This Volunteers Week, the NSPCC is appealing for more volunteers in Cornwall, to help teach primary school children about the different types of abuse.
The children’s charity funds a Schools Service across the county, which sees trained members of staff and volunteers deliver Speak out Stay safe assemblies to children.
Children aged 5-11 are taught about physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect and bullying, during the sessions that are tailored to different year groups to ensure the content is age-appropriate.
The charity is appealing for more volunteers across the county to help share safeguarding messages with local primary school children, helping them identify a trusted adult they can speak to if something is worrying them.
“A dedicated team of enthusiastic volunteers make it possible for us to offer these important assemblies free of charge to all primary schools throughout the Duchy,” says Michelle Green, the NSPCC’s Schools Service Area Co-ordinator for Cornwall and Plymouth.
“It takes a special kind of person to volunteer for our Schools Service. They need to be someone who is passionate about keeping children safe, but also comfortable talking about what can be a difficult subject for adults to discuss with children.”
NSPCC research highlights that on average, two children in every classroom have suffered abuse or neglect, with one in 20 children having been sexually abused. It’s why the charity aims to visit every primary school every three years to deliver the Speak Out Stay Safe programme.
Michelle added: “Buddy is our Childline mascot, and our volunteers take him into schools to help educate children about the different kinds of abuse.
“They learn about the NSPCC’s Childline service and how it can support them at any time of day or night, should they need to talk to someone.
“We know that one in three children who have been sexually abused by an adult did not tell someone at the time, so it’s vital we also help them know who to go to if they have a worry or concern, with the confidence that trusted adults will take action.”
The safeguarding assemblies start conversations around abuse in a live, interactive and memorable way, and pave the way for teachers to continue these discussions with their students in the classroom.
If you’d like to find out more how you can volunteer with the NSPCC’s Schools Service contact 02920 108133 or email@example.com.
Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk. Both are free and available 365 days a year.