As a result of a generous grant from the Suffolk Police and Crime Commission ‘Stay Safe Online’ Fund, via the Suffolk Community Foundation, Kernos was able to provide 24 workshops for Years 4, 5 & 6 pupils – and some parents – in 8 local primary schools during 2019.
These workshops were designed to raise young children’s awareness of the threats of cyber-crime and help vulnerable children, young people and their parents to understand what they need to do and how they can help to protect themselves against online threats. As a result, vulnerability was reduced by educating the children and informing their parents about online dangers.
At the end of each workshop, attendees were able to create, in their own words, clear and carefully considered individual family agreements to share at home with their parents/carers. Each agreement showed the actions they would or would not take in order to use social media safely.
The feedback from the schools, pupils and their parents was extremely positive and, as a result, more workshops are planned for the remainder of the year.
As part of this same programme Kernos provided (up to the end of August 2019) 19 weekly counselling sessions to young people and adults experiencing cyber-abuse and other related online problems.
These sessions helped to give their participants a voice, empowering them to talk about the impact of the cyber-abuse crimes they have experienced. The counselling also enabled those taking part using to work through their resulting issues, and to recover from the harm caused, by knowing how to keep themselves safe online.
Thanks to an additional grant from the Santander Foundation, Kernos counsellors were also able to provide 6 individual ‘Online Safety’ workshops for local senior school children and young people during the year.
These took place at Ormiston Academy and Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury, where children in Year 7 were provided with information and advice about using the internet responsibly and safely, highlighting behaviour that can expose them to risks and enabling them to recognise potential online threats.
Following these workshops some of the pupils, together with other local children and young people, were given the opportunity to commission and make their own films – writing, performing, directing and editing them with the Offshoot Film Foundation – about Online Safety.
The films demonstrate the various messages that these children want to get across to other young people about the impacts of cyber-abuse and the real importance of taking proper steps to stay safe when using the internet.
The three films the children made can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
https://vimeo.com/352353716 – Would Granny Like To See That?
https://vimeo.com/352344375 – Safe Space
https://vimeo.com/352335027 – Uniform