Communicating with junior members on apps’

The NSPCC good guidance:

Social media can have many benefits for organisations, helping you to:

  • stay in contact with children and families between meetings, activities and events
  • provide specialist support to children, such as counselling and therapy
  • promote events
  • livestream activities and run online sessions
  • create online groups, forums and communities.

However, there are also risks. Children and young people may be exposed to inappropriate or upsetting and harmful content, or they might experience abuse online. So it’s important that you put appropriate measures in place to help keep children safe online.

> Find out more about preventing online abuse and harm

What are online communities?

Online communities are groups of people that come together in a virtual environment. You can use online communities to connect with more children and young people or provide additional support and services. Online communities might use a specially-designed platform or existing technologies such as:

  • messenger platforms
  • forums, messenger boards or chat rooms
  • social media apps or websites
  • gaming platforms
  • blogs.

Whichever platform you use, safeguarding and child protection should be at the heart of your online community.

Are social media and online communities different?

Social media enables people and organisations to share information through text, images, audio recordings and videos. You may use social media without intending to create an online community. However, once people start interacting with your page or profile it becomes an online community and you have a responsibility to take steps to keep everyone who uses it safe.

Social media, online communities and safeguarding | NSPCC Learning

Best Practice in our clubs:

Is WhatsApp safe for my child? An important article to discuss within your club regarding how coaches/members communicate within the club membership Is WhatsApp safe for my child? | NSPCC.

Consider using apps such as Spond as safe ways of communication with members (inc parents & junior members)

Best Free Sports Team Management App | Download Spond

Resources & other guidance:

Using_social_media_with_YP.pdf (

Contact | Childnet

Working safely online with children and young people | The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Where, when and how young people connect online | Internet Matters

Practical tips for starting a conversation about life online – UK Safer Internet Centre