NATIONAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO HELP CHILDREN IDENTIFY SAFER STRANGERS AND SAFER BUILDINGS IS LAUNCHED

A child getting lost is a parent’s worst nightmare. As parental fears about child safety reach epidemic proportions, Child’s Eye Media launches a new campaign this week (May 7th) to help even very young children keep themselves safe.

safer strangers, safer buildings campaign
The Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings campaign is designed for children who get lost, or feel unsafe. The initiative gives children commonsense guidance and support to help them to identify trustworthy adults to approach and, equally importantly, the kinds of buildings, to go into to ask for help.

The Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings initiative has been piloted in the North West by Greater Manchester Police Officer Helena Hodgson, and is backed by charities in the field of child safety. The code, available to download at www.childseyemedia.com/safety.html, is based on Home Office guidance, and it encourages children to identify adults who would be able to help them in an emergency.

Katy Jones, Managing Director of Child’s Eye Media comments
‘We were inspired by the work of GMP police officer Helena Hodgson to turn the Safer strangers, safer buildings message into a national campaign, and we are delighted that so many leading charities such as the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, Kidscape, and Suzy Lamplugh Trust, as well as educationlist Sue Palmer, and the Association of Chief Police Officers, are all backing the initiative. It is a straightforward message that will offer invaluable reassurance to children and parents.’

The campaign features a film produced by Childs Eye Media that will help even the very young to understand the Safer strangers, safer buildings code. ‘Teigan gets lost’ is one of a series of films on the DVD ‘A child’s eye view of keeping healthy, staying safe’ which has been made in consultation with charities and government departments to help children keep themselves safe. It was produced by Bafta award-winning producer Katy Jones and early years specialist Linda Mort. Child’s Eye Media are making ‘Teigan gets lost’ available to view on their website free of charge, for the benefit of children and their parents, carers and teachers at www.childseyemedia.com/safety.html

Steven Gauge, Chief Executive of Suzy Lamplugh Trust says,

“Suzy Lamplugh Trust are delighted to support the Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings campaign. This is a positive, simple safety message that can easily be understood by young children without alarming them. This knowledge will not only make them safer but will give them the extra confidence of learning something new and valuable to them.”

Michele Elliott, Executive Director, Kidscape, adds

"We know from our work at Kidscape how frightening it is for both children and parents when a child gets lost. Even more terrifying to parents is the thought that a child might be abducted. Teaching young children about such safety issues needs to be done sensitively and in a low key manner which is entertaining, fun and age appropriate. This Safer strangers, safer buildings programme is all those things and we welcome it. "

Liam McGurrin, of the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, comments

“The advice delivered by this campaign could help save children’s lives. Many children are so frightened of strangers that they panic when they lose their parents, even if it’s only for a brief period of time. By giving the children a straightforward common sense strategy for what to do if they get lost, this initiative could save families a lot of anxiety and worry. Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings presents a positive alternative to the more dominant ‘stranger danger’ messages, which can make children over anxious about the perceived risk from all strangers. Educationalists, politicians and parents are now beginning to realise that something more positive is needed if we are to encourage our children to be independent and make sensible decisions for themselves, rather than keep them 'wrapped in cotton wool.' ”

Sue Palmer, best selling author of ‘Toxic childhood’ comments,

“The best way parents can help children stay safe is to teach them how to cope with danger, through their own example and by giving simple rules – and making sure children know and remember them.”

MEDIA CONTACT:
Katy Jones
Managing Director
Child's Eye Media Ltd
The Old Bake House
6 Burton Rd.
Manchester M20 3ED
TEL: 0161 445 5115
EMAIL: Katy Jones

Notes to Editors:

Safer strangers, Safer Buildings is an is an initiative which has been piloted in the North West based on Home Office guidance, to encourage children to identify responsible adults who would be able to help them in an emergency and also buildings they can go into to ask for help. The campaign is backed by leading charities: the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Kidscape, and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings initiative ties in with Ed Balls’ (Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families) recently published Staying Safe Action Plan. It also complements the ‘Hold on to childhood’ and ‘Let our children play’ campaigns (supported by eminent educationalists, academics and professionals), which highlight how children are being increasingly kept indoors because of parental anxiety.

The Safer Strangers, Safer Buildings campaign will be launched by John Leech MP at a media event in the Jubilee Room, House of Commons, 10am – 12 noon, Wednesday May 7th 2008.

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