Voice of the Child
Summertown Stars AFC is one of the largest grassroots youth football clubs in England. With over 700 players, from Under 6 to Under 18, we’ve made it our priority to provide a fun environment for all children to meet and make friends, learn new skills, and of course play football.
Our mission has been to implement a safeguarding culture and firmly embed it in the entire Club, and one which is adopted by all adults, whether working with children or supporting them, so that we put children first. We achieved this by involving the Welfare Officers in all aspects of running the club; by making them “visible” online and pitchside, by putting Welfare on every meeting’s agenda and by dealing with every complaint or concern proactively.
Ana Gradiska, CWO, said: “Providing our players with a voice is at the core of our Club’s ethos and we feel very strongly that they should be free to express their opinions and give us feedback on how we can improve their experience at the Club. To this end, we are currently implementing several new initiatives such as an ‘ideas inbox’, a dedicated email address through which players can give us their opinions on how we can make playing for Summertown Stars an even more positive experience for them.”
Annette Gautrey, Club Co-Chair, added: “Most of our teams have progressed from U6 through to U18, demonstrating that not only are they enjoying playing for their teams, but also that we have listened to them, “the voice of the child”, by creating easy accessible feedback methods (including annual surveys) and created a safe and fun environement for them and their families and friends for years to come”.