I love the way my children see the world.
I love the way their eyes light up when they see something for the first time that captivates them.
I love watching their little faces as they gaze up at the sky trying to pick out star constellations or watch fascinated as a spider runs along its web.
I love their excitement at the most trivial of things. Like when the postman arrives and they’re forever optimistic that there’ll be something for them (it’s almost always a bill for Mummy or Daddy).
I love the way they are utterly enthralled by a good book.
The innocence of childhood should be treasured and protected. Childhood is a precious and vital time and there are few things more terrifying and gut-wrenching to me than the thought of any of my children being the victim of abuse.
And whilst we see shocking and horrific headlines about sexual abuse, it is important to remember that abuse can take many other, often more subtle, forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.
It is devastating that child abuse is a reality and that the equivalent of 2 children in every primary school class in the UK suffers some form of abuse.
My heartfelt wish for my own children is that they would always be able to recognise if something that was happening to them was not acceptable or appropriate, and know that they should get help.
However, this can be a tricky conversation to start, especially with young children. I am always conscious of unduly scaring my children when discussing topics like this with them. Yet at the same time, want to ensure they are empowered with an awareness and understanding of how to protect themselves.
For that reason, I am incredibly thankful for the work of NSPCC NI, who work tirelessly to protect and educate our children on matters we often find it difficult to talk about.
The Speak Out Stay Safe campaign brought to school assemblies by NSPCC NI helps children of primary school age to be able to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect and teaches them how to speak out about it and get help.
When the team visited my daughter’s school assembly last year, she came home later that day full of lots of information and I was immediately impressed by how well the team had put the message across (given that she was only P2 at the time) in such an age-appropriate yet informative way.
In a campaign that links directly to the curriculum and features “Buddy” the mascot, NSPCC NI reached almost 64,000 local children with their Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies.
This amazing work is vital.
Become a Part of It
The NSPCC needs to bring their campaign to even more of our schools but can’t do this without the crucial support of volunteers.
As well as meeting new people and acquiring valuable new skills, a volunteer with NSPCC NI gets full training and, more importantly, gets to give something back. With a minimum commitment of just 3 morning or afternoon visits per month, what better dedication of your time than volunteering to be a part of this vital campaign.
For further information click here and hit the ‘Become a Volunteer’ button.