important to remember that every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, or adult at risk, who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse.

We offer a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone. We ensure safeguarding requirements are met as a requirement of club affiliation and we support clubs to maintain these standards. This includes making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs.

At the beginning of each season, all clubs need to name a Club Welfare Officer (CWO). We recognise that, without volunteer CWOs, football in Essex wouldn't have as many safeguards in place. These people, who are Disclosure and Barring Service- checked (DBS), will be able to advise you of any concerns you may have regarding young people.

They will have completed the Safeguarding Children Course, enabling them to be able to deal with welfare issues. As well as a CWOs, your league also has a League Welfare Officer. The FA use DBSs, which are conducted on an individual to make sure they do not have any convictions which might mean they are not safe to work with young people. CWOs can also complete a Welfare Officer Workshop.


Designated Safeguarding Officer

Helen Hever: (01245) 393098,, Child Welfare Enquiries (Advice, Referrals), Safeguarding Children, Respect

Safeguarding Support Officer

Wayne Hickey: (01245) 393093,, Monitoring Compliance and Good/Poor Practice, Safeguarding Visits, Mental Health First Aider

Safeguarding Enquiries:

Senior Safeguarding Lead

Brendan Walshe: (01245) 465271

Deputy Senior Safeguarding Lead

Nick Emery: (01245) 393077

Board Safeguarding Champion

Matt Clare

NSPCC: (0808) 800 5000 
Local Safeguarding Children (Outside Office Hours): (0845) 606 1212 
Childline: (0800) 11 11 
Police: 999 

If you're IMMEDIATELY concerned about a child’s welfare, contact the Police or Social Services on (0845) 603 7634 (office hours) or (0845) 606 1212 (outside office hours).

Escalate Safeguarding

Leigh Ramblers Girls FC

Safeguarding Policies and Reporting Concerns

The ongoing work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body.

Social Media Guidance

In today’s world, safeguarding children and young people applies as much online as it does face-to-face.
Concord Rangers Under 16s

Safeguarding Update

Important news, including the best practice and safeguarding which encompasses 16/17-year-old players in open-age football.

In early 2020, local youngster Charlie won our design competition with his poster to promote safeguarding services. The content and overall impression of Charlie’s design was exactly what we were looking for! You can download the poster here.

He captured all the messages in such an eye-catching way. We're always looking out for more new designs… so be creative! Ideally, the artwork should be really appealing to young people, with a football theme. They need to be simple, and contain all the vital information. We're looking forward to seeing what the young people of Essex can come up with!

NHS England Safeguarding App: This app continues to support frontline staff and citizens with 24-hour, mobile access to up-to-date safeguarding guidance and local contacts to report safeguarding concerns. It is accessed by over 300 users daily and has had over 61,000 downloads.

The app provides an overview of necessary legislation and guidance covering both children's and adults' safeguarding as well as an NHS staff guide and contains regional contact information on how to report a safeguarding concern. It also includes links to national bodies. You can access the app via Apple iOS or Google Play or it can be downloaded by visiting your device’s appropriate app store and searching for ‘NHS Safeguarding’.

Children's Activity Ideas

FA Safeguarding Downloads
The complete Directory


The FA are often asked for advice and guidance to help clubs create fun, safe and inclusive environments. This advice, in the form of 'Guidance Notes', is available to download in themed-sections on their website.
They have also gathered all the Guidance Notes (click the link below) as a complete directory for easy reference. You’ll find top tips, templates and a useful resource to browse through and see what you and/or your club might benefit from moving forward.

Are you a kid or teenager worried about abuse?

We want to help

Its scary. Your head will be telling you lots of things. I’m frightened. I won’t be believed. Where do I go? This isn’t right.

There are people you can turn to. You need to be brave (we get that), and we know its going to be hard. If your family or friends aren’t the right people for you to go to, there are many others who can help you.

Immediate Help: NSPCC (0808) 800 5000 (Monday-Friday, 8:00am–10:00pm, or 9:00am–6:00pm at the weekends) or E-Mail
Police: 999 (24 hours)
Childline: 1098 (24 hours)
Thinkuknow (online abuse)
Essex County FA: Helen Hever (Designated Safeguarding Officer) and the Safeguarding Team (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm),
Your Club Welfare Officer: all Essex County FA-affiliated grassroots youth clubs have to have a CWO, who will be trained to help you

Safeguarding Support


Clive Sheldon QCs Report Into Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse in Football

The Essex County FA welcomes the publication of Clive Sheldon QCs Report into non-recent child sexual abuse in football, published by The FA, here.

The review was commissioned by The FA in December 2016, following the disclosures of abuse in the media by former footballers.

Survivors are central to the report, which includes a number of survivor accounts. The executive summary from the report notes that, during the review, Clive Sheldon’s team had the full cooperation of The FA, the Premier League, the EFL, all County FAs and all impacted clubs.

Following the disclosures, a significant number of criminal processes have taken place, several leading to criminal convictions and some to lengthy custodial sentences for individual perpetrators. You can read The FA’s statement here.

For information about safeguarding in football in 2021, please follow this link and, for safeguarding in the Essex County FA, browse the details below on this page.

For any queries about the report, including if you are a survivor affected by the report, please E-Mail

If you wish to report a child abuse concern, please contact:

* NSPCC Helpline (0800) 023 2642 or (0800) 800 5000
* The FA safeguarding case management team (

If it is an emergency, please contact the Police or Children’s Services in your area.