Fundraising groups, schools and families across North Staffordshire have thrown their weight behind a special day calling on people across the UK to play, raise money and help keep children safe.
The children’s charity NSPCC is launching its new flagship ‘Childhood Day’ on the 11th June, encouraging people across the county to get involved and play with family, friends or workmates.
The North Staffordshire Fundraising Branch of the NSPCC, as well as the Leek and Moorlands District have organised two events to highlight the day and promote NSPCC fundraising within the Stoke-on-Trent and wider North Staffordshire community.
A ‘Six Towns Walk’ will take place on Childhood Day starting in Tunstall at 10am before heading to Burslem. Around 12 noon, walkers will gather at Hanley Town Hall to have a rest and collect donations, then they will continue to Stoke Town Hall and Fenton, before finishing in Longton at around 2:45pm.
A family ‘Play Day’ will also be taking place at Heakley Hall Farm in Norton from 2pm – 5pm on June 13. This event will include lots of activities for children and has been backed by the Rotary Club of Leek.
Sue Wardle, NSPCC North Staffordshire Fundraising Branch chair, said: “We are looking forward to Childhood Day this year and it would be great to see people from across North Staffordshire support our ‘Six Towns Walk’, and the ‘Play Day’ in what is a wonderful canal side location.
“As a branch we are interested to see if anyone would like to undertake one event a year to help raise funds such as a sponsored run or walk, a coffee morning, or a cake sale. We would particularly like to engage with younger people, schools and universities.”
The NSPCC has a big presence in North Staffordshire through its service centre Carole House, located in Newcastle under Lyme, and through the ongoing Together for Childhood partnership in Chell, Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes.
This sees the NSPCC joining with partners including The Big Local, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police, NHS trusts, children and families, the voluntary sector and schools – with the aim of building a better future for young people and their families by identifying and addressing problems at a local level in a way that everybody understands.
Burnwood Community School in Chell Heath will be partnering up with Bee Active to celebrate Childhood Day with various activities for pupils including an obstacle course, giant bowling, penalty shoot-outs and water races.
Rebecca Ball, children’s services practitioner at Carole House, said: “We would like to thank Burnwood Community School for supporting Childhood Day this year, as well as the numerous other individuals and groups who will be backing our flagship day.
“Play is an important part of childhood and has a whole load of benefits. After the year we’ve had, we could all do with a bit more play. That's why this Childhood Day we are coming together to play, raise money and help keep children safe.”
Childhood Day comes as the NSPCC-run service Childline releases stark new data that highlights the huge toll of the pandemic on young people.
Since April last year Childline has carried out 73,088 counselling sessions about mental or emotional health alone. 5,646 of these counselling sessions were with children aged 11 or under, an increase of nearly a third (29%) when compared to the year before.
The charity can also reveal that in 2020/21, the first full year of living under Coronavirus restrictions, it has delivered 16,610 counselling sessions about abuse. Counselling sessions about emotional abuse increased by 18% when compared to the year before.
If you have any inquiries about fundraising in North Staffordshire, please contact Sue Wardle on 01782 550258 or 07710 234223.