Children from County Durham have been given the chance to take part in a special school assembly to help them understand abuse and how to stay safe.
Stanhope Barrington Church of England Primary School received the NSPCC Schools Service on Thursday, 12 November, with the Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, joining the charity’s staff and volunteers as an observer.
The crucial service delivers assemblies and classroom workshops to primary school aged children, helping them to understand abuse and giving them the confidence and courage to speak out and seek help if they ever need it.
The Schools Service was set up in response to the fact that most children who contact the NSPCC’s ChildLine service about abuse are over 11 years old, though in many cases the abuse they are experiencing has been going on for some time. The aim of the service is to reach out to and empower these younger children to seek the help they may need.
Christine Danby-Platt, NSPCC Schools Service area coordinator for County Durham said: “Children who suffer abuse often don’t recognise that what is happening to them is wrong. We need to help them understand what is and isn’t normal behaviour and offer help if they need it. By educating children in this way, we believe we can protect a generation of children, one primary school at a time.
“We’re thrilled that we were able to welcome The Right Revd Paul Butler to observe one of our assemblies in action in his role of Bishop of Durham and also lead Bishop for Children & Young People and on Safeguarding for the Church of England. In County Durham, our volunteers have already visited 192 schools and talked to 15,042 children around County Durham since the service began in 2011. We now want to reach children in the remaining primary schools in the area and would appeal to local schools to get in touch.”
Bishop Paul said: “I was delighted to be invited to be an observer and see this work in action. It is really important that both Children and those working with them understand abuse and how they can tackle it by seeking the help that is available to them. Programmes such as this run by the NSPCC are a crucial part of our response to tackling abuse and I fully support the work that they are doing.
“Being asked to observe in one of our own Diocesan Schools was a double delight and shows the importance we place on education in all its forms across our schools.”
For further information about the Schools Service, including volunteering opportunities, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/
To arrange for the service to visit your local school, contact Christine Danby-Platt on 0781 2087985 or email [email protected]