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Strathclyde Sirens star Niamh McCall teams up with NSPCC Scotland to help keep children safe

3rd October 2018

Strathclyde Sirens’ newest signing Niamh McCall joined forces with NSPCC Scotland today (Wednesday 3 October) to help deliver one of the leading children’s charity’s groundbreaking Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies at an East Kilbride school.

Niamh, 18, from Strathaven, joined NSPCC volunteers at Auldhouse Primary School in East Kilbride and helped deliver the service. Niamh also answered some questions from pupils about her netball career so far and how to get into the sport.

This week marks Parent’s in Sport Week 2018, an annual NSPCC campaign which encourages parents to get more involved in their children’s sports and activity clubs, and to take the steps to find out more information on child protection policies.

The NSPCC Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies, which the NSPCC runs in primary schools, help children to recognise different types of abuse and to feel confident about speaking out to a trusted adult.

Research from the leading children’s charity shows that on average at least two children in every primary school classroom across the UK will have suffered some form of abuse or neglect.

NSPCC Scotland began the assemblies in Scotland in 2012 and since then its staff and team of dedicated volunteers have spoken to tens of thousands of school children the length and breadth of the country.

Speak Out Stay Safe helps ensure children understand what abuse is and know how to keep themselves safe. In 2017/2018 more than 146,000 primary school pupils across Scotland received the service in 918 schools. More than 10,000 children were reached in 50 schools across the South Lanarkshire area.

Niamh took time out of her busy training schedule to support NSPCC Scotland in delivering the service to pupils. She has recently joined Strathclyde Sirens which is the only professional netball team in Scotland and has a charity partnership with NSPCC Scotland. At 18 years of age she is the youngest member of the squad.

Niamh was also the youngest player on the Scotland team at this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and the first player born in the 2000s to receive a senior cap in netball. She was also part of the World Youth Cup team that took 8th place in Botswana in 2017.

Niamh said: “I was so excited to help deliver my first ever Speak Out Stay Safe assembly at Auldhouse Primary in East Kilbride today.

“The Sirens’ partnership with NSPCC is extremely important to us in educating young children about speaking out and staying safe from abuse, as well as empowering them to take part and enjoy physical activity and sport.

“As this week marks Parents in Sport Week, Strathclyde Sirens want to drive meaningful change for young people in sport, and of course this can’t be done without the support of parents.”

Alan Stewart, NSPCC school service manager said: “The NSPCC’s Speak Out Stay Safe programme works with primary schools right across the United Kingdom, helping hundreds of thousands of pupils develop an understanding of abuse in all its forms and of how to get help.

“It’s such a vital service for young people and we were determined to make sure we can bring it to every primary school in Scotland. We greatly appreciate the backing of the Sirens and their players. Their involvement and support only enhances the positive messages we deliver to primary school children and we are happy to have them on board.”

Auldhouse Primary School acting head teacher Emma Alexander said: ‘We are delighted to welcome the NSPCC and Niamh to Auldhouse Primary school today.

“We really value the fantastic work and commitment of the charity to empower and help children in the UK. Today’s visit further supports and enhances our school’s hard work on children’s rights and highlights the importance of speaking out and staying safe to our pupils.”