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JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – June 2020

Topics for this month:

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an organized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience from the police against African-American people. In 2013, the movement began with the use of the #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmermanin and the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

For many decades, black people have been treated unfairly compared with people of European descent. Often black people have not been given the same advantages for instance, not offered the same employment opportunity for jobs, been unfairly harassed and made to feel inferior.

Time and again, black people have protested this unfair treatment, while there have been some improved changes and accountability in policing, there continues to be many challenges.

On May 25 2020, a black man named George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were arresting him for a relatively minor alleged offense, he did not deserve the treatment he got and he did not deserve to die. The arrest was caught on video, everyone around the world saw the brutally unfair treatment of Floyd at the hands of the police. The four police officers who killed George Floyd were fired from their jobs and have been charged with murder in one case and for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in the three other cases.

After Floyd’s death, as well as other recent racist incidents in the US and other countries many protests have took place. Hundreds of thousands of people have marched to raise awareness about racism against black people and the need to find a solution.

Racism or discrimination of any kind has no place in society. Equality and equity for all should not be a controversial issue, it is a human right regardless of the colour of a person’s skin. The value of black people’s lives is not dependent on how well they can assimilate into a society that was built to work against them. Ignorance of racism is a choice, yet many people of society still fail to act on this to fight against it.

This doesn’t just mean protesting, donating, signing petitions or posting hashtags. While these all play their own role in moving BLM in the right direction, the most important thing we can all do during this time is educate ourselves. Thinking about this gives hope that the next generation will be the driving force to create meaningful change and more acceptance and equal treatment to black people and that their lives matter.

In order to be true allies to black people and to the many ethnic minorities in this country that suffer oppression under systemic racism, we need to understand how to get there. There are various toolkits, campaigns and resources on the website below to help take action and support this change.

Reading Terrorist attack

A terrible terrorist attack took place on Saturday 20th June in the evening in Reading, during which three people tragically lost their lives. At this stage the incident appears to be a lone actor attack, and it is not believed that anyone else was involved, or that there is any further threat to the public now that the offender is in custody.

We understand that staff and learners may be feeling anxious or worried and this is completely fine. The Safeguarding Team are here to support you. We would like to share again the Run, Hide, Tell video (see link below) which provides simple but useful advice for anyone who unwittingly gets caught up in a terrorist incident or other emergency situation. We have also attached the Run, Hide, Tell leaflet for information.

Managing feelings about lockdown easing – Mind Charity

Lockdown has been difficult for many people. But when we were in full lockdown across the UK, things might have felt more certain, as the rules were clearer. Now things might start feeling less clear, and there may be new challenges. It can feel stressful when things are changing fast.

What might I be feeling about lockdown easing?

You might feel relieved or excited when lockdown is eased where you live. But you might also find yourself feeling less positive about the changes. You may move through a range of difficult feelings and thoughts.

For example:

  • Stressed and unprepared for the changes that are coming.
  • Anxious, afraid or panicked that the changes may cause an increase in infections. Or that someone you care about may now be put at risk when they weren’t before. For example if your children might be asked to go back to school or nursery.
  • Angry or frustrated. Perhaps because people aren’t following social distancing rules, and now can’t avoid them. Or you feel that the changes are wrong, or the measures in place aren’t enough. Other people may seem to have more freedom than you, if you’re shielding or live somewhere with more restrictions. Or you may feel that the changes will make your work more difficult or higher risk, especially if you’re a key worker.
  • Conflicted or confused. For example, you may want to socialise more if it’s allowed, but feel like perhaps you should still stay at home.
  • Protective of your lockdown routine, like you’d rather not have to deal with more change or uncertainty.
  • Grief for people who have died, and that you want to avoid more loss.
  • Reluctant or unmotivated to rearrange events that couldn’t happen during full lockdown. This could be big birthday celebrations or weddings, or everyday things like barbecues, meet-ups, or dating.
  • Uneasy about relationships that have changed during full lockdown.
  • Distrustful of the Government’s reasons for changing the rules, or how things are portrayed in the media.
  • Powerless, like you don’t have a say in anything that’s happening.
  • Stigmatised or that others will avoid you. Perhaps because you’ve already had coronavirus, or they think your work makes you more likely to spread the virus.
  • Like you’re having to make an unfair sacrifice. For example if you are being asked to go back to work when others are still able to stay at home.
  • Under pressure to return to work when you can’t, or when you feel it’s not safe to.
  • Unsupported or disregarded, perhaps if you’re asked to go back to work without having access to things like childcare, personal protective equipment (PPE), or safe transport.


  • There’s no ‘normal’ response to lockdown or lockdown easing.
  • Your feelings might change. You might feel one way one day, and another way the next. It might not feel logical.

Your feelings might be influenced by:

  • your personal situation
  • what lockdown has been like for you
  • your own views about what’s happened so far, and what should happen next
  • lots of things that are out of your control.

As restrictions are being lifted differently around the UK, it might feel like others are following different rules to you. Your general mood may feel quite different to full lockdown, when most people were following the same rules.

What could help me manage these feelings?

Some of the feelings you’re having now may feel difficult to manage. For those of us with existing mental health problems, they may be particularly tough. You might find it useful to try some of these suggestions.

  • Get practical support from organisations who can help. Our coronavirus useful contacts page lists lots of organisations who can help with different aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, including bereavement, work and parenting.
  • Talk to someone you trust. It might feel hard to start talking about how you are feeling. But many people find that sharing their experiences can help them feel better. It may be that just having someone listen to you and show they care can help in itself. If you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you, you can call Samaritans any time on 116 123.
  • Try online peer support. Mind runs an online peer support community where you can share your experiences and hear from others. We welcome people from all backgrounds, whatever you’re going through right now.
  • Express your feelings creatively. You might find that it helps to express how you are feeling about the easing of lockdown by writing, drawing, painting or any other creative way that feels helpful to you.
  • Make choices to control the things that you can. Although the coronavirus outbreak means that your choices are limited, try to focus on the things you can change. It might be helpful to list the things you can change on one piece of paper and all the things you can’t on another.
  • Seek help. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is ok to ask for help. A good place to start is by speaking to your GP, or your mental health team if you have one. The NHS and other services have adapted to the coronavirus outbreak. There are video and telephone appointments available, if you need to speak to someone.
  • Alternatively, you can speak to JTM’s Safeguarding Team who can discuss your concerns and whether you would like external support to be arranged.

