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Government announces special funding for the NSPCC helpline to help protect children from abuse during coronavirus crisis

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@EducationGovUK has today (April 19th) announced a £1.6million investment in the @NSPCC helpline in an effort to protect more children from abuse and neglect, both at home and when they go online.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “Unfortunately home is not always the safest place for a child to be. With schools closed and teachers and social workers’ access to vulnerable children more limited, the onus is on all of us to recognise signs of abuse and neglect.

“The NSPCC Helpline is a crucial cog in the child protection system and this funding will enable us to increase awareness of our team of experts across the country and to expand their capability to provide a safe and confidential space for adults concerned about children during the coronavirus crisis.” 

The funding will enable the NSPCC to expand the service it provides nationwide, enabling many more adults to raise concerns and seek advice or support about the safety and wellbeing of any children they are worried about. At the same time it will allow the charity to increase public awareness of the vital role the independent and confidential helpline plays in keeping young people safe.

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For years the NSPCC Helpline has been a vital combination of support and action, with their team of experts offering advice, and where appropriate, making referrals to the police and local authorities.

Since the lockdown kicked-in and schools closed there has been a rapid increase in contacts to the Helpline from people with coronavirus-linked concerns about a child’s wellbeing – a two thirds rise in the past fortnight – with issues around family relationships and parental behaviour particularly prominent in these reports.

With children spending most of their days shut away from society it is now more important than ever for both key workers and the public as a whole to be alert to any safeguarding issues whenever they come into contact with a young person, be it face-to-face or online.

The NSPCC Helpline can be reached 24 hours a day by email – [email protected] – or through its online reporting form. Its team of experts can also be called Monday to Friday 8am-10pm or 9am-6pm at the weekends (today it is open to 10pm) on 0808 8005000.

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