Free monthly online safety workshops will be offered to residents throughout Hertfordshire following a new partnership with the NSPCC and Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust.
Empowered Online is a new campaign that provides free virtual sessions over five months to parents and carers who would like tips on how to help keep their children safer online. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes and occur once a month at 7pm from 23rd August 2023.
Emma Copperwheat, NSPCC Local Campaigns Officer for the East of England, said:
“The online world is constantly changing and keeping up with the latest trends can be a daunting prospect for any parent, and that’s why we’re thrilled to offer these vital online sessions across the county.
“Thanks to our new partnership with Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust we are able to support families with helping them start conversations with their children about online safety, how to spot the signs of online bullying and what to do and how to manage screen time. We know that the online world can have an impact on children’s mental health and these sessions could really make a difference.”
From 2022/23, Childline counsellors delivered over 200,000 counselling sessions to children and young people and it is estimated that 3,800 of these sessions took place in Hertfordshire.
The NSPCC has long pushed for a more robust Online Safety Bill that could help to protect more children online. Currently the responsibility falls on parents and carers to protect children when they navigate the online world.
Caoimhe Walker, Mental Health Project Officer for Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust, said:
“We are really excited to be working in partnership alongside the NSPCC to bring Empowered Online to parents and carers across Hertfordshire. These parent and carer workshops are an extension of our Empower programme here at Watford FC CSE Trust and funded by Comic Relief. Empower is a free six-month project that aims to improve young people’s mental health using physical activity”.
“We hope that sessions will empower parents and carers to have confidence in talking with their children about online safety and know how to respond if any risks arose”