[lead]Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) coach Ralph Hardwick lent his skills to a charity’s fight against child abuse.[/lead]
The community coach joined the NSPCC’s School Service as they visited Nova Primary in Bristol on January 25, to show the Board’s support for the ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ programme of assemblies and workshops.
Since 2013, the charity’s staff and volunteers have visited 90 schools and spoken to more than 24,000 primary school children in Bristol about what abuse is, the different forms it takes, and who they can speak to about any worries they may have.
Ralph took part in an interactive assembly with Key Stage 2 pupils, before leading a cricket session for children which launched a series of fundraising activities organised by the school in aid of the NSPCC.
He said: “[blockquote size=”full|half|third|fourth|two-thirds|three-fourths” align=”left|center|right” byline=”Ralph Hardwick”0|1|2|3|4|5″]It was fantastic to able to take part in the assembly and support the NSPCC in the important message they are sharing – that children can speak out about any worries they have, and there are trusted adults who will listen.
“There is a close link between sport and keeping children safe, which has been highlighted in the news in recent months, but I know sport can offer a brilliant place for children to enjoy themselves in a safe environment.
“It was great to be here to see how engaged the children were, and to encourage them to speak out and stay safe.”[/blockquote]
— GCB Cricket (@GCBCricket) January 25, 2017
Nova Primary School is holding a further NSPCC fundraising event next Friday in which youngsters will be encouraged to dress up as ‘what they want to be when they are older’.
Alex Bacon, assistant head teacher and school safeguarding lead, said: “The message of these assemblies is one we feel is really important, and is part of our whole school approach to keeping children safe.
“It is vital that children feel empowered and able to share any concerns they may have both in school and out of school, so we were delighted to welcome the NSPCC to speak to pupils about this issue and about Childline.”
Maddy Jarrett, NSPCC schools service organiser for Bristol, added: “We all want to keep our children safe from harm and one of the best ways to do this is to give youngsters, from a young age, the information and tools to protect themselves.
“Our interactive and age-sensitive assemblies have a huge impact. It is so important for children to have a voice, to know who to speak to, and that they shouldn’t stop speaking out until action is taken.
“We would like to say a big thanks to Gloucestershire Cricket Board for their support. We know they take safeguarding very seriously in the local area, and the further we can get this message out, the better.”
Year 6 pupils Anna and Harry took part in the assembly.
Anna said: “Children don’t have to keep worries inside them. Don’t be afraid to talk to a trusted adult.”
Harry added: “There are lots of children in the world who get abused, but they can get help. Call Childline.”
To volunteer with the NSPCC schools service, please email email@example.com. Meanwhile, any adult with concerns about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Children can call Childline on 0800 1111.