I would like to say a personal thank you to all of your readers in Leeds who have helped support the NSPCC throughout 2012, which has seen many high profile sexual abuse cases being investigated and reported.
Many people will have seen or heard about the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse inquiry in the media. Overall, the number of contacts to the NSPCC helpline around sexual abuse, both historic and current, has nearly tripled since the Savile revelations.
This means we can help more historic victims than ever before to finally get the support they need and, crucially, we can also protect children who are at risk right now.
Child abuse remains a widespread problem and children are still being abused today. However, we understand that many people are still not sure where to turn to or how to report their suspicions.
Anyone who has a concern about a child can contact the NSPCC’s helpline for advice and support about any issues relating to child abuse, past or present, on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In November we launched a national appeal for 4,000 volunteers for the ChildLine Schools Service. The service focuses on 9 to 11 year olds and aims to visit every primary school in the UK by 2016.
Using assemblies and workshops, the new service is designed to help younger children understand what abuse is and how they can stay safe, and to encourage children to recognise situations where they may need help and how to get it.
In Leeds the service needs to recruit around 30 volunteers to reach over 67,200 children in three years.
In Leeds we also launched our new service centre in June. The services being offered from the centre, include: a specialist antenatal programme called Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond aimed at supporting the most vulnerable mums and dads cope with having a baby, a vital support service for parents targeting women with post natal depression and a programme that will help prevent sexual abuse by working with young people who show harmful sexual behaviour.
We have made significant strides to help children this year, but still need the public’s support in Leeds and across West Yorkshire to continue our work. Wishing all your readers a Happy New Year.
Elaine Kaye, NSPCC community fundraising manager for Leeds, NSPCC Yorkshire and the Humber regional centre, 5th Floor, St Johns Offices, Albion Street, Leeds, LS2 8BT