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Campaign launched to highlight child neglect

On average, 62 children and young people a day in the UK are referred to agencies to investigate neglect - but could you spot the key signs?

Neglect campaign

Article date: 2 May 2023

St Helens Borough Council has teamed up with key safeguarding partners - including Merseyside Police, Carmel College and children's charity, Barnardo's - to launch an awareness campaign to highlight what people need to look out for when it comes to child neglect and how to act on any concerns.

Supporting a five-year neglect strategy adopted in 2019 as a way of recognising, responding and reducing neglect in St Helens borough, the marketing campaign is made up of a series of artwork designs centred around six different age group characters, all with different scenarios showing the different signs and symptoms of neglect - from being unkept, and alone for large periods of time, to not attending school or owning expensive items they can't afford which could trigger signs of exploitation.

Created by former Carmel College student Charlotte Dunn, the designs have been put onto materials such as pop-up banners, posters and leaflets which will be displayed in a number of locations such as a new family hub due to open in Sutton Children's Centre this year; local police stations as well as schools and colleges as part of efforts to raise public awareness.

Speaking of her pride to have worked on such an important campaign, Charlotte, 20, who is now studying at the University of the Arts London, said:

"It was really interesting to research this topic and explore all the different signs of neglect, not just the stereotypical ones. I tried to portray this in my designs and produce images that will hopefully educate people on this important issue and have a positive impact on helping children."

St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Nova Charlton, said: "Neglect is a national issue which happens every day, with a number of shocking fatal incidents around the country coming to light during the past couple of years resulting in vulnerable young victims losing their lives which we don't want to be repeated in our borough.

"While neglect can be subjective, with everyone having different opinions on levels of cleanliness for example - at what stage is intervention necessary? The aim of this campaign is to make members of the public more confident with their judgement to report cases of neglect to us - and I'd like to thank Charlotte for showing such a professional approach to an emotive subject which has led to this fantastic eye-catching material being produced to an excellent standard."

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or young person, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) between the hours of 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday to Friday, on 01744 676767 - or for out of hours reports, contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0345 0500 148.