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Retired teacher delivers Stay Safe assemblies advising schoolchildren to speak up

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A retired teacher from the Swaffham area is helping to keep Norfolk schoolchildren safe.

Graham Steel, 58, volunteers for a schools service campaign which is running assemblies across Norfolk.

Mr Steel has been speaking to schools for the NSPCC Schools Service’s Speak Out Stay Safe project.

The programme provides children with the knowledge they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect.

Pupils are taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or to Childline.

And Mr Steel, who lives at Castle Acre, is on board with the campaign.

He said: “I chose to volunteer because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself.

“I wanted to keep working with children and fellow teachers, do some good and have a purpose.

“And it has been such good fun and so rewarding”.

Graham Steel who volunteers with NSPCC
Graham Steel who volunteers with NSPCC

NSPCC volunteers spoke to more than 17,600 children in Norfolk throughout the last academic year.

A total of 96 schools were able to listen to advice through the assemblies in 2017/18.

“The children respond very well to what we tell them in Speak Out Stay Safe,” Mr Steel continued.

“The more you get them actively participating, the more engaged they’ll be and the more they remember from the assembly.

“I think it works really well to have a male and female volunteer delivering a workshop together.

“Some children naturally gravitate towards women and some towards men, so should a child wish to disclose anything, they then have that option”.

To apply to become a volunteer, visit the NSPCC website at www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/volunteering-nspcc-childline/.

Katy Coles, Schools Service Area coordinator for Norfolk said: “We have had children who have spoken out about abuse as a direct result of our volunteers going into schools delivering the programme.

“I really admire that the volunteers give up their time to make a difference to the lives of children”.

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