Free NSPCC service which helps keep Sussex children safe from abuse receives a cash boost from Police and Crime Commissioner

Katy Bourne awarded the charity’s Speak out Stay safe service £5,000 from the Safer in Sussex Community Safety fund which was launched by her office in 2013 for crime reduction and community safety initiatives.

With the help of mascot Buddy, specially trained NSPCC volunteers teach pupils aged four to 11 about the different forms of abuse and who they can turn to for help, such as a trusted adult or the NSPCC’s Childline service. Following the assembly one hour classroom workshops are also held for children in Years 5 and 6.

It aims to reach children with vital, age appropriate messages to potentially stop abuse before it occurs.

In the last academic year 2017/18, the service visited 153 schools across the whole of Sussex and spoke to 39,818 primary school pupils.

Amanda Rocca, NSPCC Schools Area Co-ordinator for Sussex, said: “We are extremely grateful to Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

“On average two children in every primary school classroom have experienced abuse or neglect but many children do not seek help or tell anyone what is happening until they are much older.

“This vital funding means we can continue to visit primary schools across Sussex and deliver these important safeguarding messages directly to children through assemblies and workshops.

”So we can reach even more children I would encourage schools that haven’t had a visit yet to sign up for one. It’s completely free and also links directly to the curriculum, helping schools meet their statutory requirements.”

Commending the NSPCC on its successful bid Mrs Bourne said: “As PCC I have a statutory responsibility for commissioning county-wide community safety and crime prevention programmes, which is why this is a focus in my Police & Crime Plan.

“The NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe service is a great example of an innovative local project that aims to make our communities safer.

“Since launching the Safer in Sussex Fund in December 2013, nearly £1.5 million has been allocated to support 300 crime reduction and community safety initiatives.

“This money makes a real difference to local people and neighbourhoods. The high numbers of bids each time shows organisations and community groups are committed to keeping Sussex a safe place in which to live.

“I look forward to following the progress of the project over the coming months.”