More than 1,700 primary school children in Jersey will be attending assemblies to help them learn about the different kinds of abuse, during a week of visits by the NSPCC's Childline mascot Buddy.

The children's charity will be visiting eight island schools during April 29 and May 3 as part of its Schools Service, which offers the free Speak Out Stay Safe programme to all primary schools across the UK and Channel Islands.

With the help of Buddy, trained staff and volunteers for the NSPCC teach children about the different kinds of abuse, how to recognise the signs, and help them identify trusted adults they can speak to if they have a worry or concern.

The children learn about physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect and bullying. The assemblies are tailored to different year groups to ensure the content is age-appropriate.

The week of visits is possible thanks to funding from Ogier, which is supporting the charity's Schools Service programme in Jersey over the next 12 months.

Michelle Green, Schools Service Area Co-ordinator for the Channel Islands, says: "We are very grateful to Ogier for their funding, which will be used from this month to help us deliver important safeguarding messages to children across Jersey.

"It's vital that we are having these ongoing conversations with children from an early age, and in an appropriate way. Children need to know who they can talk to if they have a worry or concern, because we know that on average two children in every classroom has suffered abuse or neglect.

"We aim to visit every primary school across the Channel Islands every three years to deliver our Speak Out Stay Safe programme."

Kate Kirk, director of marketing at Ogier, said "We are very pleased to support the NSPCC in extending this nationwide programme for primary schools to children in Jersey.

Our community focus is on education and this programme is a fantastic way to help children develop the skills to be able to get help and to keep themselves safe."

The assemblies are for children aged 5-11 and teach them about safeguarding and abuse in a lively, interactive and memorable way.

They learn about the NSPCC's Childline service and how trained counsellors are available around the clock to listen to children about anything worrying them.

Additional workshops are attended by pupils in year 5 and 6 that look at a series of scenarios, and the difference between good and bad secrets.  

In 2017/18 the charity's Schools Service team visited more than 8,000 schools and spoke with around 1.8 million children in the UK and Channel Islands.

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