Chairman Statement

Chairman Statement

By Rob Batley
10 August
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Regarding recent events

Dear Club Members,

The last few weeks at the club have been very challenging, but safeguarding has been and continues to be our priority. Once the events of Sunday 28th July became known and questions asked of the club, we have been advised and guided by the safeguarding units of both the RFU and Club Hampshire. This included the timing of a club statement and the content of that statement.

It has been noted on many social media sites that questions have been around the knowledge I had regarding the incident and the history of the person in question. I would like to state that I did not have any previous knowledge of his convictions or any resulting restrictions placed on him.
The person involved wasn’t ever employed by the club, or ever held a recognised volunteer role within the club. He was there as an ad-hoc helper in the kitchen on three senior match days helping his mum prepare after match meals. He has never helped out at the club on a Sunday.

The club has many ad-hoc helpers and we are looking at how best we risk assess these helpers going forward.

Safeguarding as we know is everyone’s responsibility so if anyone has concerns these must be raised as we do operate an open door policy. These concerns can be directed to the Club Safeguarding Officer or any committee member in total confidence.
Remember, we can only act on what we know.

Although we had a physical audit from Club Hampshire Safeguarding in which we had a Pass result, we clearly need to take some learning from the questions raised in the last two weeks. To that end the following actions are being implemented

1. CSO co-opted onto club Exec committee
2. Full review of current DBS process
3. New and renewal DBS’s will be encouraged to register to the DBS upgrade service (as this is voluntary)
4. Risk assessment written to cover risk of ad-hoc helpers
5. Club safe guarding policy to be updated to reflect above actions

Of course this is not an exhaustive list.

If you would like to talk further regarding this matter, either to myself in person or Dan Spencer (Club Safeguarding Officer) then I would urge you to please contact us on the e-mail addresses below. As this would be a better forum than sharing or commenting on social media sites.

May I thank you for taking the time to read my statement


Robin Batley
Gosport & Fareham RFC

Dan Spencer -

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