Search

Project aims to give free online safety lessons to children in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 August 2017

Actors could be set to visit schools to promote online safety (picture: Natalie Smith)

Actors could be set to visit schools to promote online safety (picture: Natalie Smith)

Natalie Smith

Free lessons in online safety could be given to 1,200 children in Barking and Dagenham if a crowdfunding project led by Arc Theatre is successful.

The Dagenham-based theatre aims to raise a total of £6,480 for its Broadcast Junior project.

If this is achieved the council will provide financial support by matching the donations as part of a new charitable initiative to help popular crowdfunding projects.

The sessions will feature actors from the theatre playing teenagers who find themselves in potentially dangerous situations brought about by irresponsible online behaviour.

One scenario shows a girl going to meet a boy she met online. The characters will discuss the possible threats and the audience, comprised of year five and six pupils, will be asked to reflect on the situation she has found herself in.

Arc Theatre education director Natalie Smith said: “I’d say at least 95 per cent of the pupils I’ve met know more about the internet than their parents so this is a threat they need people to educate them about.

“I think years five and six is a good time to try and catch the pupils, before they go to secondary school. But some children in year three already mobile phones and they aren’t just watching YouTube videos.”

Childwise research this year suggested children use the internet for an average of three hours a day, with one in eight saying they spend more than six hours online daily.

Also, 41pc of children aged eight to 18 don’t have any parental controls on their home internet connection.

Natalie is optimistic about meeting their target, especially after appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire program last week to talk about the campaign.

Natalie said: “Children definitely need to be taught about online safety but it’s not something we relish organising as a company - but budget cuts mean it’s hard for councils and schools to organise it themselves so it’s necessary for other organisations to get involved.

“I’m super confident we’ll hit our target.”

To donate head to crowdfunder.co.uk/staying-safe-for-young-people.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Essex (206 & 88-4) trail Nottinghamshire (380 & 266) by 352 runs

16:33

Brazil and Costa Rica were winless in their opening matches at the World Cup and were both hoping for their first victory of the tournament at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

17:43

A Dagenham school is off to a glittering ceremony after winning a national teaching award.

12:00

Which one of these nine defenders is England’s greatest centre back of all time?

There is no service on the TfL Rail line between Liverpool Street and Ilford this afternoon.

The 22-year-old missed training on Thursday, but revealed he is desperate to get playing again as soon as possible

Barking and Dagenham residents who died serving in the armed forces are being honoured in a book of remembrance.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now