Campaign to protect our schoolchildren

The press launch of the ChildLine Schools Service with special guests ChildLine Founder Esther Rantzen CBE, NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless and Former NBA Basketball Star, John Amaechi plus Head teachers from schools across the region, and ChildLine Schools Service volunteers

The press launch of the ChildLine Schools Service with special guests ChildLine Founder Esther Rantzen CBE, NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless and Former NBA Basketball Star, John Amaechi plus Head teachers from schools across the region, and ChildLine Schools Service volunteers

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THE NSPCC has launched an ambitious appeal across Wigan to fund its pioneering ChildLine Schools Service in all the borough’s primaries.

The £1m appeal will put ChildLine in all of the borough’s schools and the rest of Greater Manchester by 2016, and every two years thereafter, helping nine to 11-year-olds to understand abuse, give them the confidence to talk about it and the knowledge of where to find help if they ever need it.

Now the charity is calling on Wigan folk to get involved with fund-raising activities and support local children through this appeal.

Esther Rantzen, ChildLine founder was in Manchester this week to launch the appeal with NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless. She said: “The NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service wants to help prevent child abuse before it starts. Often children who are suffering from abuse simply don’t understand that what is happening to them is wrong, and they cannot seek help because they are unable to speak out and describe the situation.

“This appeal will fund trained volunteers to go into every primary school across Wigan and the borough. Using the expertise and sensitivity ChildLine has developed over the last 28 years of being a trusted place for millions of children, our volunteers will help children understand and identify abuse in an age appropriate way and who to turn to if they need help.”

Psychologist, former NBA basketball star and NSPCC Ambassador, John Amaechi joined Esther to launch the appeal. He said: “I’m delighted to give my support to the ChildLine Schools Service Appeal in Greater Manchester, as I believe all children have the right to be happy and safe, and this service has a very important role to play in educating children about how to do just that. It is a really powerful intervention that really could help us prevent child abuse.”

The service is provided free of charge and led by volunteers who deliver school assemblies 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 has already visited over 2,815 children in 44 primary schools in Wigan and has proved popular with parents, teachers and children.

After a Schools Service visit, 98 per cent of pupils understood they had the right to feel safe, and 98 per cent said if they had a problem they now knew it was best to talk to a trusted adult.