21-01-2015: HeadStart Hull supports drive to play it safe online


As part of the Big Lottery Fund’sHeadStart project, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Humber NHS Foundation Trust are preparing for #HeadStartHull week, which will run from Monday 26 January to Sunday 1 February across social media and is aimed at raising awareness about the issues surrounding internet safety and video games.

The social media campaign aims to provide young people with trusted information on internet safety whilst highlighting the possible effects of playing unsuitable age rated video games. Parents and carers will also benefit from #HeadStartHull week as jargon-busting guides will be shared, along with information on where they can go for help if they’re worried about a young person’s online activity or the content of video games they are playing.

Julia Mizon, Co-Chair of Hull Children's and Families Board and NHS Hull CCG Director of Commissioning and Partnerships said: "NHS Hull CCG's ambition extends beyond commissioning health care for children and young people in Hull; we want to communicate with children and young people effectively and enable them to be confident and happy in every aspect of their lives.”

“#HeadStartHull week provides the city’s young people with information they may need on a platform they use. Social media forms a large part of their ‘world’ and we want this advice to be embedded as part of it. We also want parents and carers to know where they can get advice if they are worried about a young person’s online activity or video game use.”

“Thankfully many young people, and their parents, are aware of where to go for help but by raising the awareness of trusted resources and information we hope all young people and parents can be well informed and make positive choices online.”

Will Taylor, Humber NHS Foundation Trust child clinical psychologist added:

“Young people and children love to play video games with their friends. They are exciting and some of these games really help people think and work together. However, there are games that show young people and children things that they are not ready for. This might be violence, sex, hurtful relationships or upsetting situations.”

“Online gaming can be even more fun, playing with people from all around the world. However, some of these online gamers might be older or might do things that hurt or upset young people. Online gaming opens up a new social network for a young person, but without really knowing who they are or what they might want. Unfortunately, online gaming can sometimes lead to bullying and even sexual grooming.”

“Through #HeadStartHull week we hope to raise awareness of this and help young people in Hull to have the confidence they need to tackle online dangers.”

Search #HeadStartHull on Twitter from Monday 26 January to find out more.


Background information

The online campaign forms just part of the digital strand of the HeadStart Hull pilot which saw the development of the ‘Care Monkeys’ digital app in 2014. The app, designed by five young people in conjunction with the Cornerhouse Project, also formed a winning Humberside Police’s Lifestyle project entry. The digital app is currently being tested by a sample of school children in Hull who are involved in the HeadStart project.

‘Digital Champions’ have been identified to promote online safety messages to their peers, with groups of young people involved in HeadStart, in the process of creating videos aimed at sharing their experiences and how they have dealt with issues that have affected their resilience and mental wellbeing.

July 2014 saw Hull successfully receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund to develop a local ‘HeadStart’ project aimed at helping young people aged between 10 and 14 to cope with the pressures of modern life.

The project is currently in a pilot stage until December 2015.

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