Cumberland FA has landed the Partnership Award at the 2020 County FA Recognition Awards for its United Against Abuse campaign.
Cumberland Football Association has landed the Partnership Award at the 2020 County FA Recognition Awards for its United Against Abuse campaign.
The Awards, which were hosted online for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions, recognise and endorse the best projects, products and services launched by County FAs over the past season while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.
Over 125 submissions were entered from the 50 County FAs operating across England, highlighting continuous improvements and showcasing how they are innovating to improve football and increase participation across all levels of the game.
The ten categories recognised at the awards were:
•Diversity & Inclusion
•Insight & Data
•Women & Girls
Cumberland FA was handed the Partnership Award for the joint campaign with Cumbria Police and Carlisle United FC following the launch of the ‘United Against Abuse’ initiative; a county-wide football themed domestic abuse campaign to confront, reduce and raise awareness of domestic abuse in Cumbria. Using the power of football, the campaign sent out a strong message from everyone that domestic abuse has to stop.
Ben Snowdon CEO, Cumberland FA said: "We are obviously delighted to have been recognised by The FA for the partnership and the initiative.
The initial concept was brought to us by Cumbria Police and as a County FA we were able to see how this would link to the Respect programme and its messages around on and off the field behaviour.
The support of Carlisle United FC, was critical in unifying the grassroots, national league and professional game in stating that we United Against Abuse.
I would like to thank Cumbria Police, Carlisle United FC and all of the leagues and clubs across the county who supported the campaign.
However the most important aspect of this award is the opportunity to once again promote the key messages from the scheme, at a time when they have arguably never been more important. As a game we will continue to stand United to say that abuse of any kind should not and will not tolerated. Whether this be on the field between players, off the field towards a match official or in this case at home.”
Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop of Cumbria Police commented: “It is great recognition for the county and shows what can be achieved when different organisation’s come together to unite in a common goal. The take-up we had from local football teams was amazing and we’d like to thank every team who took part and took a stand against domestic abuse.”
The FA’s Director of Football Development, James Kendall added:
“It gives us great pleasure to recognise and reward our County FAs for the vital work they continue to deliver across their local communities, and I want to thank each and every one of them for the resilience and leadership they have shown over the course of the year.
"In what has been an unprecedented year of challenges, we now have the highest number of males playing affiliated football recorded to date, and we have delivered on our collective ambition to double participation in the female game. This is testament to the hard work of all our County FAs and everyone should be congratulated for these achievements.”
Nigel Clibbens, the Chief Executive of Carlisle United FC said “We have been proud to work alongside Cumberland FA and Cumbria Constabulary to help raise awareness of an issue which can impact anyone in society. I know that is a message which everyone involved in our football club support fully, including our supporters. We are pleased the campaign has been a success and recognised and we have been able to work together and be a part of it.”
Read more about the #UnitedAgainstAbuse Campaign
Cumberland FA hoped that by raising awareness the joint campaign would send a message that abuse, of whatever type, will not be accepted inside or outside football.
Cumbria Police were able to access affiliated clubs and teams in order to increase the reach of the campaign and also to allow for tailored campaign information to be distributed.
Cumberland FA delivered FA Respect festivals to three youth leagues supporting the new intake of under-7 and under-8 teams at the beginning of the 2019/20 season. This involved 70 teams with parents and carers of each team receiving a presentation during the festival about how they can support their child and also the key principles of the United Against Abuse campaign. Each parent who attended received a thermos mug promoting the #UnitedAgainstAbuse campaign. Cumbria Police also attended the festivals to help educate children and adults about domestic abuse, how to spot it, report it and how to get help and support.
The #UnitedAgainstAbuse social media campaign was well supported with players from across the county getting involved by putting a red stripe on their face at matches and training in order to raise awareness of domestic abuse across the first few months of the 2019/20 season. Additionally, Workington Diamonds Ladies FC won a kit with #UnitedAgainstAbuse on the front of the shirt in their club colours as part of a prize draw.
Cumberland FA’s Nike Partner Kitlocker printed the shirts provided by Cumbria Police for the prize draw winners.
The partnership between Cumberland FA, Cumbria Police and Carlisle United FC significantly raised the profile of the United Against Abuse campaign with local media featuring the story. The launch of the united Against Abuse campaign was made from Carlisle United FC. More than one million people have been reached by the Cumbria #UnitedAgainstAbuse social media posts alone.