Amid growing concerns about the impact of COVID 19 on children’s safety and mental health and wellbeing, the NSPCC is holding a second virtual ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ assembly on Facebook on Tuesday February 23rd at 10am.
The special broadcast suitable for children aged five and over aims to help them understand how to speak to a trusted adult if they feel anxious or worried, and it explains the support that Childline can offer.
It will also focus on some additional concerns that some children are experiencing due to the pandemic.
The assembly will see the return of guest hosts Ant & Dec and features an appearance from comedian David Walliams. The TV duo who have been long term supporters of the children’s charity hosted the first online assembly in June last year which received over 100,000 views on Facebook and YouTube.
A recording of Tuesday’s online assembly will also be available on the NSPCC’s website, Facebook and YouTube channel after the event for anyone who misses it.
One Facebook user who watched the first assembly said:” My boys loved it and following a family bereavement this gave them an opportunity to talk about their feelings. We took blank paper and marked it for every worry or fear we had and shared.”
With many vulnerable children still facing increased risks at home and with others struggling with their mental health due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, it’s vital that children know what to do and who to speak if something is worrying or upsetting them.
The coronavirus related worries the assembly will cover include, children not being able to see their family and friends, changes in daily routines, experiencing new feelings and spending more time online.
Guest hosts Ant & Dec said:
Ant: “After what has been an incredibly difficult start to the year for many young people, we feel privileged to once again be hosting the NSPCC’s virtual assembly for children and their families.
Dec: “We hope we can remind children that they don’t have to just carry their worries with them – they can always speak to someone they trust if they’re feeling sad, overwhelmed, or unsafe.”
Service Head of School Service, Janet Hinton said:
“The lockdown has turned the lives of children upside down and many are struggling to cope with the challenges it has posed.
“Although our trained ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ staff can’t currently go into schools, it is essential that every child knows who they can turn to if they need help and support.
“After watching the assembly, parents and carers can continue this conversation with their children by visiting the NSPCC website where they can find additional activities.”
Prior to the pandemic, ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ had been delivered in 90% of primary schools in the UK and Channel Island with trained NSPCC volunteers and staff delivering the assembly and workshop with the help of ‘Speak Out. Stay safe’ mascot, Buddy the speech bubble.
The importance of empowering children to understand that they have the right to speak out and stay safe has been highlighted in a recent court case which saw a man jailed for three years after a girl spoke about the abuse she had suffered following seeing the NSPCC assembly at school.