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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


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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