Children’s charity the NSPCC is appealing to people in Hartlepool to help protect a generation of youngsters from abuse by volunteering for an important service.
The charity’s Schools Service delivers assemblies and classroom workshops to primary school aged children.
The NSPCC says it is a crucial service as it helps children to understand abuse and give them the confidence and courage to speak out and seek help if they ever need it.
Assemblies and workshops have already been delivered to 13 schools in Hartlepool but the charity aims to reach every child in the UK twice in their primary school years.
And in order to continue its work, the NSPCC says the service needs to recruit more volunteers from the local area.
Louise Willis-Keeler, NSPCC Schools Service area co-ordinator, 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 really believe that we can protect a generation of children - one primary school at a time.
“But in order for us to succeed, we need the community’s support. We need to recruit and train more volunteers so that we can continue what we’ve started.
“So if you have a few hours to spare and think you can help, please get in touch.”
The Schools Service was set up in response to the fact that most children who contact ChildLine about abuse are over 11 years old.
But in many cases the abuse they are experiencing has been going on for some time.
The schools service aims to reach out to and empower younger children to seek the help they may need.
The NSPCC runs a free helpline providing advice and support on 0808 800 5000. For more information on volunteering for the NSPCC Schools Service, email Louise.Willis-Keeler@NSPCC.org.uk or visit www.nspcc.org.uk/volunteer.