NSPCC reveals parents' worries about social networking sites used by children
and UK children say many sites should have higher minimum age limits!
PARENTS' concerns about social networking sites popular with children have been
revealed on Friday, 9 January 2015, as the NSPCC launched its Share Aware
campaign to get families talking about socialising safely online.
An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet, including parents from
across Lancashire, reviewed 48 of these sites and said all those aimed at adults
and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign up to. On more than
40% of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety
At least ¾ of parents surveyed by the NSPCC found sexual, violent,
or other inappropriate content on Sickipedia, Omegle, Deviant Art, and F my Life
within half an hour of logging into the sites.
Those aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Popjam and
Bearville, fared better and parents did not find any unsuitable content on them.
The NSPCC has used the reviews to create a new online guide to help inform
parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children.
Quote from Lancashire parent - Commenting on the NSPCC share aware campaign, 1
Mum of 3 from Lancashire who was a mumsnet parent who reviewed the sites, said:-
"I use social media sites myself and am aware of how to protect myself online
and protect anything I may wish to share with my friends, so my experience has
been positive, but as a mum of young tech savvy children, I understand that
keeping children safe online is paramount. My children often tell me that their
classmates have Facebook or Snapchat accounts which is a thought that terrifies
me. It also angers me at the same time to think that many children and young
people can be put at risk when using such sites. My children don't use social
media at all and I've always made sure they understand that social media sites
are for adults only. It's important that both parents and children are aware of
how to keep themselves safe online, that's why this campaign by the NSPCC is so
The NSPCC helpline also hears from people about their concerns about online
safety. One contact to the NSPCC helpline in was from a parent who called the
NSPCC after finding out that their pre teen son had been sending explicit images
of himself to teenagers online and over social media apps like SnapChat. The
caller was worried that the image had been seen by other children at their
school and that their child didn't seem worried about the consequences of this.
The NSPCC practitioner referred the call to the local Police.
The NSPCC also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social
networking sites they used. Talking to strangers or sexual content were the
main concerns mentioned by children. But they also thought the minimum age limit
for signing up to many sites should be higher, despite saying they'd used the
sites when they were underage. 1 young person who contacted ChildLine said:- "I gave my phone number to
someone I met online because I thought it would be easier to communicate but I
regret it now. They've turned really weird and send me messages none stop. I've
tried ignoring them, but then they just call me loads instead, I feel harassed.
How can I stop them?"
Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said:- "Children are taught from an early age
that it is good to share but doing so online can be very dangerous. We must all
be Share Aware. This Christmas many children will have been given a smart phone,
a tablet computer, or a games console. So it's the perfect opportunity for
parents to have that important conversation with their children about who they
are talking to and what they share when they socialise online. We know that
children do take risks online, sometimes without realising it. And we know some
parents feel confused by the internet; out of their depth, and out of control.
Our Share Aware campaign gives parents straightforward, no nonsense advice that
will help them to untangle the web and feel confident talking to their children
about online safety. Keeping children safe online is the biggest child
protection challenge of this generation. Parents have a vital role to play but
we want social networking sites to respond to parental concerns about their
children's safety and privacy. The NSPCC will continue to challenge and work
with internet companies and the Government to make the internet a safer place
The NSPCC's Share Aware campaign is aimed at parents of 8 to 12 year old
children and also features 2 animations to be shown on prime time TV and digital
spaces. I Saw Your Willy and Lucy And The Boy are engaging films with a serious
message that follow the stories of 2 children who share too much about
themselves online. Both films contain the simple message that although children
are taught that it's good to share, this is not always the case online.
People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign at:-
and join the debate on social media by following #ShareAware.
Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about
the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC's 24 hour helpline on:-
0808 800 5000 or email:-
Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24
hour helpline on:- 0800 1111 or get help online
Do you agree with this statement? Email your views to us at:-
Are you going to see the legend Ricky Tomlinson St George's Hall
LITTLE Atom Productions are delighted to announce that acting and entertainment
legend Ricky Tomlinson is the next special guest in the hugely popular In
Conversation live interview series of events. Tickets go on sale at 9am on
Friday 9 January 2015.
In Conversation With Ricky Tomlinson takes place at 7.30pm, on Wednesday, 4
March 2015, at St George's Hall Liverpool, and Ricky is the 12th guest in the
The event will take place in the venue's stunning Concert Room. Fans will hear
all about Ricky's life and hear his choice of music, performed live on the night
by a number of specially chosen performers.
Tomlinson is probably best known for his roles as Bobby Grant in Brookside and
the lazy, but loveable Jim Royle in the The Royle Family. His acting credits
span over 30 years and include many more comedy and dramatic roles such as the
lead character in Mike Bassett - England Manager, DCI Charlie Wise in Cracker,
and the poignant portrayal of John Glover, father of Hillsborough victim Ian, in
the Jimmy McGovern drama Hillsborough.