For further information, visit:

Health and Safety – Tips for working from home

  1. Get ready for the day – Get up early and prepare for the day in the same way you would if you were going into the office. Some people find it useful to wear office clothes  – but this is ultimately up to preference.
  2. If you have a spare room or space, use it – Try to allocate a specific place where you work. This will help you to maintain a distinction between home and work, which can help you to relax when you need to, but also be productive when working.
  3. Keep your normal work structure – Work the hours that you normally would. Know when to log off and don’t be tempted to just keep working the whole day – you’ll be more productive if you keep a good structure.
  4. Drink plenty of water and keep moving – It can be easy for a whole day to pass before you realise you’ve been largely sedentary or dehydrated. Set reminders to drink water and to get up and move every hour.
  5. Find what works for you – You might find new things that work for you, whether it’s taking a lunch break at the same time, working at a standing desk, or putting on shoes to make you feel more productive.

How best to respond? Contextual Safeguarding Factsheet

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer/Questioning) people can face unique and complex challenges growing up and later in life. It is integral that we educate ourselves and young people in our care about LGBTQ communities to promote tolerance not only during Pride month, but throughout the year.

Find out how to best respond to the needs of LGBTQ young people by reading the Contextual Safeguarding fact sheet created by Ineqe.

New Xbox parental control app

During COVID-19, it is inevitable that everyone – and especially young people – are spending more time online due to lockdown restrictions. Microsoft have announced that that will shortly be releasing a new family settings app for their games console. The Xbox Family Settings app is for parents to manage their children’s gaming activities on Xbox One consoles, from iOS and Android phones.

Currently, parental controls for the Xbox are controlled via the settings on the console itself, a process which is not as simple and straightforward as it should be.

With the new app parents, don’t now actually need to go near the game console itself – the settings are controlled via the app.

The app will allow a parent to:

  • Set screen time and update content restrictions
  • View activity reports – gain insight into your family’s Xbox gaming activity with daily and weekly activity reports
  • Regulate screen time – set console screen time for your children and block or unblock content
  • Manage incoming requests for screen time.
  • Friend management – stay on top of incoming friend requests
  • Employ privacy tools – set communication limits and allow online multiplayer in each child’s Xbox profile

The Xbox Family Settings app will be released by Microsoft shortly.

Gaming loot boxes and gambling

Most games and apps have in-game/in-app purchases, particularly free ones, for example Fortnite. Free games are a deliberate way of gaining traction and popularity quickly, meaning the likelihood of big profits through in-games purchases is significantly higher. There are a range of things that can be purchased, but one of the most popular are loot boxes.

Loot boxes are virtual treasure chests containing undisclosed items that can be used in games, i.e. the player doesn’t what they are buying until the transaction has been completed. These might be ways of customising characters or weapons (‘skins’). These contents may affect progress through the game, or simply be designed to convey status.

Loot boxes are a key feature of many online games. They have come under fire for using predatory techniques to push players to spend money while gaming. Some researchers have noted an overlap between loot boxes and problem gambling. It is also known that some children will gamble items for real money using unregulated websites (known as skin gambling). 

Despite resembling a lottery, loot boxes are not classified as gambling in the UK. So far, the UK Gambling Commission has accepted industry arguments that because the items inside are only used in the game, loot boxes shouldn’t be seen as gambling. Other countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, and China, have taken a different view and moved to classify loot boxes as gambling or to restrict them.

This and more has prompted the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to put out a call for evidence on loot boxes to examine links to gambling-like behaviour and excessive spending in games. It is hoped that the findings will provide a solid foundation for future steps and will be considered alongside a review of the Gambling Act.

In the meantime, parents should be aware that children are often pressurised to spend money on loot boxes.  Some things for parents to consider when thinking about their children and gaming:

  • Show an interest in the games they play. If your child is being exposed to loot boxes, talk to them about why they think they are being asked to spend money without knowing what they’ll get in return. 
  • Buying a loot box occasionally isn’t going to lead to problem gambling. The concern comes when the habit gets out of control. Make sure to get involved and be aware of what your child is spending. 
  • Check that your card details aren’t saved on any gaming system. It’s easy for a child to get tempted into buying a new skin for their character or a new weapon camo – or simply to click the wrong button and make an accidental purchase. Beware of having payment methods (vouchers, prepaid cards, debit/credit card) linked to their account.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – May 2020

Topics for this month:

This week is ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’:18th – 24th May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week aims to get people talking about their mental healthand reduce the stigma that can stop people from asking for help and reaching out. Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

Theme of awareness week is ‘Kindness’

One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times. We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.

The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. Research has proven this is true whether you are giving or receiving the acts of kindness.

‘Kindness’ unlocks our shared humanity and is central for our mental health. It has the potential to bring people together, with benefits for everyone, particularly at times of great stress.

Kindness could transform schools, places of work, communities and families. To help shape a society that tips the balance in favour of good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable.  

10 random acts of kindness:

  1. Smile
  2. Hold the door open for others
  3. Give an honest compliment
  4. Thank someone who you appreciate
  5. Be a good listener
  6. Offer your help to someone
  7. Ask another person how their day is going
  8. Ask another person how they are
  9. Treat someone to a coffee or tea
  10. Give something and not expect anything in return

What can you do for mental health awareness week!

There are a range of events, resources and fun challenges on the Mental Health Foundation website, which include social media graphics, posters and support packs on what you can do to get involved and take action. You can also join on line, the Foundation campaign is to encourage the nation talking about kindness and mental health.

Five warning signs of mental illness

  • long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • extremely high and low moods
  • excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
  • social withdrawal
  • dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits

Types of mental illness

  • mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  • anxiety disorders
  • personality disorders
  • psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)
  • eating disorders
  • trauma-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)

For more information on the mental health awareness week you can visit:

Mental health guidance and resources

Mind Charity: Coronavirus and your wellbeing:

NHS: Mental wellbeing while staying at home:

The safeguarding team watched a webinar by the Education Child Protection in relation to mental health and building resilience. A very thought provoking video was shared which focuses on ‘social media vs reality’ to show the effects social media can have on our mental health.

The video can be found here and we encourage you to share it with friends, family, learners and employers.

We have created a poster containing the information from the webinar and attached it to this bulletin – please ensure that you share it to raise awareness of mental health and support available.

Top tips for learning/working from home

Learning from home is a new experience for most of us. In addition you may find that you are working from home rather than attending your workplace. Here are 5 top tips;

TIME – Decide and then allocate the best time of the day for you to learn. You might have to book this time with the rest of your family. If you are working from home, make sure you take regular breaks. It is easy to forget the time so make sure you keep to a schedule and switch off when you should do.

