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Dons Link up with Children’s Parliament

November 9, 2017 12:45 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Aberdeen Football Club has teamed up with the Scottish FA and Children’s Parliament to raise awareness for the safety and wellbeing of children in football. Workshops have been run in recent weeks in partnership with Children’s Parliament, which encouraged parents and children to go along and find out how they can be able to feel safe whilst attending and playing football.

Children’s Parliament are a registered Scottish charity and work alongside organisations like the SFA to ensure children can enjoy football in a safe environment. Colin Morrison spoke about some of the work the charity does. “It supports the SFA to help children and adults think about how we keep our young footballers healthy, happy and safe.

“We want children and adults to understand the importance of children’s human rights. The young players have been talking with us about their experience of being part of the game, and how important adults are in helping them get the most out of their experiences.”

The good work of Children’s Parliament has extended to the north-east where a programme called ‘Imagining Aberdeen’ has been established by the children of the area. Working as Imagineers, the children have created their own image of how they want the city of Aberdeen to look with their input being a strong voice.

Here at The Club, Richard Taylor is the Safeguarding Officer and highlighted the importance of today’s young players being healthy, happy and safe. “The workshop has been an excellent way for us to benchmark how our Children’s Wellbeing and Protection Policy at AFC is becoming embedded within the Club. The key to ensuring our rights based approach is current and effective is to maintain an ongoing review of the policy itself and the best way to do this is through the participation and feedback from the children themselves.”

“To cover the broad spectrum of ages that we are working with we invited twelve boys from our Youth Academy U11’s through to the U15’s and three girls from the SFA development squad to take part.

“The positive feedback from the children was really encouraging and I’m sure the way it was delivered was key to its success.  Colin and his team made the children feel at ease, provided a safe learning environment and encouraged everyone to engage right from the start. They made it a fun experience and certainly got the best out of all involved. It’s also testament to the quality of all the boys and girls that they spoke up and contributed really well, so, for their participation, we’ve got to be extremely grateful.”

Richard also highlighted the importance of his own role at AFC and the AFC Community Trust and his values are on the same line as his colleagues at the SFA and other clubs. “From my own point of view, getting it right for every child is the most important part for me at both at the Club and the Trust. Our policy is written with the child in mind and it’s there to make sure we, as adults, are doing the right thing for the children, who will then hopefully use this as best practice for the next and successive generations.”

“We as a Club take safeguarding seriously and we have always had a thorough recruitment policy and ongoing training for all staff. There is a family ethos that surrounds Pittodrie, which has gone a long way to ensure people know who they are working with and who they can trust in positions with children.”


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