A £1.6 million boost to help NSPCC protect Scotland’s children
With growing concern for the safety of some children during the coronavirus crisis, NSPCC Scotland has launched a national advertising campaign.
The aim is to to promote its free and confidential helpline for adults so that more people know how to get advice and where to raise concerns about a child’s well-being.
The film, which will run on national television and social media, depicts a helpline expert taking a call from someone concerned for a neighbour’s child.
The UK Government has provided £1.6 million in funding so that the NSPCC can expand its helpline by employing more staff across two sites and raise public awareness of it.
While schools and social workers remain at the forefront of work to protect vulnerable children, expanding the NSPCC helpline will mean more adults will know they can contact experts with concerns about the safety and well-being of any child.
Matt Forde, NSPCC Scotland’s head of service, said: “One of the big challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic is ensuring that children are safe, now that so much of their everyday lives are hidden from public view.
“It is more important than ever that all of us in society play our part in looking out for children for whom home is not always the safest place.
“Thanks to this new funding, the NSPCC will be able to reach more adults across Scotland with the message that our helpline is here to provide confidential support and advice if they have any worries about the safety and wellbeing of a child.”
Trained helpline staff can offer advice and make informed decisions about whether further support is potentially needed for a child.
Iona Colvin, Scotland’s chief social work adviser, said: “Our communities are playing a tremendous role during the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting neighbours and paying special attention to individuals and families who are more vulnerable.
“The changes to the ways that families are living at this time may put some children at greater risk and also reduce opportunities for children to speak out for themselves.
“Whether you are a family member, friend or neighbour, please be alert to any signs that children might be at risk.
“If you have any concerns call the police or local social work department or you talk it through with the NSPCC.”
Last year the NSPCC helpline, which has around 100 members of staff, received 73,000 contacts from people with concerns about a child’s welfare.
It can be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 10pm or 9am to 6pm at the weekends on 0808 8005000 or email [email protected]