SPACE– Decide where the best place in your house is for you to learn/work from. Again, you might have to negotiate with others for that space. Where possible a room with natural light can be beneficial.

EQUIPMENT – A comfortable seat, the right headphones and the right lighting – all make learning/working from home better.

REGULAR BREAKS – Make sure you move away from your workstation regularly, maybe every 20 – 30 minutes. If you have a garden, take a walk outside and make sure you drink plenty of water.

MAKE THE MOST OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES – Take advantage of any groups or webinars and use them to the full. It’s a great time to learn a new hobby or develop new skills. Try cooking or baking, a new dance, a new language, and reading more often – whatever you are interested in.

Tackling fake news during the pandemic

This is a confusing time for us all, and sometimes it can be challenging to know what to believe. Research published by Ofcom shows half of all UK adults exposed to fake news regarding Coronavirus in the first week of April. 

Young people are spending much more time online and are likely to be exposed to much more fake news than usual. Young people need careful guidance on how to identify fake news and misinformation online.

COVID-19 has changed our everyday lives, in a way previously thought imaginable. The impact of the pandemic has also seen the spread of fake news and misinformation.  A report published by the EU this month accused Russia and China and other nation-states of targeting European citizens with fake news regarding the pandemic. There are also concerns that self-proclaimed ‘experts’ are offering false medical information for cures. 

Facebook has been facing international criticism after a report found that the company was not doing enough to stop the spread of fake news during the pandemic. Experts have called this a ‘perfect storm’ of online disinformation. 

Here are some of the most common fake news stories in circulation: 

  • 5G telecommunication masts are causing Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus is a biological weapon created by either Russia, the USA, China or the UK depending on who is peddling the story
  • Migrants have contributed to the spread of Coronavirus 
  • Chain messages from doctors sharing immunity tips not backed by science

The government has set up a rapid response unit which is dealing with around 10 incidents every day. They have also re-launched the ‘Don’t Feed the Beast’ campaign which urges people to carefully consider things that they share or post online. A ‘SHARE checklist’ has been produced, giving things to consider before sharing on information and which can be seen here:

The fact-checking website Full Fact is a great place to see the latest COVID-19 ‘bad information’ and fake news stories that are currently doing the rounds (

The INEQE Safeguarding Group have produced some further advice on the matters covered here at

Digital safety during COVID-19

The Department for Education’s North West Regional Prevent Co-ordinator, Nigel Lund, has prepared a very useful summary of advice on safeguarding from harm online in the context of what we are all experiencing at the moment. The guidance can be used by training providers in both their professional and home lives.

The advice covers how to spot signs of online exploitation, steps to improve digital safety and guidance on what to do if you feel someone is being affected by the concerns mentioned. A lot of safeguarding organisations are producing some great advice on digital safety at present, but the safeguarding team feel that Nigel’s information sheet attached, is an excellent analysis of the current concerns being faced.

Learning about online safety at home (ThinkUKnow)

ThinkUKnow have created a page to support parents and young people online. The site includes home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities support children’s understanding of online safety at a time. These can be used to complement work provided by schools for home learning and are provided for primary and secondary school age groups.

There is also parent support information for primary and secondary age groups.

The resources and more information can be found here:

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – April 2020

Topics for this month:

Coronavirus Leaflet

The government have produced a leaflet on what to do to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including information on symptoms and government support. We have attached it to the bulletin for your information. Click here for the coronavirus leaflet

Mental health and wellbeing information

The government have produced guidance on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult time. We have put together our own information leaflet for you which we have attached. The information can also be found by visiting:

Coronavirus cyber attacks

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, along with their US counterparts have warned about the increased exploitation of vulnerable people and systems by criminals using the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic as the subject context.

Cyber criminals are using the pandemic for commercial gain, deploying a variety of ransomware and other malware.

Threats observed include:

  • Phishing, using the subject of coronavirus or COVID-19 as a lure
  • Malware distribution using coronavirus or COVID-19 themed lures
  • Registration of new website domain names containing coronavirus or COVID-19 related wording
  • Attacks against newly (and often rapidly) deployed remote access or remote working infrastructure, e.g. GoToMyPC, Zoom or TeamViewer etc.

Some specific examples of the types of coronavirus scam that are being used can be found here:

The organisations have produced guidance (see attached) on how to mitigate these risks, summarised by the following statement:

‘Malicious cyber actors are continually adjusting their tactics to take advantage of new situations, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Malicious cyber actors are using the high appetite for COVID-19 related information as an opportunity to deliver malware and ransomware and to steal user credentials. Individuals and organisations should remain vigilant. For genuine information about the virus, please use trusted resources such as the UK government website, Public Health England or NHS websites.’

Support for domestic abuse victims

The Home Secretary has launched a new public awareness raising campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, will aim to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time.

It will encourage members of the general public to show their solidarity and support for those who may be suffering, by sharing government digital content or a photo of a heart on their palm, and asking others to do the same, to show victims that they are not alone and to convey to perpetrators that domestic abuse is unacceptable in any circumstances.

The campaign will be publicising support available including the freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, and

From next week, adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help will run across social media and materials will be made available to a wide range of partners including charities and supermarkets. Additionally, the Home Secretary announced that the Home Office is working with charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to provide an additional £2 million to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support.

Charities have reported a surge in activity since the social distancing guidelines came into force, so the funding will help to ensure that all victims can access vital support safely and securely. Tools such as online support services, including a messaging service with domestic abuse experts, will help those most at risk of abuse seek support and help and guidance during periods when it might be difficult for them to talk on the phone.

Additional helplines/support available:

Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men: Freephone 0808 8010 327

Domestic Abuse Services and Refuge in the North West for Women and Children ( 0300 3033 581

Helping men escape domestic abuse: (Mankind). For confidential help, call 01823 334244

Online radicalisation information sheet – Attached

We recognise that this is a difficult time for parents and guardians and that the Coronavirus is having a significant impact on young people and families across the world. This will almost certainly lead to children and young people spending more time online. Our experience of radicalisers is that they may link their extreme views to the global, national or individual response to Coronavirus which could be shown through films, images and discussions as:

  • Conspiracy theories
  • Blaming other people for the virus and its impact on life
  • Hate against groups because of race, religion, sexuality and gender

Click here for the radicalisation information sheet

Radicalisers can target young people by sending friend requests on popular sites and platforms to see who responds. They may strike up a conversation to build a relationship and ask them to chat privately, the child or young person may then be persuaded and encouraged to join new or secret groups. Often young people will be asked to continue discussions, not via the mainstream social media, but via other platforms and forums to give the radicaliser a greater degree of anonymity and can be less easy to monitor.

