TV personality Esther Rantzen’s ChildLine charity is looking for 10 Rotherham volunteers to join its war on child abuse.
The charity, which operates the UK’s only confidential 24-hour helpline for youngsters, has announced ambitious plans to visit every primary school in the UK to help youngsters understand abuse and how to stay safe.
And in the wake of the town’s child sex grooming scandal, Childline is now looking for people in Rotherham to help deliver its ChildLine Schools Service programme to 93 schools and more than 20,900 children in three years.
Childline says the sessions are sensitively tailored to ensure topics are covered in a way that children can understand and have been approved as suitable for nine to 11-year-olds by child protection specialists.
Using assemblies and workshops, the new service is designed to encourage children to recognise situations where they may need help and to tell them ways of accessing support.
William Shaw, ChildLine Schools Services Manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "This is a real opportunity to change the face of child protection in the UK. The ChildLine Schools Service is fundamentally focused on safeguarding young people and we believe it will make a significant contribution to preventing child abuse.”
Research by the NSPCC shows that an average of two children in every primary school classroom has suffered from abuse or neglect and the majority of cases go undetected.
Childline says that these young children often feel alone and desperate and many have nobody to turn to.
Most children who contact ChildLine are over 11 years of age, but many have suffered in silence for months or even years, leaving themselves and other children at risk from perpetrators.
During its 18 month pilot, the ChildLine Schools Service visited 1,400 schools and spoke to 90,000 children. Now the service aims to recruit a national army of 4,000 volunteers to reach the 23,420 schools and over 1.8 million children in three years.
Childline founder and president Esther Rantzen said: “As a result of our work so far, we have already found that some young children have been able for the first time to disclose abuse and have been protected from it."
To find out more about volunteering for the ChildLine Schools Service please visit the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The NSPCC will launch a national appeal to raise money for the service early next year.
Child sex victims 'not getting help they need' Click here.