A CHILD protection charity has announced a new partnership with Britain’s four Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs).
The collaboration between the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and GDNs will deliver safeguarding training to more than 18,000 workers across the country, after almost 60,000 calls were made to the NSPCC Helpline last year.
Gas engineers will take part in a specialised training entitled It’s Your Call, which consists in helping employees who visit homes recognise signs of abuse and neglect and gives them the confidence and knowledge to seek appropriate support.
The roll-out of the training with GDN workers across Britain – including sub-contractors and GDN staff at Cadent Gas, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities – has already begun and will continue throughout the next two years.
This project has been funded by the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA) – an Ofgem fund split between the four GDNs to work with partners, charities and organisations to support customers in vulnerable situations.
The partnership will offer access for a network of child protection practitioners working with the NSPCC to free carbon monoxide detectors, training on spotting carbon monoxide risks and information about fuel poverty signposting.
Edward Allard, social programmes manager at Cadent, said: “Thanks to this partnership we can create an army of safeguarders to help identify children at risk of neglect or abuse and ensure our workers know how to help them get the support they need.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to support customers living in the most vulnerable situations, each GDN will also work with the NSPCC’s safeguarding experts to ensure that the safeguarding of children and young people is fully embedded into our organisations.”
Sir Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, added: “By working together and sharing our resources, experience and expertise we can help engineers and gas employees across the country play their part in supporting vulnerable families and children.”