Plymouth primary school pupils help children Speak out Stay safe with fundraising danceathon

Children at a Plymouth primary school have raised almost £1,400 for the NSPCC after getting their dancing shoes on for a huge fundraising event they organised themselves.

Pupils who sit on the School Council at Salisbury Road Primary School planned a danceathon to raise money for the children’s charity after 485 students met the NSPCC’s Schools Service team, and mascot Buddy, when they visited to deliver ‘Speak out Stay safe’ assemblies and workshops.

The interactive and age-appropriate safeguarding sessions teach children about the different types of abuse and how to identify trusted adults they can speak to if they ever have a worry or concern.

The danceathon started with teachers, children and their parents dancing in the playground before the start of the school day, with the theme continuing throughout the day.

Year 2 pupil, Layla, sits on the School Council alongside Esther who is in year 6.

“The danceathon was so much fun and I loved Buddy the mascot,” said Layla.

“We raised lots of money to help children who are having a bad time and learnt about the safe grown-ups we can talk to if we are worried about anything.”

The children raised a total of £1,379.62 for the children’s charity’s Schools Service.

Esther added: “I am so proud that our school has raised so much money for an important cause.

“This money can now help to protect lots of vulnerable children. I learnt so much from the workshops and can now use this information to spread awareness of the support the NSPCC can provide.”

Headteacher Ciara Moran said: “The children loved the workshops and were keen to support other local children. We are very proud of them and have been delighted to see them putting our school values of unity and respect into action.”

The NSPCC’s Schools Service programme is offered free of charge to all primary schools across the UK and the Channel Islands.

In the last academic year, almost 6,000 children attended Speak out Stay safe assemblies in 24 schools across Plymouth alone.

NSPCC School’s Organiser Kerry Bidewell said: “We could not do this important preventative work, or offer services to local families out of our centre Plymouth, without the support of fundraisers like the children at Salisbury Road Primary School.

“I have been incredibly impressed by how passionate all of the children are about helping others, and their hard work and dedication to putting on such a fun fundraiser has been really worthwhile.

“They have raised a fantastic amount of money for the charity, and in doing so, are helping us to help keep local children safe. We are very grateful to all of them.”

Nicola Westcott, School Council Lead said: “It has been fantastic to work with the NSPCC on such an informative and vital campaign.

“The children have really engaged in both the assemblies and the workshops, and now have a greater awareness of the support provided.

“Both pupils and parents have really got onboard and have raised an astounding amount from our sponsored danceathon.”

On average, at least two children in every primary school class has suffered abuse or neglect, making it vitally important that all primary schools help to equip their children with the knowledge and skills to speak up if something is worrying them.

“Kerry added: “We are extremely grateful that the school is such a staunch supporter of the NSPCC. The charity relies on donations for 90% of its income, which enables us to run services, including those out of our centre in Plymouth and by our Schools Service, which is offered free to all primary schools.”

Two services operate from the charity’s service centre in Plymouth, including Letting the Future In  (LTFI), which is a therapeutic service that supports young people who have been sexually abused to rebuild their lives, and Turn the Page (TTP), a preventative programme that supports children and young people who are displaying harmful sexual behaviour.

The NSPCC in Plymouth is also heavily involved in the Together for Childhood partnership, which is a ten-year programme of work that aims to prevent child sexual abuse across the city. More information is available on the charity’s website.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Schools Service can contact 0121 227 7577 or email volunteerrecruitment@nspcc.org.uk.

For more information on how you can get involved in fundraising for the NSPCC, contact Alison Armer on Alison.Armer@nspcc.org.uk or 07779341767