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Consultant: Warning Zone Vision is ‘Much Needed’

Warning Zone

The Leicester Mercury is working with Leicestershire Police and Warning Zone on the Safe Online campaign.

One of the aims of the project is to help Warning Zone raise £250,000 to take its online safety message to more of Leicestershire’s children and young people.

The Frog Island charity is unique to our county and largely run by volunteers – but still sees thousands of young people from Leicestershire and beyond each year.

You can read more about the aims of the Safe Online campaign here.

Meanwhile, we spoke to some of the people in the community that works with WZ:

Gurjit Samra-Rai

Community Safety Team Manager, Children and Family Services, Leicestershire County Council

“Warning Zone is an inspiring resource for young people aged 10 years and over.

“The facility enables children to explore issues around crime, anti-social behaviour, staying safe and peer pressure, raising awareness in an exciting and interactive way.

“The staff are always welcoming and knowledgeable and the cyber safety zone is incredible, demonstrating that Warning Zone understand and are able to respond to the new risks young people are vulnerable to.”

Adrienne Katz

Director of Youthworks Consulting

“Warning Zone has a unique immersive style that makes learning fun and, what’s more, the messages stick!

“Their approach to teaching safety messages is practical and kinetic – children respond enthusiastically.

“A year 9 group were keen to tell us how much they enjoyed coming to Warning Zone in their primary years.

“Now Warning Zone is adapting their approach to support teenagers with vital online safety messages.

“The annual Cybersurvey run by Youthworks since 2008 has shown that the mid-teens is a time when young people are least likely to follow online safety education messages, while simultaneously experiencing the highest rate of cyberbullying, online aggression, risk of harm, high risk content, cyberscams, user-generated and malicious peer-to-peer contact.

“So this combination of giving messages both to primary school aged children and then working innovatively with the teens will provide a much-needed approach.

“Research at the Crimes against Children Research Centre has questioned whether the current style of delivery of online safety education is effective.

“Are we delivering the right messages and in the right way?

“The idea that potential for harm among children can be reduced by teaching media literacy alone is not proven.

“It is time to try new approaches with teenagers that can feel relevant and meaningful to them.

“The natural adolescent enjoyment of adventure, challenge and risk needs to be catered for alongside an understanding of different abilities, vulnerabilities, motivations and emotional health.

“The Internet impacts on young people in many different ways with some being at greater risk than others.

“We welcome this refreshing new development at Warning Zone.”

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Original Source – Leicester Mercury

 

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