Date published: 24 June 2020
Photo: Tom Hull
More time online has brought with it heightened risk for young people (posed by model)
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to fuel a perfect storm in digital risk to children in the North West, the NSPCC and O2 are now delivering virtual online safety talks for parents.
The important online safety workshops have moved online – the latest resource from the organisations’ ongoing partnership. They are free to join and are presented by experienced NSPCC staff, who provide advice, tips, and signposting to free resources and extra support.
Social media and gaming sites have proven to be a lifeline for parents, carers and their children as they have adapted to being at home during lockdown but more time online has brought with it heightened risk for young people and increased opportunity for offenders.
Recent NSPCC research revealed children who are lonely, like attention and rely on social media are more than twice as likely to be groomed online. And recently the National Crime Agency warned of a spike in child sex offending during the coronavirus crisis, with new information leading it to conclude that there a minimum of 300,000 individuals in the UK who pose a sexual threat to children.
Regular family discussion about children’s digital lives has never been more important. Parents can also get further support via the NSPCC and O2’s co-created resource Net Aware, designed to help parents and children information on the latest social media sites, apps and games and be a helpful part of coping with self-isolation.
Now, the charity and the telecommunications giant are working together to provide free 30 minute webinars for parents, grandparents and carers. Topics include:
- Why children enjoy using the internet and how it can help them, as well as the risks
- Concerns that families might have about their child’s use of the internet
- Exploring how families can navigate the digital landscape together, safely
NSPCC Head of Campaigns, Helen Westerman said: “The internet is an amazing place for children where they can play, create, learn and connect – the possibilities are endless. But there are also risks.
“The coronavirus pandemic has, unfortunately, generated the conditions for a perfect storm in online abuse. And we want to help mitigate that danger.
“Our webinars are free and are designed to give parents and carers a virtual opportunity to collate advice, tips and support. Along with signposting to other free and useful resources.
“Talking to your child about their digital lives is really important and these webinars are here to make that discussion much easier.”
If you’d like to organise a webinar for yourself or on behalf of a group (community group, staff team or school), please contact: