More than 36,000 primary school children across Sussex have learnt to stay safe from abuse thanks to the NSPCC.
They’ve been learning about abuse in all its forms and who to go to for help should they ever need it.
With help from Buddy the Childline mascot, Speak Out Stay Safe delivers essential safeguarding messages in a lively, interactive and memorable way.
This week we spoke to Janet Hinton, schools service manager, and ran a Facebook Live to help spread the word about the Speak Out Stay Safe project. This has been downloaded and is at the top of this article.
Amanda Rocca, NSPCC Schools Service Area Coordinator for Sussex, explained: “According to NSPCC research, on average two children in every primary school classroom have experienced some form of abuse or neglect. But either through fear or a lack of information, most children don’t seek help or tell anyone what’s happening until they’re much older.
“Imagine if you could reach these children when they are young, potentially even before the abuse has started. This would make a huge difference to their lives.”
This is why the NSPCC started delivering Speak Out Stay Safe – to empower children at a much earlier age.
The free service is delivered by fully trained volunteers. Through age-appropriate assemblies and workshops, they educate 5 – 11 year olds about the different forms of abuse, such as bullying and neglect, and teach them who to go to for help.
They learn about ‘trusted adults’ that you can ask for help; such as a parent, carer or teacher. They also learn how to contact Childline – either over the phone or online.
When the service was first rolled out the challenge was recruit and train a strong team of volunteers to go into Sussex primary schools. The next challenge is to get more schools signed up to this ground-breaking service.
It has so many benefits for schools – it creates a safe space for children to discuss their understanding of what can be complex, difficult and very sensitive issues. It also safeguards them by encouraging them to identify extended sources of support.
It links in with the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum and it helps create a strong safeguarding culture within the school. It’s also a great way of providing evidence against the OFSTED Inspection Framework 2012.
The NSPCC wants to take Speak Out Stay Safe into every primary school in the county. It couldn’t be easier and it’s completely free.
To find out more or to book your visit, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nspcc.org.uk/services-and-resources/working-with-schools/speak-out-stay-safe-service