With growing concern for the safety of some children during the coronavirus crisis the NSPCC wants more people to know how to get advice and support and where to raise concerns about a child’s wellbeing. The new campaign has been backed by Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner as part of its commitment to ‘Young people becoming adults’ – a priority ofthe Police and Crime Plan.
The charity is launching a new TV and advertising campaign today (May 4) across the UK to promote its free and confidential helpline for adults.
The film, which will run on national television and across social media, depicts a helpline expert taking a call from someone concerned for the wellbeing of a neighbour’s child. The Government has provided £1.6m in funding so that the NSPCC can expand its helpline by employing more staff across two sites and raise public awareness of it.
NSPCC CEO, Peter Wanless, said: “Coronavirus is presenting us with a number of huge challenges, one of which is how we keep children safe when so much of everyday life is going on behind closed doors.
“It is crucial that all of us in society recognise we have a role to play in looking out for those young people for whom home may not always be the safest place.
“Thanks to the funding from the Government the NSPCC will be able to reach many more adults across the UK with the message that our helpline is here to provide confidential support and advice if they have any worries about the wellbeing of a child.”
The Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, said: “Our priority is to keep vulnerable children safe, which is why we are backing the NSPCC helpline to be the first port of a call for anyone concerned about a child’s welfare.
“We all have a role to play in protecting vulnerable children, particularly now many are staying at home and may face greater risks.
“Whether you are a neighbour or member of the community, we must all be the eyes and ears on the ground for these children, and support our brilliant social workers in keeping children safe.”
Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include:
- aggressive or repeated shouting
- hearing hitting or things being broken
- children crying for long periods of time
- very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves
- children looking dirty or not changing their clothes
- children being withdrawn or anxious.
Last year the NSPCC helpline, which has around 100 staff, received 73,000 contacts from people with concerns about a child’s welfare.
It can be reached 24 hours a day by email – firstname.lastname@example.org – or through its online reporting form. Its team of experts can also be called Monday to Friday 8am-10pm or 9am-6pm at the weekends on 0808 8005000.