Pitching In Northern Premier side Gainsborough Trinity have become the first football club to back the Stamp it Out campaign, which aims to eliminate the abuse of public facing workers
Taking place between the 11th and 15th of March 2024 the week will be this year’s culmination of a series of activities designed to highlight the unacceptable levels of abuse which those working in public facing roles face.
Part of the national Stamp it Out campaign, and set up following a rise in instances of abuse in the post covid era, Respect our Workforce Week will involve media activity, workforce engagement and the launch of a first of its kind conflict avoidance training course, available to all public facing workers free of charge, with supporters of the programme including Next, Amazon, Tesco and Balfour Beatty.
On average 50% of those working in public facing roles such as shop assistants, refuse collection workers and those who repair and maintain our roads and railways are subject to abuse on an almost weekly basis according to research and when taken on a monthly basis the figure increases to almost 80%.
As a part of the week’s activities, Gainsborough Trinity, will wear a one-off commemorative kit for their home match against Whitby Town on the 2nd March with, for what is probably the first time, cameras from both BBC Match of the Day and Sky Sports News in attendance.
Co-Chairman of Gainsborough Trinity, John Myskiw, who is also a contracts manager for leading transportation infrastructure provider, AmcoGiffen, explained why in his opinion it was vital that sport played a part in making workforce abuse something which society do not tolerate, he said,
“For many years in sport we have battled with unacceptable behaviours such as racism which for a long time have been very high profile – especially in football.
“But this is not just a problem in sport, as we see public facing workers everywhere from supermarkets to construction, and those who drive our buses and work in hospitals and education facing a barrage of unacceptable behaviour on an almost daily basis, especially in a post covid era.
“This is unacceptable and within my job I am responsible for putting many of these people to work on a daily basis despite the risks they face.
“Therefore, it is vital that not just retail, transportation and football, but also in wider society that we all adopt a zero tolerance approach to those who abuse our public sector workers.
“I am proud that as a football club who draw much of our support from those who work in public facing roles we are able to play a vital role in supporting a campaign.”
Echoing the sentiments, Executive Director of the Stamp it Out Programme, Kevin Robinson, explained why sport has a vital role to play in influencing what the public see as socially acceptable behaviour, he said,
“In the UK sport is a major influencer on public attitudes and behaviours amongst both the young and old as we have seen in recent years through the zero tolerance approach to racism through the “Kick it Out” campaign and more recently players taking the knee.
“To the youth of today, whose behaviours define the society we live in tomorrow, these people are icons and as such any way we can find to influence attitudes has to be critical.
“We are incredibly grateful to Gainsborough Trinity, the Board and Sponsors as well as the league for agreeing to allow us to use this amazing community club as a way of giving a platform to the issues we are trying to raise.”
Gainsborough Trinity will wear a specially designed one-off kit for the match on 2nd March – each of the shirts will then be signed by each of the first team on the day and then framed and then will be made available to fans for purchase via an online auction with all proceeds going to the Gainsborough Trinity Foundation.