Internet Matters is the industry collective which inspires leading organisations to create a future where children and young people are prepared to benefit safely from connected technology. They have used their expertise in the area to work alongside the Premier League on the creation of an online support activity pack.
The Respect activity packs cover issues such as tackling online hate and abuse, managing digital wellbeing and digital identity. They will be used by staff from 91 Premier League and EFL club community organisations to support the digital wellbeing of young people taking part in Premier League Kicks workshops.
Premier League Kicks is a community programme which inspires young people in high-need areas to engage in positive activities including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions, so they can achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing.
The Respect workshops will encourage young people to think critically about the online world, making them feel more confident, improve their wellbeing and, crucially, allow them to create a positive digital environment where they feel comfortable in supporting each other.
Nick Perchard, Head of Community, Premier League, said: “Online safety is more important now than it ever has been. We are pleased to work with Internet Matters, who are experts in this space, to support the thousands of young people participating in the Premier League Kicks programme with their digital wellbeing.
“The Respect activity pack will provide participants with more awareness of the possible dangers they could face online and will equip them with the information and support necessary to tackle them.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “Regular engagement and communication with young people about their online lives has a significant impact on their ability to ensure any risk they face online does not turn into harm.
“We are thrilled to be working with Premier League in order to reach young people through their exceptional community programmes.”
“We know there is much more to be done to ensure children and young people are safe, happy and healthy online, and we are delighted to have produced these resources to help demonstrate the Premier League’s commitment to this challenging issue.
About Internet Matters
Internet Matters (internetmatters.org) is a not-for-profit, industry-funded members body that helps families stay safe online, providing resources for parents, carers and educational professionals. It was established in 2014 by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media and its members include BBC, Google, Samsung, Facebook, Huawei, ByteDance, Supercell and ESET. It is a member of the Executive Board of UKCIS (UK Council for Internet Safety), where it leads the working group for vulnerable users and was a member of The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, founded by the Duke of Cambridge. It works with partners from across the industry, government and third sector to raise awareness and provide advice on the issues affecting children in the digital age, including cyberbullying, screen time, digital resilience, extreme content, privacy and exploitation.
About Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF)
Established in 2010, the Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF) is one of the biggest sports charities in the world. The independent charity supports Club community Organisations (CCOs) of professional football clubs in the Premier League, English Football League and National League to deliver high-quality products that help children and young people achieve their potential and have a positive impact on their community. With PLCFs’ support CCOs engage with more than 500,000 individuals each year.
In 2019/2020 PLCF committed £9.3m investment in Premier League Kicks supporting 91 Club Community Organisations (CCOs) from across the Premier League, English Football League and National League to deliver the programme until August 2022. The level of investment into the CCO varies on the Tier they are in for the programme which is based on a number of factors such as League, history in the programme and CCOs governance.
About Premier League Kicks (further information)
Premier League Kicks is a community programme aimed at young people aged 8-18 years (or 19-25 in structured volunteering opportunities) who live in high-need areas and who do not regularly access affiliated sports activities or sport outside school.
The programme offers young people open access to football, multi-sport, competitions, workshops, qualifications and campaigns to engage with. Club Community Organisations (CCOs) consult with local partners, to identify the right time and place for sessions and design their programme to suit the needs of their local community and participants. Ultimately the aim is to inspire young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing, working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.
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