Twenty Regional Welfare Officers (RWOs) came together for their annual safeguarding conference in Birmingham to discuss new Event Welfare Officer roles, mental health, communicating with parents, and advising clubs and regions on inclusion of Trans people in gymnastics.
The annual event, held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January, is part of the continuing professional development programme for RWOs organised by Safeguarding Manager, Mike Harrison MBE and his team.
RWOs are all safeguarding-qualified volunteers who work as an extension of our Safeguarding team, supporting clubs and regions in their application of our safeguarding policies. They undertake advisory visits to clubs, safeguarding casework and in England, work alongside the regional and technical committees, providing safeguarding advice and supporting events and festivals.
From April 2019, RWOs are being offered training to work as Event Welfare Officers and operate alongside the medical and physio teams at our major events, which include the British Championships and the Gymnastics World Cup, to ensure the welfare and safeguarding of competitors. The Event Welfare Officers will also be on hand to explain and promote safeguarding to clubs, coaches, parents and other visitors at our events.
The RWOs also attended our National Awards in Birmingham Town Hall at the end of day one of their conference and we were delighted to see two of their colleagues win awards. Mike Gevaux and Jennifer Harris were respective winners of the Volunteering and Safeguarding awards.
Jane Allen, Chief Executive of British Gymnastics, opened day two of the conference congratulating the award-winners and nominees and thanking all of the team for their work in keeping our sport safe for everyone.