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Charity’s schools service teaches children to keep themselves safe
A new scheme using classroom workshops to sensitively tackle child abuse took place at a Bingley primary school yesterday.
The ChildLine Schools Service aims to ensure that children recognise abuse in all its forms, including bullying, and how to protect themselves and get help.
Mr Berry watched a workshop being delivered to a total of 30 pupils at the Barnaby Road school.
Commenting on his visit, Coun Berry said: “All children have the right to be happy and safe, and this new service has an important role to play in educating children in Bradford about how to do just that.”
The schools service is provided free of charge and focuses on children, aged nine to 11 years old.
It is led by volunteers who deliver assemblies followed by an interactive workshop a week later.
William Shaw, ChildLine schools service manager for Yorkshire & the Humber, said: “Research tells us that the majority of children who contact ChildLine for advice, information and support are over 11 years old.
“However, we know the majority of children who are subject to a child protection plan are under the age of 11.
“These children are not connected so much with the outside world. In fact, their world is quite small.
“So if abuse is happening to them at that age, then it’s very difficult for children to speak up. That’s why we want to educate children earlier and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe or seek help if they need it.”
The service is currently being rolled out across the UK and now needs to recruit a national team of 4,000 volunteers to reach the 23,420 schools and more than 1.8 million children in three years.
The service in West Yorkshire is looking for volunteers from the Bradford area to deliver the programme to all primary schools in the city.
l For more information about the ChildLine Schools Service and for details about how to volunteer in Bradford, visit nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice.