Manchester City’s James Milner has kick started a campaign to support victims of child abuse with a £25,000 donation of his own.
The Manchester City midfielder joined ChildLine at St Dunstan’s RC Primary School in Manchester last week to back the new Now I Know campaign.
The campaign aims to put ChildLine in every primary school across the region with visits once every two years to talk to children about abuse, how to protect themselves and where to get help if they need it.
James Milner commented on his delight to have the opportunity to visit St Dunstan’s and see the ChildLine Schools Service in action first hand.
“All children have the right to be happy and safe and the ChildLine Schools Service helps play important role in educating children about the issues of abuses and it encourages children to talk to someone if they are worried about anything,” he said.
“It is an excellent scheme which will give children real confidence they will be listened to and I whole-heartedly support the new Now I Know campaign for the service.”
The Schools Service has already visited 17,980 children in 249 schools in Greater Manchester.
The Schools Service is delivered by trained volunteers and provided for free to all primary schools across the UK.
Through special assemblies and workshops, it gives Year 5 and Year 6 children the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe from harm, in clear, reassuring and age-appropriate language
The sessions are sensitively tailored to ensure topics are covered in a way that children can understand and have been approved as suitable for nine to 11-year-olds by child protection specialists.
Sue Tabner, ChildLine area coordinator for Manchester, said: “Research tells us that the majority of children who contact ChildLine for advice, information, and support, are over 11 years old.
“However we know that the majority of children who are subject to a child protection plan re under the age of 11.
“We want to educate children earlier, and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe and seek help if they need it.”
It has proved to be very popular with parents and teachers and 99% of schools across the UK provided positive feedback in 2012/13, claiming that their pupils’ knowledge of child abuse and bullying was enhanced as a result.
To find out more about the service and how you can get involved and support the campaign, please visit www.nowiknow.org.uk
For more information on The James Milner Foundation please visit: www.thejamesmilnerfoundation.com or @JM7Foundation