As well as being a prolific and highly respected actor, 75 year old Ricky is
also famed for his stand up comedy and musical talents. He still makes regular
appearances as a stand up comedian across the country and at his own club, The
Green Room on Duke Street in Liverpool, and is a gifted banjo player.
Gemma Aldcroft, 1½ of production company Little Atom Productions, said:- "We're
absolutely thrilled to confirm Ricky as our next In Conversation guest. We've
been trying to get him on board for almost two years now but he's just been too
busy. The man never stops!"
As well as continuously working as an actor and comedian, in recent years
Tomlinson has worked tirelessly to get his name, and that of his fellow trade
union activist Des Warren (who sadly passed away in 2004), cleared of the charge
of 'conspiracy to intimidate' at a picket in Shrewsbury for which they were both
imprisoned for 2 years in 1973.
In October 2014, Ricky was given the ultimate accolade from his beloved
hometown. He was born in Blackpool as his mother, Peggy, was evacuated there
during the 2nd World War, but returned to the City just 3 days later. So to
recognise his work in the entertainment industry, his support of many local
charities and for being a true ambassador of where he was raised, Ricky was
awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
Ricky Tomlinson commented:- "I am thoroughly looking forward to being an In
Conversation guest, which follows the wonderful honour I received from the
people of Liverpool just three months ago when I was awarded the Freedom of the
City of Liverpool. I hope some familiar faces from my past will attend and enjoy
sharing our stories and anecdotes. My taste in music is very simple but each of
my chosen pieces means something very special to me, so I hope the audience
enjoys the music and the entire evening."
Little Atom Productions co-producer Karen Podesta added:- "His career has been
so amazing thus far and he doesn't show signs of stopping any time soon. His
life story truly is a fascinating and inspirational 1. I think we can safely say
the audience are in for a real treat."
The event will follow the popular tried and test In Conversation format. Ricky
will pick his five favourite songs ahead of the event which will then be
performed as entirely unique versions by 5 separate musical acts live on the
night. The audience will also be treated to stills and clips from Ricky's long
and impressive career; there may even be a few special surprises thrown in!
Tomlinson will be interviewed on the evening by regular In Conversation
presenter Mike Neary.
Mike Neary said:- "Ricky Tomlinson has been a hero of mine for over 20 years. In
addition to his iconic TV roles, I am looking forward to discussing a wide
variety of subjects with him including his time with some of the most acclaimed
film makers in the business such as Ken Loach, Jimmy McGovern, Shane Meadows and
In Conversation With Ricky Tomlinson takes place on Wednesday, 4 March 2015, in
the Concert Room of St George's Hall Liverpool (North Entrance). Doors open at
7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Tickets are priced at £25 and go on sale at 9am on Monday 12 January 2015. They
online or by calling:- 0844 8000 410.*
Tickets can also be bought in person at the TicketQuarter booth at Queen's
Square, with no fees apply for that option.
* Online and telephone ticket sales are subject to a booking fee per
Hollywood beckons as National Search For A Star
Arrives in Southport
A nationwide search for a new singing sensation comes to Southport this
Saturday, 10 January 2015. The Mecca bingo club on Lord Street is hosting live
auditions and recording sessions to launch Star Search, a brand new national
talent competition being run by Mecca across the UK. The best singers at the
Southport event stand a chance of joining other local and regional heat winners
at a star studded national final, which is being held as part of a Star Search
celebration weekend at Mecca Blackpool in June. And the overall Star Search
winner will receive the ultimate star treatment as their prize, jetting off to
Los Angeles on a once-in-a-lifetime trip for 2 to Hollywood, with accommodation
in a top Beverley Hills Hotel and spending money thrown in. The Southport
auditions are being held from 4.30pm on Saturday. Entrants will be able to
select their own backing track on the night and all performances will be filmed.
Videos of each singer will be uploaded by club staff to the Mecca Facebook page,
where people will be able to vote for their favourites, who will then progress
to the next stage of the competition. Entries for Star Search are accepted via
live auditions at Mecca bingo clubs or via
singers can upload their own videos of themselves performing, whether onstage or
just in front of a mirror in the bedroom! Mecca area manager for Southport Star
Search Mike Sime said:- "Star Search will be one of the biggest and best talent
competitions to run across the UK this year but it is not only open to singers
who think they have what it takes to hit the big time. We want as many entries
as possible because we believe there's a lot of hidden talent out there." The
easiest way to enter the competition is online, but the live recording sessions
do offer something different. Mike continued:- "The live auditions are great fun
and are a good alternative for those who don't want to enter online. Entries
are welcome from members and non-members who want to give it a go as part of a
great night out at Mecca Southport." The competition is open to over 18's only.
Membership of Mecca bingo clubs is free. Mecca Southport will host a small
number of other live auditions before the closing date of 22 February 2015. Dates
for these sessions are available by contacting the club directly on:- 01704