Volunteers sought to keep children safe from abuse

The NSPCC is looking for volunteers to run assemblies in schools.

The NSPCC is looking for volunteers to run assemblies in schools. - Credit: Archant

A charity is looking for volunteers in North Somerset to help keep children safe from abuse.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is appealing for people to support its work teaching primary school children about the different types of abuse and where they can go for help should they ever need it.

The children's charity funds a Schools Service across the country, which sees trained members of staff and volunteers deliver free safeguarding sessions in primary schools that sign up.

It is looking for more people to deliver the assemblies to pupils in North Somerset so more children can hear the vital message.

Gemma Darby, area co-ordinator for the charity's Schools Service in Somerset, said: "At the moment, we don't have enough volunteers to help us deliver these really important safeguarding sessions in schools across Somerset, particularly in the north of the county and across BANES. It's why we're appealing to anyone who has a passion for protecting children to help us empower the next generation to know about the types of abuse and identify trusted adults should they have a concern, who will be able to take action to keep them safe."

In the 2018-19 academic year, the programme was delivered to more than 17,300 children aged five to 11 at 92 primary schools across BANES, North Somerset and Somerset.

The Speak Out, Stay Safe assemblies and workshops help them learn in an age-appropriate way about physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect and bullying.

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NSPCC research shows two children in every classroom, on average, have suffered abuse or neglect, while one in 20 has been sexually abused.

Tamsin Sheldrake, from the NSPCC's Schools Service in Somerset, said: "Our volunteers have to feel comfortable talking about what may initially seem a difficult subject for adults to discuss with children.

"They take our mascot Buddy into schools to help engage the children in a light-hearted way, using simple language and fun activities to help them learn about abuse in a non-scary way."

To find out more or to sign up, call Tamsin or Gemma on 07557 030294 or email somersetschoolsservice@nspcc.org.uk.