A national children’s charity is calling on Hastings to take part in its UK-wide Big Packed Lunch Campaign on Wednesday, September 17.
The NSPCC wants the people of Hastings to get together to create an unusual or creative packed lunch and donate the money they would normally spent on lunch to the charity’s ChildLine Schools Service.
The service uses trained volunteers to deliver age-appropriate workshops and assemblies to nine- to 11-year-olds in order to educate them about abuse, how to protect themselves, and where to get help if they need it.
NSPCC fundraiser Binita Shah said: “It’s a really simple idea and we want people to have fun with the Big Packed Lunch and get everyone together to share their lunch goodies, and at the same time raise funds for the NSPCC.
“We hope that lots of local people will take part on September 17, but if anyone wants to stage a lunch on another date that’s fine too!”
NSPCC research shows that, on average, two children in every primary school classroom have suffered abuse or neglect.
However, whether it’s through fear or lack of information, children are not seeking help or telling anyone what’s happening until they are much older.
Since its launch the ChildLine Schools Service has carried out 46 school visits in the East Sussex Local Education Authority (LEA) area and spoken to 2,729 children, but with a total of 192 primary schools in the area, there is still a lot more to be done.
Binita added: “With the support of local people we can visit every primary school in this area and give children the confidence to talk about abuse and the courage to seek help if they ever need it.”
Whether it be a fancy lunch with cucumber sandwiches and scones or a children’s meal with jelly and fish finger sandwiches, the charity says the idea is simple, just pick a date for the lunch, invite guests, make sure they bring some delicious food to share, make a donation to the NSPCC, then gather round and get stuck in. The NSPCC has produced a Big Packed Lunch fundraising pack which includes hints and tips for staging an event.
To find out more information about the campaign and to get your Big Packed Lunch fundraising pack, log onto the website www.nspcc.org.uk/lunch.