Nominations are currently being accepted for the ‘Welfare Officer’ category of the #CelebrateEssex competition via the @EssexCountyFA Twitter account to highlight the unpaid efforts of some of the local game’s true heroes.
#CelebrateEssex showcases personal stories from Essex grassroots personalities, increasing their visibility as role models to inspire new faces to join the community as volunteers. Once nominations for the monthly contest close, a final voting stage on Twitter will identify the latest winner. Submissions are required by Thursday 14th October.
October is the month of the ‘Welfare Officer’ category. A proficient Welfare Officer ensures their club or league operates a safe, friendly environment and promotes good practice in-line with their Safeguarding Children Policy. They may also be responsible for safeguarding adults at risk within their club or league so they can enjoy secure football participation.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing the game. Football needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this regular Twitter activity, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.
Last season’s winner was Maxine Ford from Hashtag United YFC, who reacted: “I have been the club's Welfare Officer for four years and feel passionate about making football a safe environment which is fun for all. My role is to ensure safeguarding is embedded across our club, making sure children are having a positive experience playing within a safe environment.”
“I'm also building relationships throughout the club to be that familiar, friendly face who is approachable. I support managers and coaches to have the mandatory qualifications to enable them to directly work with children and ensure we have clear processes in place. The club operates as a team, so I would like to thank all of our hard-working volunteers, who all go the extra mile.”
“I do my role to strengthen the club's ethos and practice around safeguarding so children can thrive within their environment. What would I say to anyone who's thinking of taking-up a similar role? Do it! Go to a local club and volunteer your time as it’s good to learn new things. It’s a challenging but rewarding role which puts safeguarding at the forefront of everyone's minds!”
The category has been specifically scheduled for October to raise awareness of Parents in Sport Week, as many Welfare Officers are parents at clubs. 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.
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 14th 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’!
Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the nominations! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, browse the 'Volunteers' menu above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions
* previous category winners are ineligible for 2021/22 voting
* irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category
* Twitter’s interpretation of the vote winner, as viewed by @EssexCountyFA, is final
Sign-Up for Parents in Sport Week Now!
What's New From the CPSU in 2021?
This year, the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) are aiming Parents in Sport Week (Monday 4th to Sunday 10th October) directly at parents whose children take part in sport, to give them everything they need to be part of the bigger safeguarding picture in sport.
The best people to get parents involved in their child's sport are fellow parents! That's why the CPSU need your help to spread the word about keeping children safe in sport and encourage other parents to get involved. You can help support this year's campaign by following this link.