Bobby Walker Jr. Greenwich Boys Club ‘a safe environment’
To the editor,
Since 1910, the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has devoted itself to preparing young people in our community to be caring, responsible and productive adults. Guaranteeing the safety of our more than 1,500 members, including the 350 that come through our door each day, is our top priority.
Given the culture of safety we have instilled at the Boys & Girls Club, I want to respond to the March 3 Greenwich Time article alleging claims of sexual abuse more than 40 years ago.
Since joining the club’s leadership in 2014, I have led a comprehensive effort to ensure children find a nurturing, safe environment at the club. Most importantly, we recruited Steve Hickey to be our director of safety after a 31-year career with the Greenwich Police Department. We have enhanced our safety and security plan including:
Arranged for the Greenwich Police Department to train our staff in sexual molestation prevention and mandated reporting.
Provided training by the Department of Children and Families on how to recognize signs of child abuse and supplemented it with online training from the Darkness to Light organization.
Brought in social workers from Kids in Crisis to train all staff in mental health and associated first aid.
Improved our fire safety training with help from the Greenwich Fire Department, which also collaborated with the Greenwich Police Department in updating and enhancing all of our safety protocols.
The safety of every child at Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is our foremost concern every day. We are honored to serve the community’s children by providing swimming lessons, homework help, school-year programming and a place where our community’s young people can be happy and thrive.
We emphasize building a sense of community at the club. Whenever I meet an alumnus who describes the club as his or her “second home,” I know we are succeeding. Whether it’s through the scholarships we provide for college and trade school or our Keystone Club and Torch Club, we teach children to care about each other, their futures and their community. We do this all for just $50 per year.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has been helping young people build character and become good citizens for over a century. We plan to continue this for another 100 years and beyond.
Bobby Walker, Jr. is CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich