As the result of a generous grant awarded by the Suffolk Police and Crime Commission ‘Stay Safe Online’ Fund, under the auspices of the Suffolk Community Foundation, during the course of this year 24 ‘Staying Safe Online’ workshops have so far been provided by Kernos counsellors for Years 4, 5 & 6 pupils – and some parents – in 8 local primary schools.
These workshops consisted of raising young children’s awareness of the threats of cyber crime and helped 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 their vulnerability was reduced, firstly by educating the children and their parents about online dangers. At the end of the workshops, each class was 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 has been very positive and Kernos has been asked if it can provide more sessions during this Autumn Term, which it is planning to do.
As part of this same programme Kernos also provided 19 weekly counselling sessions to young people and adults experiencing cyber abuse and other related online problems.
These counselling 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.
Counselling is continuing under this fund until December 2019. Individuals and schools can book sessions by contacting the Kernos Centre by telephone or email.