New child protection service launched

CHILDLINE has launched a service for primary age children and is looking for volunteers in Whitby to get involved.

The ChildLine Schools Service is aimed at primary age children, particularly focussing on seven to 11-year-olds and aims to help them understand what abuse is, including bullying, how to protect themselves and where to get help and support if needed.

The service is calling for volunteers to deliver assemblies at local schools, followed by an interactive workshop a week later, and area co-ordinator Tracey Myers said: “What’s key about our schools service is that we need a great team of volunteers.

“It is very much about mobilising the community and to make child protection everyone’s responsibility.

“I want to really encourage people in Whitby to come to the informal event on 26 March to find out how they can help.”

The presentations and messages delivered at schools have been developed alongside children, parents, carers and teachers.

Full volunteer training and support is provided by ChildLine and interviews will take place in April, with training starting for successful applicants in May.

Mrs Myers added: “Research undertaken by the NSPCC shows the majority of people who call ChildLine for advice, information and support are over 11 years old.

“However we know that the majority of children who are subject to a child protection plan are under the age of 11.

“These younger children are not connected so much with the outside world.

“In fact, their world is quite small.

“So if abuse is happening to them at that age, then it’s very difficult for children to speak up.

“That’s why we want to educate children earlier and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe or seek help if they need it.”

For more details about volunteering for the schools service, an informal presentation is being held at the Green Lane Centre in Whitby on Monday 26 March from midday to 1pm.

Alternatively, call Mrs Myers on 07792 654739 or you can email her at: tracey.myers@nspcc.org.uk