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TV Presenter and ChildLine Counsellor, Anna Williamson, goes back to school

Anna-W-visits-her-old-school-for-NIK

Anna Williamson returned to her old primary school, Ardeley St Lawrence, to join pupils in backing ChildLine’s Now I Know campaign

The campaign – called Now I Know – is raising funds for the ChildLine School Service. The Service uses specially trained volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse, giving them the skills to protect themselves and showing them where to go to for help. The service is just launching in Hertfordshire and the team are looking for local volunteers to help deliver the service in schools throughout the county.

Commenting after the visit to her old primary school, TV presenter and ChildLine Counsellor, Anna Williamson, said:

“It was great to be able to visit my old primary school, Ardeley St Lawrence and help support the latest ChildLine campaign – Now I Know. Education about abuse and arming children with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and where to go to for help is so important. I spent many happy years at Ardeley primary school, but for some children, school isn’t a happy experience if they’re a victim of bullying, for example. Letting children know that there is always someone to talk to about any of their problems from an early age is vital, and I’m so pleased to be able to support this latest campaign and raise awareness of the ChildLine Schools Service.”

The need for a preventative service of this kind is underlined by a new study conducted for the charity by YouGov, which shows that only 37% of adults in the East taking part in the survey think they would have been able to recognise abuse if it was happening to them at primary school and less than 8% claim that they would have known who to ask for help if they were being abused when they were aged 9-11. 35% thought that educating children aged 9 -11 in an age appropriate way about what abuse is and where to get help in a school environment could be a powerful weapon against child abuse.

The Service, which is just launching in Hertfordshire, has already visited 270,895 children in 3,956 schools across the UK, and has proved incredibly popular with parents and teachers.* 99 per cent of schools across the UK who provided feedback in 2012/13 claimed that their pupils’ knowledge of child abuse and bullying was enhanced as a result, whilst 91 per cent stated that their pupils were now more aware of who to talk to if they felt unsafe.

ChildLine Schools Service Area Co-ordinator, Rachel Burrage, said:

“It’s great to be able to now launch the service in Hertfordshire, and start recruiting volunteers to help run assemblies and workshops, who will all be fully trained and supported throughout the process. We are holding interviews for the first round of Hertfordshire volunteers on, Friday 8 and Wednesday 13 November. Deadline for applications is 4 November, and those wishing to apply can visit the  NSPCC website  or call me for an informal chat on 07795 970633.”

NSPCC research shows that, on average, at least two children in every primary classroom will have suffered some form of abuse or neglect1. But ChildLine, a service provided by the NSPCC, says the majority of children who contact its helpline are aged over 11 and often talk about abuse that happened months or even years earlier.

Rachel continued: “The service has proved incredibly popular with parents and teachers.* 99 per cent of schools across the UK who provided feedback in 2012/13 claimed that their pupils’ knowledge of child abuse and bullying was enhanced as a result, whilst 91 per cent stated that their pupils were now more aware of who to talk to if they felt unsafe. We want children to be able to say ‘Now I Know’ – and not, ‘I wish I had known’. And we want everyone to play their part by looking out for children and reinforcing the messages about speaking up. ”

Schools wishing to find out more about the service should contact, Rachel Burrage, on 07795 970633 or email rachel.burrage@nspcc.org.uk