Grassroots Hero: Julie Franks

There were some excellent nominations for our Grassroots Heroes of 2020, and we are going to highlight as many people as we can over the next month. Our next Grassroots Hero is Julie Franks from Chesterfield CC.

Julie has been Chesterfield Cricket Club’s CWO for over 17 years, taking a lead on all safeguarding matters at the club and ensures that we have a safe and secure environment for the many young players at the club.

Reporting to the club’s management committee she proposes policies, procedures, and good practice many of which are then incorporated in our successful Clubmark reaccreditations.

She is always available for training, monitoring and general guidance and is clearly instrumental in the club being able to enjoy Premier level cricket.

In this most unusual of years Julie has added to her considerable workload as a volunteer by taking a lead on COVID-19 measures. This included producing club regulations for training and playing at both junior and senior levels as well as protocols for non-playing members and spectators. She helped distribute PPE to the club’s coaches and provided support where needed.

When recreational cricket was allowed by the Government, clubs had only 7 days to get things ready before the first games of the season. Julie was instrumental in putting together risk assessments, action plans and the clubs regulations, planning the safe opening of the Pavilion at Queen’s Park, helping to organise volunteers to steward games, getting signage and ordering adequate stocks of PPE and sanitizing products at the ground and in the pavilion. She also attended home games to make sure all restrictions were in place before games were played and that stewards were in place and knew what they were doing. Julie co-ordinated track and trace logs and kept them secure for the appropriate period.

When the club was informed of a couple of Covid positive results she was the focal point for finding out the facts and advising if there were any further actions to take, liaising with team captains. At times her work in checking with authorities such as Public Health England regarding individual players and their status regarding possible isolation has extended through to late on Friday for the following day’s match which occasionally meant withdrawing players even at the eleventh hour if there was any doubt.

With Julie’s advice, the club erred on the side of safety and in addition to the occasional withdrawing of players we did cancel all club fixtures on one Saturday when a number of players had been at a football event where there had been rumours of a suspicious illness with one of the visitors.

Club Chairman Mike Taylor said:

“The club is in great debt to Julie for getting us all through the season safely while enjoying cricket at all levels. I know Julie would be the first to point out that many other at the club played important parts in achieving this outcome but I also know that everyone at the club would want to highlight Julie’s successful leadership in this most difficult of seasons.”

Well Done Julie, a Credit to the club!

We will be highlighting some more inspiring individuals throughout the month so keep an eye out for them!

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