Dates for assembly

30th April 2004 at 01:00
May 5 NSPCC Children's Day

This annual fundraising day allows the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to help more than 10,000 children a year - in addition to those who phone its help lines

Outline script for assembly leader

Kicking someone younger or smaller than you; scaring them; writing or saying untrue or nasty things about them: these are all ways of bullying.

Even serious teasing can be a kind of bullying. But who's to blame when such things happen? Is it the bully or the onlookers?

An onlooker is someone who stands by while someone else does something wrong, such as bullying a weaker person. Onlookers sometimes join in name-calling, even if they are not the ringleader. However, onlookers are often the ones who can best stop any bullying. They may need to pluck up courage to listen and talk to someone unpopular, who's being bullied. They may need courage to tell an adult what's happening.

Bullying by other children is one way children can be hurt. In Victorian times, many children were ill-treated in serious ways. They were often made to work very long hours or to beg in the streets to get money for their families. Many were starving or suffering serious illnesses, with no hope of seeing a doctor.

In 1856, a clergyman, the Reverend Benjamin Waugh, moved from Yorkshire to London to work among the poor. He was not an onlooker. He was determined to give real help to these children and, in 1884, started the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Five years later this became the NSPCC.

He also persuaded the government to help, but that took him five more years. Then a law was made, which allowed a policeman to arrest anyone ill-treating a child,or to enter a house where a child was in danger.

The NSPCC still works to help the thousands of children (and especially babies) who are being bullied, ill-treated or abused, but it needs money to do this. This year it is looking for new supporters who can help end cruelty to children.

Follow-up

To receive a fundraising pack containing posters, stickers and a leaflet suggesting activities for Children's Day, tel: 020 7825 2505.

The NSPCC's website for children is at www.nspcc.org.ukhomepage2 and includes pages on bullying, "speaking up" and fundraising. The NSPCC helpline is tel: 0808 800 5000. There are other helplines for Welsh and Asian language speakers.

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