Volunteers needed to help keep children safe in Hartlepool

NSPCC staff Louise Willis-Keeler (left) and Claire Armstrong
NSPCC staff Louise Willis-Keeler (left) and Claire Armstrong

A CHARITY is on the lookout for volunteers to help deliver a programme aimed at safeguarding young children and helping them to understand abuse.

The NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service has been launched to give primary school pupils the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe from harm.

NSPCC staff Louise Willis-Keeler (left) and Claire Armstrong

NSPCC staff Louise Willis-Keeler (left) and Claire Armstrong

Using assemblies and workshops in schools, the service is designed to encourage children to recognise situations where they may need help and to tell them ways of accessing support.

And now the charity needs to recruit around 12 volunteers in Hartlepool to reach all of the primary schools across the town.

Lou Willis-Keeler, ChildLine Schools Service coordinator for Teesside, said: “This is a real opportunity to change the face of child protection in the UK.

Charity bosses say volunteers are central to the service and will work directly with groups of children.

The first stage of the service is an assembly aimed at providing definitions of abuse, places to go for help and an introduction to ChildLine before an interactive classroom-based workshop is held in school two weeks later.

As reported in the Mail after the charity visited Throston Primary School, in the town, last week, the NSPCC has also launched the Now I Know campaign, which aims to put ChildLine in every primary school giving youngsters the chance to act immediately if they fear abuse.

Volunteers to help with the ChildLine Schools Service must be 16 or over and will be provided will all of the relevant training and support required for the role.

Claire Armstrong, from Billingham who has just completed her training and is about to beginning volunteering for the ChildLine Schools Service, said: “I knew straight away that it was something I would like to get involved with.

“If we equip even one child with what’s necessary to speak out about the abuse they may be suffering then it is all worth it.

“I can’t think of a better reason to get involved.”

Volunteers will need to be available for part of the day during usual school hours and must be able to commit to ChildLine for the equivalent of one academic year.

Those who are interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Lou Willis-Keeler on 0796986459 or email louise.williskeeler@nspcc.org.uk.

For more information about the ChildLine Schools Service visit www.nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice.