Winter update from RYA Safeguarding and Equality Manager

The RYA Safeguarding team have had a fantastic season, which has included club visits and attendance at racing events such as the Youth Nationals at Plas Heli in Pwllheli, the Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Championships at Oxford Sailing Club and the South & South-West Regional Junior Champs at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy. 

The team took great pleasure in hosting the English regions ‘Meet the Safeguarding Team’ events, at which we were able to meet with lots of Welfare Officers face-to-face (albeit virtually) and we had the opportunity to cover many safeguarding topics. The RYA Safeguarding team has had a busy season providing safeguarding support, as well as developing new guidance documents, and looking into new ways of providing improved support. 

I hope that the Winter newsletter will give Welfare Officers (WOs) a good update on some key on-going safeguarding subjects and will give you some things to think about through the Winter in preparation for the return to water activities in the Spring.

*NEW* Safeguarding Support Calls

In January, the Safeguarding team will be introducing Safeguarding Support Calls. WOs will receive a phone call from a member of the Safeguarding team who will chat through the current safeguarding provisions at the affiliate and will discuss with the WO any challenges that they are currently facing. 

The purpose of these support calls is to ensure that our WO’s and affiliates are being well supported by the RYA. The calls will also give us an opportunity to learn from you if any additional support is necessary and how we can plan to meet those needs.

Training PowerPoint for clubs

Following suggestions from attendees to recent ‘Meet the team’ sessions, we have created a training presentation for WO’s to deliver to their club or centre. The PowerPoint was distributed via email in October, if you are a WO and have not received a copy of the presentation, email:

Reminder of support available

Don’t forget that the Safeguarding and Equality team is here to support all WOs. If you volunteer as a WO or in a safeguarding supporting role, you can always reach out to the RYA Safeguarding team for help and support. Collectively, our network of WO’s makes an inspiring group of people, who are all committed to ensuring that participants are always at the heart of activities. The mantra of “together we are stronger” is so important, so please do reach out, not only to the RYA team but also to each other as peers. You can contact other WOs via the RYA Welfare Officer Facebook Support Group, or by joining the RYA Disclosures Facebook support group.

Safeguarding team news

The Safeguarding team is expanding, and we are thrilled to introduce two new team members. Amy Lowbridge is now on secondment as Safeguarding Case Officer for six months, and we have welcomed Carol Hirst as the new Safeguarding and EDI Senior Administrator to the team. We have also welcomed an additional fixed term Administrator who joined the team earlier this month. I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Amy, and welcoming our new team members.

Website improvements

The Safeguarding & EDI team have been working with the RYA Communications and Digital teams to review the existing safeguarding web pages and updating them to make the information clearer and easier to navigate. Please visit the RYA Safeguarding hub and do let us have any feedback. 

Save the dates

18 April 2023 6:30pm – 8:30pm – Meet the Safeguarding Team – pre-season meeting for the South-West, South, and London & South-East regions – joining links to follow.

25 April 2023 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm – Meet the Safeguarding Team – pre-season meeting – for the Midlands, East, North-West and North-East regions – joining links to follow.

Katie Loucaides

RYA Safeguarding & Equality Manager


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