Ant and Dec throw their support behind national campaign to keep children safe

Credit: PA

TV presenting duo Ant & Dec are calling on the UK to play today in support of the NSPCC’s Childhood Day.

They've joined forces with Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder of the NSPCC run service Childline, and TV presenter Emma Willis to call on the UK to give children a great summer and a brighter future

Thousands of children and adults have already signed up to play and raise money for the leading children’s charity, with communities from all corners of the UK organising play themed events.

To mark their support as Childhood Day champions, Ant and Dec are releasing a video which sees them playing some fun and simple games to show just how easy it is to get playing this Childhood Day.

The Saturday Night Takeaway hosts are raising awareness of the challenges that children have faced such as school closures, cancelled exams and being separated from family and friends have had a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many young people.

Childline revealed over the year they've delivered over 73,000 counselling sessions about this issue.

The NSPCC has also found that the pandemic has increased the risk of abuse and neglect. The Childline service reported an 18% increase in counselling sessions about emotional abuse, when compared to the year before.

Following a recent online YouGov poll of 243 parents across the North of England with children aged three to twelve, the NSPCC found that nearly three quarters (73%) think play has helped their child’s mental health and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic.

Just over half of those surveyed in the region also think it’s helped to reduce stress (54%) and prevent loneliness (52%) and 58% said its helped to support learning outside of school.

The NSPCC says over 4,000 people have signed up to support Childhood Day.