Check in with them and ask them about what they are viewing, who they are speaking to and how they are feeling. This might feel difficult, but here are some tips to help you:

  • Listen carefully to their fears and worries
  • Avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could be frightening and confusing
  • Give them advice and support to help them understand Coronavirus
  • Help them cope with bereavement and grief

You can get more information from the following websites to help understand why people sometimes need more support if they have been radicalised, what is available and how to access it. These websites can help you share your concerns online:

Houseparty App

This is a new app that has grown in popularity over the last 3-4 weeks, due to the need for people to find alternative ways to stay in touch with each other due to social distancing restrictions. It has become especially popular with children, who are using it to keep in touch with their school friends and relatives.

The app allows 2-8 people into a video chat room at any one time, where they can also send messages (group and private) to each other, video voicemails (known as facemails) and play games and quizzes etc. Users also receive notifications when their friends are in the Houseparty chat room, if they are not logged in themselves.

Some potential safeguarding risks for children/vulnerable adults:

  • Screenshots can be taken by users
  • Links to join chatrooms can be shared publicly, meaning uninvited guests may be able to join
  • When a friend is invited to join another chatroom, mutual friends of that person can also join without an invitation

Ways to stay safe when using the app:

  • Users can ‘lock their rooms’ using the private mode, meaning uninvited guests are unable to join
  • As with other apps, users can be blocked and/or reported

Please see the attached safety card on how to minimise safeguarding risks when using the Houseparty app.

The Covid Telegraph

The Covid Telegraphis a new website that has been set up in response to the huge amount of information – good and bad – that is now in the public domain regarding the coronavirus pandemic. This site has accumulated facts, articles, and advice in relation to the Covid 19 virus, with the criteria for publication being that the information has come from a recognised expert in their field and a verifiable source.

The success of this website comes from the fact that people viewing its content can be confident that they are reading genuine information and research about the current situation.

The Covid Telegraph website can be found here:

Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership – Free online e-Learning modules

Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership supports continuous learning and improvement by providing a wide range of opportunities for multi agencies and providers to come together to reflect upon the quality of their ‘safeguarding services’ and to ‘learn together’ from training experiences to improve services as a result.

There are a number of free online CPD resources available with LSCP on a wide variety of topics. Listed below are some safeguarding courses and resources that you may find useful and to help you understand how to work together effectively to safeguard the children and young people in our care.

  • Cyber Security, an introduction to stay safe online – Open University – Staying Safe Online
  • Action Counters Terrorism-ACT  
  • Counter terrorism Awareness – Counter Terrorism Policing-ACT 
  • Suicide Awareness – Zero Suicide Alliance – Let’s Talk 
  • Online Safety – CEOP – Online Safety  
  • Parental mental Health and Families – SCIE  
  • Domestic Abuse/Toxic Trio – AVA Project  
  • Human Trafficking Awareness – Salvation Army  
  • Child Sexual Exploitation – PACE  

Please visit the LSCP website to access the free online Safeguarding training using this link provided

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – March 2020

Topics for this month:

Coronavirus – How to protect your mental health and wellbeing

Coronavirus is dominating headlines around the world. While the media focus is on the impact on people’s physical health and what’s being done to prevent the spread of the disease; anxiety about the virus can be overlooked and can also have an impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Think about access to media and social media

Some people can be quite paralysed by this anxiety and may want to completely stop interacting with the news. But for others this can be quite difficult, they want to know what’s going on- not knowing makes it worse. You may want to think about where you are getting your information from. Are the reports sensationalising the situation and scaremongering? Or do you feel they are reporting responsibly and with balance?

  • Don’t ignore your anxiety: It is very normal to feel scared about something like this. Acknowledge that you feel this way and don’t ignore these feelings, as exploring why you feel this way can help – a counsellor can help you do this.
  • Do something you can control: It can help to express this anxiety in a way that you can control. That could be writing down what you feel, or keeping a journal.
  • Let it go: Once you’ve written it down, try and let it go. Allow yourself to worry, put it down in writing in a notebook, and then put that away.
  • Bring it back to the present: With anxiety, it’s often like you feel you are 10 steps ahead, so bring things back to the present.
  • Think about your thought process: Be really aware of what you’re thinking. Sometimes we are catastrophising, we are focusing on all these ‘what ifs?’ Bring things back to what you actually know. Reassure yourself, calm yourself.
  • Wellbeing check: Make sure you are looking after yourself, doing what you can to help get a good night’s sleep, eating well and doing exercise as it can help make us more robust against anxiety.
  • Self-management: It is important to make sure you are doing the usual self-management of your condition. Anxiety and the release of stress hormones can exacerbate physical symptoms. Anxiety links our brain and body. Make sure you are doing what you can to look after your physical health.
  • Breathing techniques and mindfulness: It is recommended to practice mindfulness or using breathing techniques to help you relax as these can be helpful in managing anxiety.

Coronavirus – Further ways to manage anxiety and stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations:

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis can include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 0800-985-5990 or text Talk With Us to 66746. (0800-846-8517)

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

People with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Mind Charity recommends continuing to access nature/sunlight wherever possible. Exercise, eat well and stay hydrated. Anxiety UK suggests practising the “Apple” technique to deal with anxiety and worries:

  • Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
  • Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
  • Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
  • Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
  • Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Reduce stress in yourself and others. Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and anxious and allow you to connect with them.

Resources for learners, teachers and parents/carers

Khan Academy’s mission is to provide a free, world class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle mathematics, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

You can sign up as a learner, teacher or parent/carer. There is support for parents when coaching their children. They have designed a step by step guide in order to help parents deal with the COVID-19 to be able to get set up, add their children onto the dashboard and progress with learning and activities.

A free hub of national safeguarding resources to empower children, young people and all adults supporting them.

Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers (

Live webcams in teaching and learning: Safeguarding issues to consider

  • Try to conduct group sessions over 1:1 sessions.
  • Please ensure that all sessions are recorded, whether they are group or 1:1 sessions for safeguarding purposes.
  • Staff and learners must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
  • Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and where possible be against a neutral background.
  • Live broadcasts should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background

Online CPD training

Whilst most staff are working remotely, undertaking CPD can be useful during this time in order to continue personal development.

