A record number of youngsters from across the county had been taught to speak out about abuse thanks to the hard work of a children’s charity.
The NSPCC taught a record total of more than 25,000 Nottinghamshire pupils in a single year how to keep themselves safe, new figures reveal .
The charity’s pioneering ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ programme visited 117 primary schools across the county excluding Nottingham during the 2016/17 academic year -reaching 12,240 pupils - and is planning to continue its good work this academic year.
The campaign teaches children aged five to 11 how to recognise sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and who they can talk to about concerns.
The programme consists of separately tailored assemblies - one for early years and key stage one and another for key stage two pupils - followed by a one-hour classroom workshop for children in years five and six.
With the help of NSPCC mascot Buddy, the charity uses the interactive assemblies and workshops to help children:
• understand abuse in all its forms and recognise the signs of abuse
• know how to protect themselves from all forms of abuse
• know how to get help, and the sources of help available to them, including the Childline service.
A clear example of ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’s’ impact was seen earlier this year, when Matthew Salmon, of Nottingham, was found guilty of rape and child sexual abuse offences after his victim came forward following an NSPCC workshop at her school.
NSPCC Schools Service area co-ordinator for Nottinghamshire, Emma Grishin, commented: “’Speak Out. Stay Safe’ gives children the courage and knowledge to speak out and is spreading an important message - but does so in a lively, interactive and memorable way.
“We want to leave children feeling empowered to talk to a trusted adult or Childline.”
“We are delighted to have reached so many children in Nottinghamshire last year and we are looking forward to going back into schools over the coming months.”
To learn more about the to ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ programme, or to get the NSPCC to make a school visit, complete a schools’ enquiry form by visiting https://www.nspcc.org.uk/services-and-resources/working-with-schools/contact-childline-schools-service/