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Welfare Information

The Club Welfare Officer is Michelle Turnbull and can be contacted by e-mail at

The Welfare Officer is responsible for ensuring Chester-le-Street ASC is adopting and implementing WavePower, the Swim England Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. Chester-le-Street ASC is a SwimMark Essential Club.


All Swim England affiliated organisations hold a copy of the Swim England Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures document, Wavepower.

Head to the Swim England Wavepower pages to view it for yourself and find out more.

The Welfare Officer is also the first point of contact for children and adults who have a child welfare concern. They can provide advice and guidance and may also refer the matter to a County or Regional Welfare Officer, the Swim England Safeguarding Team or one of a number of other statutory agencies including the police.


Who is SwimLine for?

This service is provided for anyone involved in swimming, including children and young people who believe that the welfare of a child is at risk. This could be neglect or abuse, bullying or fear of someone, or anything that is worrying you and you don’t know who to discuss this with.

Who will take the calls and what happens?

When you ring you will hear a message. This will explain that if you wish to speak to someone urgently – or it would not be convenient or safe for someone to call you back – you can press a number to transfer straight to the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline. This will be answered by trained and experienced counsellors who will advise you and will act to protect children.

If there is no problem with someone calling back and you wish to speak to someone who understands swimming, you will need to leave your telephone number and a time convenient for the Swim England Safeguarding Team to ring you back. If there is an issue which causes concern Swim England will act to protect the child.

Other things you should know

SwimLine calls are free and do not appear on itemised bills unless the call is made from a mobile phone. SwimLine does not use the 1471 code or any other call return or call display facilities. If you leave a message we aim to ring back during the next working day. If you phone over the weekend we will aim to contact you on Monday.

You can call SwimLine on 0808 100 4001.

You can call the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline direct on 0808 800 5000. This line is open for 24 hours each day and calls are free of charge.

If you have a Textphone you can call the NSPCC Textphone on 0800 056 0566.

How can I raise concerns regarding coaching techniques and practices?

The first step for any coaching concerns with Chester-le-Street ASC is to arrange a time to speak directly to the coach, or the head of the coaching staff.

If you have tried resolving your issue with Chester-le-Street ASC are still in dispute, you can raise the issue with Swim England by emailing

Your query will then be referred to an England Talent Team Leader for your sport, who will provide expertise and advice.

The Swim England Coaches Referral Protocol outlines the steps we will take when a concern is raised with regards to coaching techniques.

If you have a question about coaching disputes or wish to raise the issue with Swim England, please contact putting as much detail as possible about your dispute.

When should I raise a formal complaint?

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal club process there is an option to raise a formal complaint with Swim England over a dispute at Chester-le-Street ASC or breach of Code of Conduct.

This decision should be taken after full discussion with a Swim England friend. The formal complaint form can be requested by emailing

There is a charge of £50 for registering a formal complaint with Swim England.

How can I resolve a medical concern?

If you or your child have a medical condition or concern that is affecting your or their ability to take part in aquatics, we recommend you first make all attempts to discuss this with your coaches at your club.

If there are concerns over whether it is safe for you or your child to be participating in aquatics sessions, Chester-le-Street ASC can receive advice under the Medical Protocol.

The Swim England Medical Protocol Terms of Reference outlines the process Swim England will take if a written reference is received.

Stop Bullying

The club has an anti-bullying policy.

Swim England are committed to preventing bullying in your swimming club but if you feel you or someone you know is being bullied you should:

  • Tell your club Welfare Officer (details above), Coach or another adult you trust.
  • Tell a parent or carer.
  • Ring Swimline: 0808 100 4001
  • Ring Childline: 0800 1111

Equality and Diversity

You can read about Swim England’s Equality and Diversity Policies for disabled and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) swimmers on their Equality and Diversity Site.

The following are the nine groups protected under the Equality Act 2010,

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Members should be aware that they face disciplinary action at club and/or ASA level for bullying or discrimination against a person with one of the protected characteristics from the Equality Act 2010 listed above. Disciplinary action may entail suspension, dismissal or permanent expulsion.

You can read further guides on increasing awareness and participation and reducing bullying for both;