Virtual College offers a range of free resources including:

  • Introduction to Prevention Infection and Control
  • Understanding Young Minds
  • Get Moving and Get Healthy

The Mind Charity has a specific ‘Mental Health for Small Workplaces’ online training which focuses on 3 modules which include:

  • Building your awareness
  • Looking after yourself
  • Supporting each other

5 ways to take back control of your screen time

With the recent changes to working conditions that a lot of people are currently facing, it is likely that screen use is going to be on the rise. This may be due to work-related matters, a desire to keep up to date with the latest news or, as normal activities and routines have been disrupted. simply through boredom.

With the news that schools, colleges and universities are also shutting for most children and young people, an increase in screen use for these groups is also inevitable.

For young people there are positive aspects of screen time, like creating artwork, playing or watching problem solving and educational games/videos. These can all be stimulating for the brain and greatly beneficial for young people and their development.

What are the effects of screen time?

Multiple studies have shown shrinkage in the parts of our brain that are important for executive functions including: planning, processing, organising, completing tasks and impulse control.

The Facts on Screen time According to Ofcom (2019):

  • 63% of 12-15-year-olds think they achieve ‘a good balance between screen time and doing other things’
  • 71% of older children are allowed to take their phones to bed
  • 5-15-year olds now spend 20 mins more online than they do in front of a TV
  • 35% of young people are finding it more difficult to moderate their screen time, an increase from 27% last year

Like all things in life, moderation is key when it comes to screen time. Here are five ways you can support yourself and young people in your care to take back control of their screen time:

1. Take regular breaks

2. Keep active during the day

3. Know your time limits

4. Agree to screen free times and places, e.g. at meal times or reading a book instead

5. As an adult, be a role model and demonstrate appropriate screen use to children and young people in your care

Internet image removal service
The NSPCC (Childline) have a new reporting facility available so that under 18’s can report if an image or video of them has been shared online in order for it to be removed from the Internet. The report goes to the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) and so young people should be made aware of this.

More information can be found here:

Reliable sources, helplines and support 

There’s a huge amount of misleading information circulating online about coronavirus – from dodgy health tips to speculation about government plans.

The BBC have recently issued a blog about fake news and the impact it can have. They have included 3 questions that you should ask yourself before you share the information:

  1. Does the source of the information seem vague or seem to be from a friend of a friend you can’t trace? Get to the bottom of where the story came from – or don’t share it. Just because you were sent it by somebody you trust, doesn’t mean they received the information from someone they actually know.
  2. Does all of the information seem true? When there are long lists, it’s easy to believe everything in them just because one kernel of advice is correct – that might be the case.
  3. Does the content make you emotional – happy, angry or scared? Misinformation goes viral because it plays on our emotions, so that’s a sign that it might not be true. Again, dig a bit deeper. Scientific breakthroughs, prevention advice or public announcements will come from reputable sources.

See full article here:

Further helplines/websites:

Attached to this bulletin is a range of helplines listed on the NHS website.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – February 2020

Topics for this month:

Guidance about the Coronavirus

Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) have published guidance for schools and other educational settings to assist in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers about coronavirus COVID-19.

The guidance covers information such as:

  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19

Please read the guidance in full and share it with learners and employers to raise awareness:

NHS ‘Eatwell’ guide

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • base your meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
  • have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
  • eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
  • If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients. Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

Visit the NHS ‘Eatwell’ page for more information on food and diet, recipes and tips, as well as digestive health:

We have attached the Eatwell guide as a pdf, which highlights different food groups, portion sizes, calories etc.

NHS ‘Live well’: Exercise

NHS provides advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing and one of the areas that they focus on is exercise. NHS provides physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 who should do some type of physical activity every day. Any type of activity is good for us and the more we do the better.

Adults should:

  • aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still
  • do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week
  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week
  • reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.

To achieve your weekly activity target, you can do the following:

  • several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity
  • a mix of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity
  • You can do your weekly target of physical activity on a single day or over 2 or more days. Whatever suits you.

Visit the NHS website where you can read information on:

  • exercise tips such as: safe exercising; weight loss tips; exercising with back pain
  • fitness guides
  • how much exercise depending on different ages
  • how to get involved in the ‘Couch to 5k’

TikTok – Safety controls

TikTok, a social video app that allows users to share short videos, is introducing a family safety mode designed to give parents tighter control over how their children use the app. The safety feature will allow parents and carers to link their account to their child’s and have direct control over the safety settings, including a “restricted mode” that tries to filter out inappropriate content, and turning off messaging.

That means the adult’s phone can now turn on and off the setting for:

  • restricted mode, an automatic filter, driven by an algorithm, which tries to hide content that may be inappropriate
  • messages, which can be limited so they can only be received from friends – or turned off completely
  • screen time controls, putting a hard limit on how long the app can be used each day

These safety features have been on the TikTok platform for some time, but needed to be set on the teenager’s phone manually, and locked behind a password that had to be reset every 30 days.

TikTok has an age limit of 13, but many pre-teens still use the app. A recent survey by UK media regulator Ofcom found that TikTok was used by 13% of all children aged 12-15 in 2019 which is up from 8% the year before.

Link to article:
We have also attached a ‘TikTok safety card’ for further information.

Ofcom – Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2019

This newly published report provides evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4. It also includes findings on parents’ views about their children’s media use, and how they monitor and limit it.

Overview of findings of the report

Connected children

  • Half of ten-year-olds now own their own smartphone. Between the ages of nine and ten, smartphone ownership doubles – marking an important milestone in children’s digital independence as they prepare for secondary school.
  • Use of smart speakers among children aged 5-15 has doubled over the last year. This means that, for the first time, they’re more widely used than radios.
  • More children watch video-on-demand (VoD) than watch live broadcast TV. Viewing of VoD has doubled over the last five years. One in four children do not watch live broadcast TV at all.

Popular platforms and online activities

  • YouTube remains a firm favourite among children. 5- to 15-year-olds are more likely to pick YouTube as their platform of choice over on-demand services such as Netflix, or TV channels including the BBC and ITV.
  • Children’s social media use is diversifying. WhatsApp in particular has gained popularity over the past year, joining Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as one of the top social media platforms used by children.
  • Newer platforms such as TikTok and Twitch are gaining popularity. TikTok is used by 13% of 12- to 15-year olds – up from 8% in 2018 – while Twitch is used by 5%.
  • Girl gamers are on the increase. Almost half of girls aged 5-15 now play games online – up from 39% in 2018.

