• Churnet Sound Newsdesk

Together for Childhood launches online safety campaign in Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent’s Together for Childhood partnership will launch an online safety campaign for parents and carers this week as the UK marks Safer Internet Day.

Beginning on 9 February and lasting six months, the campaign will see a number of organisations working with schools and families in the Chell, Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes areas to develop and highlight online safety resources available to them to ensure children can navigate the online space in a safe way. These will include teaching resources such as lesson plans and homework tasks that can be easily adapted, as well as fun activities for children to take part in at home.

Together for Childhood is a ground-breaking partnership which sees the NSPCC joining with community groups 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.

One resource that will be promoted during the new campaign is the NSPCC and O2 co-created online safety website Net Aware - a website where parents/carers, as well as teachers can learn about the apps, games and social media sites that children are using and take away tips and advice.

During the campaign, free 45-minute expert-led online safety webinars will be available for parents and carers to join. The presentation covers what children and young people are doing online; parental concerns; what the risks are for young people in terms of what they see, do and who they meet online; how to manage these risks as a parent; as well as sources of help and support.

Ally Sultana, NSPCC Campaigns Manager, said: “At a time when children are using the internet more than ever during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it has never been more crucial that children have the skills to navigate the online world safely.

“During the campaign, we hope that we can highlight existing, as well as developing new online safety resources that are available to the local communities in Chell, Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes with the aim of raising online safety awareness.

“I hope that as many parents and schools can get on board with what we are trying to achieve, and also sign up to our useful online safety webinars.”

Emma Wickham, acting headteacher at Burnwood Community School, said: “As a school we celebrate and promote safer internet day every year, but due to the pandemic children are spending longer on the internet accessing games and activities.

“I speak as a parent myself when I say that we need to be aware of the concerns around online safety as it’s fast moving. Our parents as well as staff members will be accessing the online safety webinars during this campaign.

“We will be fully engaged with this campaign and we will be promoting it regularly in school through assemblies and competitions once everyone is back to share these vital messages.”

To join or arrange a webinar session, please contact: TogetherforchildhoodStoke-on-Trent@NSPCC.org.uk

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