If the thought that half a million children a year suffer abuse in the UK upsets you, there is something you can do. By leaving a gift in your Will, you can help the fight against neglect and abuse for years to come.
We know children are growing up in a changing world and there are challenges today that we never had to face, from online grooming to cyberbullying. We talked to Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, about his vision for the future and how the generosity of donations through gifts in Wills can help build a future of hope and happiness for young people free from the fear of abuse.
“I believe every child should be able to enjoy a safe and happy childhood: to be playful and carefree,” said Sir Peter. “But for that to happen, children need support, they need guidance – and sometimes, they need to be protected.”
A history of struggle against exploitation and abuse
For more than 130 years, the NSPCC has fought for children and has adapted to every challenge that has presented itself. A safe and happy childhood is the most powerful gift there is, but for many children, it’s not a given. Legacy gifts in Wills are so important to the continued work of the NSPCC, because they help ensure support will be available for future generations.
“Your gift will help us stop abuse, neglect and exploitation,” explained Sir Peter. “It’ll help fund Childline and our Helpline, and support education programmes that give children the power and the confidence to speak out when something is wrong.
“By leaving a gift in your Will,” he continued, “you leave a legacy that will help the charity to invest in community projects that support families facing tough times, equipping them with the skills to nurture happier childhoods. What’s more, you’d also be helping safeguard against the ever-changing dangers of online life, so more children can stay safe, whatever the future holds.”
When the NSPCC was formed in 1884, there were scarcely any laws to protect children and for more than a century, the charity has campaigned to change that.
“In 1904, we secured emergency powers to remove children from abusive homes,” says Sir Peter. “During World War II, we helped to plan the mass evacuation of children from Britain’s cities. During the 80s and 90s, we launched our Helpline and Childline was formed. Fast forward to the pandemic and these services were needed more than ever.”
Campaigning for better protection
The lockdowns of 2020-21 presented a unique set of challenges for the charity’s work. For many children, staying at home meant being trapped with their abusers. To reach these children, services needed to be adapted and the charity campaigned for greater protection, highlighted where the law fell short and called on the government to better protect children on and offline.
“Ten-year-old Maddie* is one of millions of children who are at risk right now because of unregulated online spaces where harmful content is easily accessible,” said Sir Peter. “That’s why Maddie was referred to NSPCC’s InCtrl – a service designed to help keep children safe online. We’re working with Maddie and her parents, but it’s an ongoing process.”
The challenges facing families and children today are changing too. Childhood has become more complicated and it has become harder to keep children safe.
In 2021/22 the NSPCC’s Helpline for adults contacted agencies about 22,505 children to investigate concerns about abuse and neglect – an average of 62 children a day. Statistics like this highlight why the services delivered by the NSPCC are so vital. Helping to transform young lives in every part of society is a realisable aspiration and by leaving a gift in your Will, you can help power this work in years to come, so that more children can enjoy happy childhoods, no matter what the future holds.
Give the most powerful gift
By remembering the NSPCC in your Will, you can give the most powerful gift — a safe and happy childhood. Download the free Gifts in Wills guide to find out more.
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This content is sponsored byTags: NSPCC Last modified: March 7, 2023