Plumbers, tradesmen and builders in the Lancaster and Morecambe are being urged to sign up to innovative new NSPCC training to help them spot children at risk of abuse and neglect.
The charity’s ‘It’s Your Call’ training is designed to give local businesses and sole traders whose job involves visiting customer’s homes, the knowledge and confidence to recognise possible signs of child abuse.
The safeguarding training which involves all types of abuse also provides them with guidance on who to tell if they have concerns about the wellbeing of a child they come across while working in or around customer’s homes.
Last year the NSPCC’s Helpline made 5,131 referrals to local agencies such as the police or children’s services in the North West following calls and emails from members of the public concerned about a child, the majority of which were concerns about neglect.
Brad, a telephone engineer from Gateshead, called the NSPCC Helpline about a toddler he feared was being neglected following a visit to a customer’s house to install satellite TV.
He said: “She looked unhappy and was very dishevelled.
“She had dirt on her bare legs and, as a dad, I knew the dirt wasn’t from playing out or that she had made a mess with her food; it was a build-up of dirt and she looked like she hadn’t been washed in a while.
“I knew I had to do something straight away.
“I had considered reporting it to someone when I thought it was just the adults there but I thought it was their life and it wasn’t for me to intervene.
“But knowing they had a young child in that mess was just unthinkable and someone needed to speak up for her.”
NSPCC Head of Helplines John Cameron said: “Professionals who come into contact with people and their homes through their jobs, may see or hear things that others may not.
“While it is not their job to decide if what they have seen is abuse or not, it is their responsibility to talk to someone to discuss their concerns.”
To sign up visit www.npscc.org.uk/itsyourcall or call 0808 8005000.