Football at every level is joining forces this weekend to promote Play Safe 2023.

Play Safe is the Football Association’s national campaign to highlight the vital importance of safeguarding in the national game and it will be celebrated at Pride Park Stadium for Derby County’s Sky Bet League One fixture against Cambridge United on Saturday 30th September (3pm kick-off).

The campaign is officially supported by the Rams’ designated charity partner, the NSPCC.

In addition, Play Safe is backed by the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship and every level of the game, including grassroots, across England.

Derby County are once again proud to be working in partnership with Derbyshire Football Association to convey the importance of Play Safe to the local community and by making an online Play Safe Pledge.

The Derbyshire Football Association are also collaborating with grassroots clubs and leagues in the county to spread the key messages of Play Safe.

This year’s Play Safe weekend focuses on the safeguarding role EVERYONE has to play – coach, player, parent/carer, spectator or volunteer – to keep children and young people safe, no matter what the football setting. EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EVERYTIME is encouraged to WATCH, LISTEN, TALK and ACT if they have any safeguarding concerns.

Derby’s fixture against Cambridge will see the following at Pride Park:

  • Derby’s players wearing Play Safe t-shirts in the pre-match warm-up
  • Head Coach Paul Warne and his staff wearing Play Safe pin-badges
  • Derby and Cambridge’s captains wearing the Play Safe armbands
  • Play Safe messaging and artwork appearing on the LED boards and Big Screen
  • Play Safe editorial featuring in The Ram, Derby’s Matchday Programme

Of course, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If you haven’t already, why not make your own Play Safe Pledge? We encourage you to do so!

To find out more about the FA’s Safeguarding FREE Awareness Course for Parents and Carers, click here.

Safeguarding At Derby County

Derby County Football Club is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

The club has systems in place to ensure that the welfare of vulnerable groups is dealt with appropriately and sensitively.

Everyone working at the club has a duty of care to safeguard the welfare of children and young people by creating an environment that protects them from harm. Our standards of practice ensure all staff are fully aware and understand their responsibilities under safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance.

All staff are alert to signs of abuse or maltreatment and will refer concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead using the agreed safeguarding procedures.

The club ensures that all staff that have a direct responsibility for children, young people or vulnerable adults (vulnerable groups) have been subject to the most stringent of recruitment practices which include Enhanced Criminal Record Checks and reference checks.

Find out more at:

How To Report A Safeguarding Concern

If you are a parent/carer, make yourself familiar with your child’s club welfare officer. Keep their contact number in your phone, along with the number for the NSPCC, which is 0808 800 5000. Keep up to date with the club’s safeguarding policies and procedures and check in with your child to see what they are enjoying and what they are not, and why.

If you are worried about a child, it’s vital you report your concerns. Doing nothing is not an option. It’s also important you stay calm, and if any child is present, reassure them they are not to blame. But don’t make promises of confidentiality or outcome.

If you have a safeguarding concern, there are five ways to report it:

1. To your club or league designated safeguarding officer – please find out from your club who these people are

2. To your County FA designated safeguarding officer. Jenny Blewitt is Derbyshire FA’s Safeguarding and Equality Manager

3. By emailing The FA safeguarding team at [email protected]

4. If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA designated safeguarding officer, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline for expert advice and support on 0808 800 5000 or [email protected]

5. If it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police or children's social care in your area

Football for children should be about having fun, making friends, and creating memories. Do your part, take responsibility, and help us change lives positively through football.