Online engagement and participation

  • Rise of the ‘vlogger next door’. While high-profile YouTube stars remain popular, children are now increasingly drawn to influencers who are often local to their area, or who have a particular shared interest – known as ‘micro’ or ‘nano’ influencers.
  • Elements of children’s critical understanding have increased. Awareness of vlogger endorsement and how the BBC is funded have both increased; while understanding of how search engines (such as Google) work and the ability to recognise advertising on these sites are both unchanged since 2018.
  • The ‘Greta effect’ and online social activism. 2019 saw an increase in older children using social media to support causes or organisations, while one in ten signed an online petition of some sort.

Staying safe online

  • Children are seeing more hateful online content than they used to, and several children in our Media Lives research reported seeing violent and other disturbing content online. Half of 12- 15s say they have seen something hateful about a particular group of people in the last year – up from a third in 2016. Four in ten took some form of action, but the majority ignored it.
  • Parents are also increasingly concerned about their child seeing self-harm related content online and some elements of online gaming. Almost half of parents of 5-15s are concerned about their child seeing content which might encourage them to harm themselves, up from 39% in 2018. There have also been increases in the proportion of parents of 12-15s worried about ingame spending (from 40% to 47%) and game-related bullying (32% vs 39%).
  • Fewer parents feel that the benefits of their child being online outweigh the risks compared to five years ago. Just over half of parents of 5-15s feel this (55%), compared to two-thirds (65%) in 2015. However, there are indications that more parents are talking to their child about online safety (85% of parents of 5-15s), than compared to 2018 (81%).

7 Minute Briefings:

Teenagers and risk:

Do we accept risk in teenagers because of their age? How do you manage and assess this risk? Do you involve teens in their own risk assessments? Do you know the signs of exploitation? Self-harm? Emotional distress in teenagers? The THINK website (Teenage Health in Knowsley) has been designed to give young people a place to access, to find out where to go to get the support they need.

Risk taking is considered to be necessary for development, but teens do not judge risk well. Research shows that their brains are re-configuring, which can cause mental instability and increases vulnerability. To appreciate consequences of risky behaviour one has to have the ability to think through potential outcomes and understand the consequences.

Due to an immature prefrontal cortex, teens are not skilled at doing this. They do not take information, organise it and understand it in the same way that adults do – they have to learn how to do this. So it is vitally important teenagers showing risk indicators and are deemed at risk are monitored appropriately and given the right support and intervention.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Teenagers and risk’ from Knowsley Council.

Young carers:

Young carers are: children and young people under the age of 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, frail elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol or substances:

  • 9% provide 50+ hours per week care
  • 11.3 % provide 20-39 hours per week care
  • 56.1% female (0-24s) with 61.2% of those undertaking 50 hrs or more care per week.

The impact of caring on children and young people is wide ranging and can include: feeling lonely and missing out on friendships; feeling frightened and isolated and feeling scared to tell anyone about their home circumstances. They may also be feeling excluded; (bullied and stigmatised, difficulty getting to school/College on time); feeling overwhelmed; tired; worried and stressed; ashamed and guilty; and feel they have high levels of responsibility with little support for them.

Where a young carer is a ‘child in need’ you can refer to the independent Young Carers’ service at Barnardo’s, or refer them to Children and Family Wellbeing Service.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Young carers’ from Lancashire Council.

Threshold of need and response:

The Thresholds of Need and Response Framework is a practical tool to:

  • enable practitioners to identify the levels of risk and needs of children and their families
  • to ensure that the children and their families access the appropriate level of support according to their changing circumstances; over four levels
  • Provide a common language for multi-agency professionals
  • Improve outcomes for families

Levels of need:

Level 1: Universal need, needs and risk and met by universal services

Level 2: Early Help, unmet needs and low risks met by single agency support and partnership working. Needs met through the Early Help Assessment and TAF process using an asset based solution focused model.

Level 3: Child in Need (CIN): this meets section 17 of the Children Act 1989, and is a higher levels of unmet needs and medium risk. A social worker will be involved and it requires a multi-agency co-ordinated response.

Level 4: Specialist assessment. High level of unmet complex needs – child may be ‘In Need’ or ‘at risk of significant harm’. Need intensive coordinated multi-agency support. If you have any concerns please contact the Safeguarding Team.
Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘Threshold of need and response’ from Salford Children Safeguarding Board.

Safer Internet day 2020

What is ‘Safer Internet Day’?

Safer internet day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

The focus of Safer Internet Day 2020 is about empowering young people to explore identity online and opening up discussions about how the internet shapes the way that they think of themselves and others. It focuses on what creates our identity online – such as the things we share with each other, how others perceive us and interacts with us, as well as how online services use the information we share to identify and profile us.

How to get involved

Talk about safer internet day online using the hashtags #freetobe and #SaferInternetDay, as well as using fill the template with words that express who or what someone should be free to be online or you could include a picture of what a better internet could look like.

There are also education packs that can be downloaded for free off the UK safer internet centres website. The packs are customised for different age groups they contain some important information as well as some fun activities. More information can be found on their website Click here to see what packs are available
Click here to see what information is available for a parent or career

If you would like to support the day, you can register as a supporter and join 2000 organisations across the UK who deliver activities for Safer Internet Day each year.”

 You can also follow them on social media to keep up to date on what’s going on their account name can be found here @UK_SIC on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for all the latest news. You can also sign up for their newsletter to receive monthly news about safer internet day this includes the latest resources launches and more. 

What resources are available?

There are resources that focus on identity online that supports young people to consider whether they feel free to experiment and express themselves online, or if they feel limited in who they can be when they are online. By opening up conversations around identity online, young people can be inspired and empowered to support each other to be who they want to be, both online and offline.

There are also education packs that can be downloaded for free and in these packs are pre built activities that can be used in a lesson environment There are different packs that are available for different age groups.

There are also social media resources that can be downloaded for free and there are also some instructions on how to use the template.
Click here for the social media template

Some tips from us at JTM

For some more tips on how to stay safe on the internet why not check out one of our previous blog posts where you can find some more information on how safe your password is.
Click here to view this blog post

Boost your network security

When you’re on the move, you might have to use public Wi-Fi. The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it is often unsecured. This means it’s relatively easy for a hacker to access your device or information. That’s why you should consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a piece of software that creates a secure connection over the internet, so you can safely connect from anywhere.

