Hanely’s Town Hall was illuminated green on Wednesday 21 November to mark the launch of the NSPCC’s ‘Light for Every Children’ Christmas appeal.
The NSPCC has launched its ‘Light For Every Childhood’ Christmas Appeal to raise awareness of child neglect, which is the most common type of abuse affecting children in the UK.
The appeal aims to raise awareness for children experiencing neglect all year round and especially Christmas, as last year’s figures reveal nearly a third of calls to the NSPCC were of neglect, with the figure being even higher at Christmas.
The charity’s helpline made 95 referrals in Stoke-on-Trent to agencies including the police and local authorities in 2017/18, and 253 referrals to agencies based in Staffordshire.
The Helpline hears from concerned adults with reports ranging from children being left unsupervised or with inadequate clothing, to being screamed at or living amongst mouldy food and animal faeces.
Ally Sultana, NSPCC Local Campaigns Manager for Stoke-on-Trent, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for turning Hanley Town Hall green to help raise awareness of the NSPCC’s ‘Light For Every Childhood’ Christmas appeal.
“Neglect is one of the most common forms of child abuse with one in 10 children suffering from it and no community is immune from it.
“It is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death.
“For those who survive, the trauma can last a lifetime.
“By making a donation today the people of Stoke-on-Trent can help the charity answer more calls and shine a light on a child who is being neglected and get them the help they so desperately need.”
Neglect is when a child’s basic needs are not being met and causes range from parents not having the skills, support or funds, to having mental health issues.
Some of the common signs and symptoms adults may notice in a child who is being neglected are poor appearance and hygiene, being left alone for a long time, untreated injuries and medical or dental issues.
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, said: “Neglect doesn’t stop because it is Christmas, the holidays can, in fact, magnify problems because children are cut-off from the wider community and their support network.
“While it is positive that people are being vigilant and reporting concerns of children suffering neglect rather than standing by, it is still deeply worrying to see that neglect continues to be the most common reason for contacting the NSPCC Helpline.
“This is why we are appealing to the generous nature of the public to support our Light For Every Childhood Christmas Appeal to help us be there for even more young people in need.”
To donate to ‘Light for Every Child’ Christmas appeal visit the NSPCC’s website.
Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email [email protected]