The tragic death of Lutterworth schoolgirl Hannah Smith has highlighted developments at Warning Zone, the Leicester-based charity which teaches children how to stay safe and out of trouble with the law.
Hannah was found hanged at home and her father, Dave, spoke afterwards about vile messages on the website ask.fm urging Hannah to die.
Cyber-bullying, of the sort that 14-year-old Hannah was subjected to, is one of the areas which Warning Zone tackles with the Year 6 (ages 10-11) children from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland schools.
The charity is in the process of upgrading the audio-visual lessons on internet safety that it offers to its young visitors. Freemasons have given funds to enable Warning Zone to refurbish a large unused room. Now the search is on for partners to help fund installation of equipment in the room to make the ‘learning for life’ even more impactful.
Vimme Rathour, the Chief Executive Officer for Warning Zone, said today: “Everyone at Warning Zone was saddened to hear of how Hannah died. We send our condolences to Hannah’s family.
“Online safety is currently covered as part of a 12-minute session on basic personal safety. As has been tragically demonstrated by the death of Hannah, the internet not only poses risks of young people being groomed by paedophiles but also of bullying in all its forms.
“It is a big subject and we need to offer schools an additional session dedicated to preventing any further such appalling incidents in our area.
“We know that Warning Zone sessions have an impact much greater than any classroom lesson and we are currently in discussions with specialists in online safety to determine the content of the new resource. We are also looking at the best way to use technology to make an impact but none of this will happen unless we receive financial help from the local business sector.”
Many businesses and individuals have helped Warning Zone transform a former warehouse into eight themed zones where in the last academic year 7,300 children learned about personal safety, taking risks and consequences.
For further information please contact: Vimme Rathour on t: 0116 262 9739 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- WARNING ZONE is the adopted charity of the High Sheriffs of Leicestershire and Rutland
- WARNING ZONE is an exciting, interactive centre on Frog Island in Leicester offering schools a quality, high impact “Learning for Life” resource for Year 6 pupils (10 & 11 year olds)
- Bringing together information and expertise from across the public and private sectors, WARNING ZONE combines vital messages in a single stimulating and memorable experience which helps prepare youngsters for increased independence and their transition into early adolescence
- Using life-like set piece scenarios, WARNING ZONE helps pupils understand the pitfalls they may encounter in their everyday lives and also develops the concept of personal and social responsibility
- At 10 years of age, children are beginning to take decisions that not only affect themselves; their actions can also have consequences for the lives of other people
- WARNING ZONE’S young visitors learn about peer pressure and that they are already deemed responsible for their actions under criminal law
- WARNING ZONE is not a Health & Safety project trying to wrap children in cotton wool, rather presenting the plain and honest facts in a memorable and understandable way in order to encourage responsible behaviour and sound decision making while living full and active lives