Protect your mobile life

Our mobile devices can be just as vulnerable to online threats as our laptops. Mobile devices face new risks, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text message. Be careful where you click, don’t respond to messages from strangers, and only download apps from official app stores after reading other users’ reviews first. Make sure that your security software is enabled on your mobile, just like your computers and other devices.

Don’t save financial information on shopping sites

Even sites with SSL certification can be hacked. While there may not be a way yet to completely safeguard your data from hackers if you shop online, you can secure your financial information better by removing it altogether from shopping sites. So spend the extra minute to enter your information each time you make a purchase.

Do you have antivirus installed?

This is one simple way to make sure you’re safe online. All you have to do is pay for and set up your antivirus and that’s it. Or if you’ve already got one installed, make sure it’s up to date. Updates often contain changes which help protect you are your devices from scammers and online criminals. (Most antivirus software can be configured to do this automatically). Also, Use a firewall,  it takes just moments for a non-fire walled computer to be infected so stay safe by installing one.

9 Myths about apprenticeships busted!

Apprenticeships have been around for quite a while now and they’re not just for the traditional trades anymore, but we still find the same myths and misconceptions around apprenticeships all the time. So we’ve taken 9 of the most common to set the record straight.

1. Apprenticeships are only available in manual industries

This might have been the case in the past but apprenticeships are now expanding in to different occupations such as fashion, law, education, and defence, so this shows that apprenticeships are not limited to manual industries there are now a variety of apprenticeships available.


2. An apprentice won’t lead to a full-time job

More than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer. This shows that employers value apprentices and would like to keep them at their company because they have invested time and money in the apprentice, and they won’t want to lose on this investment.


3. Apprenticeships are only for school leavers 

Apprenticeships are available for all ages making them a great option for those wanting to change their career or wanting to improve their skills in a certain area whilst getting paid. Apprenticeships are also great for upskilling existing staff, for example the Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager is great for existing managerial staff to improve their knowledge.


4. Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Learners can progress from intermediate apprenticeships, right up to higher and even degree apprenticeships, so this shows that there is a lot of room for progress. The new apprenticeship standards, which include independent assessors and an End-point assessment, guarantee the quality and validity of your skills and knowledge. On completion of your apprenticeship you will receive an industry recognised qualification, so you will be getting the best of both worlds. You will be getting an excellent qualification, whilst getting paid, and you won’t have to worry about tuition fees or paying back loans.


5. The mandatory 20% off-the-job training element means a day per week at a college

It is important that the apprentice is given enough time to receive off-the-job training and at JTM we are doing the training with a mixture of face-to-face visits and online. This is so there is very little disruption and the apprentice can be getting on with the work in the placement when they have free time and the assessor will come out to continue to develop their skills and knowledge.


6. “You’ll just be making tea and coffee”

Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time, so this means your opinions and contributions are valued just as they would be with any other member of staff. You may be younger than your other colleagues but you won’t be running around the kitchen, you will be treated as a proper colleague with the support you need to develop your skills and excel.


7. I’ll be badly paid

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.90 per hour, rising to £4.15 per hour from the first of April 2020, so this is the least that you will be paid. However, you can be paid more but this is up to the employer, and if you are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship you will be paid the National Minimum Wage which is £6.15. If you are unsure what you would be paid, then you can check the minimum wage for your age online.


8. Those who go to university are always better off

University isn’t always the best route into employment. Apprentices receive on-the-job training as well as earning a qualification that are needed to work in an industry so they will be ready to work once they have completed their apprenticeship.


9. Apprentices get stuck in the same sector for years

A great thing about apprenticeships is that there is a lot of room for progression and opportunity. You can move between levels in a subject area that complements your skills. For example, you could start doing a Customer Service apprenticeship and gain some transferable skills that could be used in a management apprenticeship and then this unlocks more advanced qualifications which can open up new job roles in different sectors.


JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – January 2020

Topics for this month:

Knife crime in the North West

An ITV news investigation reported this month, that an average of 17 serious crimes are committed with a knife, in the North West every single day. It is important that we are all aware of the risks of knife crime and we raise awareness of the issues.

The ‘Knife Free’ website is a very informative website that helps people to live knife free; provides suggestions on what people can be doing with their time; support available; and real case studies and stories from those who have been affected by knife crime, whether it was due to them carrying a knife themselves, or whether they have been a victim of knife crime.

Legal consequences:

  • Carrying a knife can mean 4 years in prison, even if it is not used
  • You can get a criminal record for carrying a knife
  • Carrying an offensive weapon, like a knife, is a serious offence and carrying it for self-protection is not a defence

Emotional consequences:

  • Carrying a knife doesn’t just have an impact on you; it can affect your family and friends too
  • No parent/grandparent would ever want to see their child injured, go to prison or be killed
  • It will also impact on your family such as brothers or sisters, if carrying a knife leads you to having serious injuries or losing your life

Personal consequences:

  • Carry a weapon and it could be used against you
  • Employers may be less likely to employ someone with a criminal record
  • Countries such as the USA and Canada may not allow someone with a criminal record in, even just on holiday

Other facts:

  • 99% of young people aged 10-29 do not carry a knife
  • People who carry a weapon are more likely to be hospitalised with an injury caused by violence
  • There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone – any stab can be fatal – and the consequences will be just as severe

Join millions of young people who live #knifefree. Visit for more information. If you have been a victim of knife crime and would like support, please talk to JTM’s safeguarding lead, the safeguarding team, or visit ‘Victim Support’ who support children and young people who have been affected by crime:

County Lines

County Lines is a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks, usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number or ‘deal line’. They operate out of major UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham, and they distribute illegal drugs across rural and suburban counties via ‘runners’.

Vulnerable children and adults are recruited as runners to transport drugs and cash all over the country, so that the criminals behind it can remain detached and less likely to be detected. This crime is often associated with other serious crimes such as sexual exploitation, violence, money laundering and human trafficking.

There are several signs to look out for when someone has been lured into this activity; these include:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Signs of assault and/or malnutrition
  • Access to numerous phones
  • Use of unusual terms e.g. going country
  • Associating with gangs
  • Unexplained bus or train tickets
  • School truancy or going missing
  • Unexplained gifts (clothes, trainers) and cash

What happens?

Criminal gangs establish a base in a particular location, sometimes by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’. They then target vulnerable local children and adults to become involved in selling drugs through a process of grooming. Once someone is involved with a criminal gang, it becomes difficult for them to escape.

