Monday, 2 July 2012

ChildLine Schools Service needs volunteers in Lancaster

ChildLine has launched a service for primary age children in Lancaster, the ChildLine Schools Service, and is looking for volunteers to get involved.

All children have the right to be happy and safe, but many suffer abuse in silence, unable to speak out. The ChildLine Schools Service is aimed at primary age children, particularly focusing on seven to 11 year olds, and aims to help them understand what abuse is, including bullying, how to protect themselves and where to get help and support if needed.

The ChildLine Schools Service needs volunteers in Lancaster to deliver assemblies at local schools followed by an interactive workshop a week later.

The presentations and messages delivered at schools have been developed alongside children, parents, carers and teachers. They are sensitive, age appropriate and engaging. The Service is provided free of charge and focuses on primary school children, aged seven to 11 years old.

By 2016, the ChildLine Schools Service aims to visit every primary school in the UK at least every two years.

If you are interested, you must be able to volunteer for part of the day during usual school hours (between 9.00am and 3.00pm). Full volunteer training and support is provided by ChildLine, alongside the opportunity to make a real difference to local children as part of a committed team.

“Research undertaken by the NSPCC shows that the majority of children who contact ChildLine for advice, information and support are over 11 years old," notes Chris Dunn, ChildLine Area Co-ordinator for Lancaster. "However we know that the majority of children who are subject to a child protection plan are under the age of 11.

“These younger 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.”

In keeping with ChildLine’s 25 year history of volunteering, the new schools service will be led by volunteers. We are looking for people across Lancaster who are committed to helping protect and safeguard children. There is no set ‘type’ of volunteer but we want communities to be involved and see the Service as belonging to them locally. Volunteers will ideally be people who can engage with children and are confident to deliver presentations. Volunteers will work in pairs and will be given regular support, guidance and training by ChildLine to ensure they are able to deliver specially designed assemblies and workshops.

“What’s key about our Schools Service is that we need a great team of volunteers," Chris explained. "It's very much about mobilising the community and to make child protection everyone’s responsibility.”

First piloted in 2010, there are two phases to the new service. The first is a school assembly that provides definitions of abuse, places to go for help and an introduction to ChildLine. The second phase takes place one to two weeks later and is an interactive classroom-based workshop where the messages are reinforced.

Graham Brough from Arkholme Primary School, in Lancaster said: “The content and style of the workshops was fun, varied and age appropriate. The children were all able to join in and answer questions regardless of their ability or emotional development and the materials were sensitively used without being graphic”

• If you would like to find out more information and to volunteer your time you can apply directly at http://www.nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice or contact Chris Dunn,
ChildLine Schools Services co-ordinator in Lancaster, on 07976 065343 or email: chris.dunn@nspcc.org.uk

• View the latest recruitment video at: www.nspcc.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-your-time/help-in-schools/schools-service-volunteer_wda85310.html


• If schools would like to know more about booking a ChildLine schools service assembly please contact Chris Dunn, ChildLine Schools Services co-ordinator in Lancaster, on 07976 065343 or email: chris.dunn@nspcc.org.uk

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