Online safety project sees Chesterfield youngsters helping to tackle ‘sexting’ and child exploitation

Digital Ambassador event at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, children and staff from Chirst Church Primary School
Digital Ambassador event at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, children and staff from Chirst Church Primary School

A ground-breaking Derbyshire project appointing school children to champion online safety has been celebrated at a special event.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa met youngsters at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield to recognise efforts to tackle online risks such as ‘sexting’ and wider issues of child sexual exploitation.

Digital Ambassador event at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire and Derby City

Digital Ambassador event at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire and Derby City

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The Online Safety Support project received £13,500 from the commissioner’s Community Action Grant towards the training of 97 young digital leaders across 22 of Chesterfield’s primary schools, two secondary schools and Ashgate Croft Special School.

Training coordinator Traci Good, from esafetytraining.co.uk, who is an online safety specialist and assessor working with schools, was appointed to train professionals from a host of children’s welfare organisations, health organisations, police and schools.

In addition, she delivered a number of training mornings to the new digital leaders and teaching staff to prepare them for their new roles.

At the end of the sessions, students received their Digital Leader badge in a special presentation ceremony while teaching staff were provided with support material and resources to further raise awareness of online safety in their schools.

Mr Dhindsa said: “This is a fantastic project which puts young people in the driving seat of online safety in their schools, giving them responsibility and authority to tackle the online risks that threaten the safety of their peers.

“Many of the new leaders have hit the ground running, developing new projects within their schools to increase pupils’ awareness and knowledge of social media risks and how to protect themselves online. Young people have an important voice and can have a powerful influence on their friends.”