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Child neglect prevention campaign launches

A campaign to help prevent child neglect in Birmingham launches today.

It comes as new figures show that half of people in the city would not seek professional help if they noticed a child being neglected because they feared about making a mistake.

The 'Help' campaign by Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board and NSPCC aims to get people to talk to professionals if they are worried about a child.

"As a Safeguarding Board we want all children in the City to grow up safe, healthy, happy and well cared for emotionally as well as physically. The evidence in Birmingham is that too many do not get the help they need early enough to stop the early signs of neglect. That means too many children have experienced tough and difficult lives for too long, before they get the help they need."

– Jane Held, Independent Chair of Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board
The campaign is called 'Help' Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/Press Association Images

"Most children in Birmingham are well cared for by people who love them very much. However, there are too many children and young people being neglected, many of whom may be suffering in silence, utterly reliant upon the adults around them to notice their distress and take action to put a stop to it."

– Sandra McNair, NSPCC Midlands Regional Head of Services for children and families

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Young football fans used as 'Flare Mules'

A new campaign, highlighting the dangers of bringing flares and smoke bombs into football grounds, claims children as young as eight have been used to smuggle the pyrotechnic devices into stadiums.

The Premier League, Football League and the FA are working in unison in light of the growing number of incidents in recent months. Earlier this year, a 15-year-old boy suffered lung damage from a smoke bomb thrown during Wigan Athletic's match against Aston Villa.

Pyrotechnics are illegal in football grounds, carrying the risk of jail sentences... Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

The Premier League said:

"A disturbing element of increased pyrotechnics has been the involvement of children, whereby it is not uncommon for 'mules' to bring the pyrotechnics into a ground on behalf of others."

Fireworks are illegal at football matches, but more recently a linesman was struck by a smoke-bomb during Tottenham Hotspur's encounter at Aston Villa in October this season.

Mothers campaign against closure of children centres

A group of mothers campaigning against the closure of children centres in Dudley say they will not be able to travel to ones further away because of the cost.

Dudley Borough Council plan to reduce the number of centres from 20 to 13 due to funding cuts, but say they are holding a period of consultation to see what can be done to save them.

Campaigners say the service is a lifeline for many mothers.

Olympic medalist joins children at World Marathon Challenge

High jumper and Olympic bronze medalist, Robbie Grabarz, has joined children taking part in a charity run at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

Robbie Grabarz Credit: ITV News Central

The children will be running in teams over marathon distance as part of a campaign organised by charity, Save the Children, to raise awareness of world hunger and child poverty.

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Children to complete World Marathon Challenge

More than 200 children from three Birmingham schools are at the Alexander Stadium today to take part in a charity challenge.

The children will be running in teams over marathon distance. The challenge is part of a simultaneous run involving 60,000 children worldwide.

The World Marathon Challenge has been organised by Save the Children charity and aims to raise awareness of world hunger and child poverty.

Some parents 'unaware' of how to protect children online

Social networking sites and smart phones are widely used as a means of contacting vulnerable young people who are targeted by manipulators who trap them into a cycle of online abuse.

Charities have warned that every child is a potential target.

Earlier this week, eight men were jailed at Derby Crown Court for paying vulnerable young girls for sex.

James Diamond trains parents, children and professionals on how to stay safe online. He told ITV News Central that some parents are unaware of how to protect their children online.

Parents offered advice to keep children safe online

Parents and carers are being offered help and advice to keep their children safe online from sexual exploitation.

Leicestershire Police are holding three seminars in October and November in conjunction with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

The seminars, entitled ‘Keeping Your Family Safe Online from Sexual Exploitation’, are suitable for parents, carers or professionals whose work involves child safeguarding. They will cover what child sexual exploitation is, what the signs are and what parents/carers can do to protect their children.

The seminars are being held between 6pm and 8pm at Police Headquarters in Enderby on October 1, October 14 and November 11.

School in the woods teaches kids about safety

Annie Woods from Nottingham Trent University with kids at the Forest School Credit: ITV News Central

A senior lecturer in childhood studies has started up a "Forest School" in woods at the university's Brackenhurst campus near Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

Children can learn about risk through climbing trees and searching for insects in a safe and controlled environment.

Under-fives from Lowdham Pre-School spend a morning a week at the site. Staff say it boosts the children's confidence and improves learning.Forest Schools started in Scandinavia where research has found they encourage children to play longer, make them less irritable and less likely to be off sick.

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