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NSPCC chief visits Gravesend school to teach children about staying safe

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 April 2018

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless with Key Stage 1 pupils. Picture: NSPCC

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless with Key Stage 1 pupils. Picture: NSPCC

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The NSPCC’s top man visited a Gravesend primary school to see how the charity is helping to keep children safe from abuse.

Peter Wanless with volunteers Laura Ritchie and Angela Ellis-Leagas. Picture: NSPCC Peter Wanless with volunteers Laura Ritchie and Angela Ellis-Leagas. Picture: NSPCC

Chief executive Peter Wanless spent the afternoon at Istead Rise Primary School in Downs Road on Wednesday, April 18, and took part in a Speak Out Stay Safe assembly delivered to Key Stage 1 pupils.

Head of the school Matthew Currie said: “At Istead Rise we want to make sure that all members of the school community have as much information and knowledge as possible about how to keep safe.

“As a school, we believe that the more this information is shared, the more chance we have of preventing instances of abuse.”

Last year the programme reached 45,716 children by visiting 163 schools across Kent, and NSPCC staff and volunteers hope to reach even more this year.

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless with Key Stage 1 pupils. Picture: NSPCC NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless with Key Stage 1 pupils. Picture: NSPCC

With the help of mascot Buddy, specially trained volunteers visit primary schools and teach children, in an age-appropriate way, about abuse in all its forms, how to recognise the signs and where to get help – including via Childline.

During the assembly, the children are shown how to memorise the Childline number 0800 1111 using their fingers.

There is also a classroom-based workshop for children in Years 5 and 6 which builds on the key safeguarding messages of the assemblies.

Speak Out Stay Safe was launched in 2011 after research showed the majority of children who contact Childline are aged over 11, and many said that the abuse had begun years before.

It was originally delivered to nine to 11-year-olds but since April 2016 volunteers have been speaking to children from the age of four.

Mr Wanless said: “Abuse can happen to anyone, at any age, in any community.

“But by delivering this service to children aged four to 11, the NSPCC is not only equipping them with the knowledge to prevent abuse but also the confidence to speak out and the courage to seek help via Childline or a trusted adult.”

Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111.

If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, dial the emergency services on 999.

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