A leading children’s charity has launched its search for people in Devon to help deliver its award-winning programme.

The new volunteers will help with the NSPCC's 'Speak out Stay Safe' schools programme.

This initiative, aimed at children aged between five to 11, delivers important lessons on recognising and understanding abuse.

It makes use of age-appropriate language, ensuring that the young students understand that abuse is never the child's fault.

It also informs them about their right to safety and provides them with ways to seek help from trusted adults or the charity's Childline service.

Schools Service, which conducts Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies and workshops throughout the area, urgently needs additional volunteers.

These sessions, facilitated by volunteers and assisted by the mascot Buddy, educate children about the various forms of abuse and the steps to take if they feel threatened or have concerns for a friend.

Christine Munn, 74, a Speak Out Stay Safe volunteer, said: "I am involved in various activities but I wanted to do something which would link with my previous work role in the probation service.

"Speak Out Stay Safe helps safeguard possible child victims of some form of abuse.

"It increases their awareness of their right not to be abused in a safe situation and also who they might contact for help."

This month, the NSPCC is appealing for new volunteers to bolster its reach across Devon schools.

Last year, over 147,000 children in more than 647 schools across the South West engaged with this programme.

There is a minimum commitment requirement of visiting two schools per month for volunteers of the NSPCC Schools Service, who will receive training and support from their dedicated coordinator.

Ms Christine encouraged anyone considering joining to do so.

She said: "I would certainly ask people to consider volunteering for the NSPCC.

"I have never worked with children before and I have found it rewarding to be part of keeping them safe."

Michelle Green, NSPCC Schools Service manager for the South West, said: "We would love to hear from anyone who can spare just a few hours each month to help share vital Speak out Stay safe messaging with children and young people in Devon.

"Our volunteers have told us that they consider it a privilege to raise children’s awareness of their right to be safe, and many feel that through the Schools Service, they have also gained a sense of pride, confidence and empowerment by delivering these workshops and sharing the important messaging."

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for the programme can find more information on the NSPCC's website.