Monday, October 26th from Alan Stewart, Schools Service manager for NSPCC Scotland
Volunteers and staff from our NSPCC school service aren’t able to deliver our free Speak Out. Stay Safe assemblies in person at the moment, because of restrictions in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
But, so we can continue to work alongside staff in primary schools to help children know what to do and who to speak to if something is worrying or upsetting them, we have launched a virtual programme. We have teamed up with Ant and Dec to produce a virtual assembly, which can be shown in primary schools across the country.
Our dedicated schools service team across Scotland visited 833 primary schools during the last academic year, delivering our age-appropriate safeguarding sessions to more than 145,000 children in the country before lockdown was introduced.
The assembly, which features our mascot Buddy, helps children understand how to recognise different forms of abuse and identify a trusted adult should they ever have a concern.
Since May, the monthly number of referrals from the NSPCC helpline to agencies in Scotland, because of concerns about the wellbeing of a child, has been more than a third higher than pre-lockdown levels.
The national lockdown left many children trapped indoors in harmful and distressing situations for a number of months, and the main issues the helpline heard about were physical and emotional abuse and neglect.
Ant and Dec are helping us continue to reach children with our assemblies by hosting this new virtual version, addressing additional worries that children are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is vital that children know what to do and who to speak to if something is happening in their life which is making them feel scared or anxious.
By signing up to the free virtual assemblies with the supporting teaching materials, which are also available in British Sign Language (BSL), primary schools across this region can help us to protect children.
To sign up visit nspcc.org.uk/speakout
Schools Service manager for NSPCC Scotland
Monday, October 5th from Sue Brunton, Head of fostering and adoption in Scotland
Urgent appeal during Barnardo’s Scotland Fostering Campaign
The Coronavirus Pandemic and lockdown could see the need for foster carers in Scotland increasing.
Due to Covid-19 pressure on families has increased with many suffering job losses, bereavement and mental health issues which may have a drastic impact on the number of children needing foster care.
We expect referral numbers to climb now schools are open and teachers and other professionals identify vulnerable children and young people as needing support.
So we are urgently asking anyone who thinks they can help to come forward. It is more important now than ever for people to contact the charity to find out about fostering, to ensure the right foster carers are there when children and young people desperately need stability and a loving family, support when they need it the most.
Please contact us online at www.barnardos.org.uk/foster to find out more about fostering, becoming a foster carer and the support Barnardo’s can offer or call 0800 0277 280.
Head of fostering and adoption in Scotland
111 Oxgangs Road
Barnardo’s Scotland Fostering offers fostering across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire