Campbell College Belfast selected NSPCC Northern Ireland as their charity of the year for 2017/18 and to date they have raised significant funds by organising a Glow in the Dark Run, bake sales and many other events.
However, they wanted to do something unique to mark NSPCC’s first ever Childhood Day which is being launched in Northern Ireland on 1 June 2018. Hence, Matthew Craig, who finished Campbell in 2017 has created a video dedicated to the event, with the aim of encouraging boys and young men to speak out about issues affecting them.
The video features boys from the school, staff, past pupils as well as members of the 1st XV rugby team who won the recent Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. Those featured in the film acknowledge that it can be difficult for young men to speak out and that there is still a bit of a stigma about expressing feelings and emotions – but the message is loud and clear – it’s vital to speak out and ask for help if you are worried about something. All agreed that it’s important not to bottle up concerns but to find a way to start a conversation with a trusted friend, adult or if there is no one you feel that you can talk to, contact Childline.
Mr Robert Robinson MBE, Headmaster of Campbell College said: “ We are delighted to support NSPCC’s first Childhood Day Campaign in Northern Ireland and to have been partnering with the charity all year. As an all boys school with over 1200 pupils from 3-18 years old we understand first hand the difficulties boys face and we know how hard it can be for them to speak out. This film was a way to encourage all boys to talk, to start the conversation. Find someone they trust and speak out. We hope it will continue to encourage our culture of openness and honesty at Campbell College and reassure boys that if they need to talk, we are here to listen and to help.”
NSPCC Northern Ireland is encouraging everyone to buy a badge and support Childhood Day to celebrate all children and their right to a safe childhood. The suggested donation is £2 and every penny raised from the sale of the badges will help NSPCC provide services to children in Northern Ireland including Childline, the NSPCC’s private and confidential free 24/7 service for children and young people up to the age of 19. Volunteers across the two dedicated Childline bases in Belfast and Foyle counsel children every day of the week. Often, talking to the volunteers can be the first time a child speaks out about what is worrying them, and can be the first step that gets that child’s life back on track. Last year (2016/17), Childline volunteers delivered at least 5,230 counselling sessions to children living in Northern Ireland.
Catherine Nuttall, Head of Fundraising for NSPCC Northern Ireland, said: “Campbell College has given us tremendous support this year and we are very grateful for all the students who took part in this powerful and inspiring video. We hope anyone watching it will be inspired and encouraged to speak out and ask for help if they need it.”