What’s ‘cuckooing’?

Criminals running County Lines will set up a base in a rural area or small town for a short time, taking over the home of a vulnerable person, ‘cuckooing’ them (named after the cuckoo’s practice of taking over other birds’ nests for its young).

Victims of ‘cuckooing’ are often drug users but can include older people, those suffering from mental or physical health problems, female sex workers, single mums and those living in poverty. Victims may suffer from other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism.

Some people may be forced to leave their homes, making themselves homeless and leaving the gangs free to sell drugs in their absence.

What are the signs of cuckooing?

Signs that cuckooing may be going on at a property include:

  • An increase in people entering and leaving
  • An increase in cars or bikes outside 
  • Possible increase in anti-social behaviour 
  • Increasing litter outside
  • Signs of drugs use
  • Lack of healthcare visitors
  • Suspicious vehicles or people at an address
  • A neighbour has not been seen for a while, or they are more distance than usual (with more visitors)
  • Short term or holiday lets – unusual activity
  • Older member of the community unexpectedly driving around unknown individuals

Resources: We have attached a JTM edited Home Office poster that is to be used by staff with learners and employers, in order to be aware of the signs of county lines and to know what reporting processes to follow. Click here for the county lines poster

Children’s Mental Health Week: 3rd – 9th February 2020

The theme of this years’ children’s mental health week is ‘Find your Brave’ which is run by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. Life often throws challenges our way. Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in, it’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself.

We have attached resources to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, as well as helpful top tips for parents and carers. Click here to view these resources
Click here to view information on metal health and well being

Safer Internet Day: 11th February 2020

Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.  Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. 

The UK Safer Internet Centre are a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL, with one mission – to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people. In 2019, Safer Internet Day reached 46% of young people aged 8-17 and 26% of parents and UK Safer Internet Centre invite everyone to join them, and Safer Internet Day supporters across the globe, to help create a better internet on Tuesday 11th February 2020 and throughout the whole year. 

JTM will be registering as a supporter of Safer Internet Day and will be spreading the word across our social media on the day. Please keep a look out on our Blog for very interesting information produced by Sean, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, which will be published on the day!


The streaming service has made changes to its site to protect children after the company was fined almost $200 million for breaking the Childhood Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), laws which protect children online. As part of the new measures, targeted ads will be banned from children’s videos as well as push notifications and comments.

The video sharing service said these changes will have a “significant business impact” on creators who make videos for children because they will no longer be making any money from targeted adverts. It is feared that could mean some popular YouTubers might decide to stop making child-friendly content. However, the company says it will increase promotion for its app YouTube Kids, which filters out content that isn’t suitable for children. The app was launched by YouTube in 2015 and removes many of the features that are available on the main site.

Anyone watching a video that’s been specifically made for children will now be protected as a viewer under the age of 13, despite their actual age. In March 2019 the site announced it would be switching off comments on almost all videos featuring under-18s, in an attempt to “better protect children and families”.

Several brands have stopped advertising on YouTube after discovering inappropriate or upsetting comments were being made on some videos.

Fake News:

How can fake news impact children and young people?

  • It can lead children and young people to believe something about the world that can have a negative impact on their wellbeing
  • Fake news sometimes may target minority groups and spread hate which can have real world consequences
  • It can cause children to be confused about what they see online and anxious about being misled to believe something that isn’t true

Internet matters have produced a fake news, facts and questions guide, providing the information that parents need to know when talking to children and young people.

It can be downloaded from:

7 minute Briefings:

Hate Crime: is defined as; any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hostility.” In most crimes, it is something the victim has in their possession or control that motivates the offender to commit the crime. With hate crime it is ‘who’ the victim is, or ‘what’ the victim appears to be that motivates the offender to commit the crime. A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on hate crime from Lancashire Constabulary.

Domestic Abuse: is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common and in the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on domestic abuse from the Salford Safeguarding Children Board.

Online Radicalisation: refers to the process by which an individual is groomed through the online environment to come to support terrorist or extremist ideologies. It is important to consider extremism in the context of the wider spectrum which could include far-right, environmental, Islamist or animal-rights extremism.

Online material used in the process may include articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence. As with other forms of grooming, extremists will seek to exploit vulnerabilities in individuals that may include: unmet aspirations, identity crisis, perceived injustice/s or a sense of belonging in order to further their ideological aims.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on online radicalisation from Lancashire Safeguarding Boards.

‘Level of Need’ guidance: Understanding levels of need and how they relate to the support of identified needs is vital to providing a solid, integrated intervention that will help children and young people achieve to their full potential.

As the needs of children and young children change we must provide ‘the right intervention and help at the right time’. A smooth transition through the continuum is essential to support their journey from needing, to receiving the help and support they require. It is vital that children, young people and their families receive the support they need regardless of where they live or how accessible services are to them.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘level of need’ guidance from the Sefton Safeguarding Children Board.

Saf3net Training

Janine and Tom recently attended training focusing on online radicalisation. Please see attached useful information from the training.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – December 2019

Topics for this month:

Put security at the top of your festive list

The festive period is a busy one. There are more events, more mail and deliveries, and more crowded places. Ensure you have festive vigilance – we all have a role to play. We have attached a poster to our bulletin and we ask that you share this with family, friends, employers, learners and parents/carers, so that everyone knows how to keep themselves safe during the festive holidays. Click here for the ACT poster

Counter Terrorism Policing – security advice

With the enduring terrorist threat and the most recent London Bridge Terrorist attack that took place on Friday 29th November 2019, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. Your actions could save lives. That’s why Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.

Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at or, in an emergency, dial 999.

Within Counter Terrorism Policing, they work around the clock to Prevent the threat of extremism and terrorism. They also work to Pursue active terrorist threats and stopping those who seek to do us harm.

Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could potentially include:

  • Hiring large vehicles or similar for no obvious reasons
  • Buying or storing a large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons
  • Taking notes or photos of security arrangements, or inspecting CCTV cameras in an unusual way
  • Looking at extremist material, including on the so-called Dark Web, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism.
  • Someone receiving deliveries for unusual items bought online.
  • Embracing or actively promoting hateful ideas or an extremist ideology.
  • Possessing firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them
  • Holding passports or other documents in different names, for no obvious reasons
  • Anyone who goes away travelling for long periods of time but is vague about where
  • Someone carrying out suspicious or unusual bank transactions

You are not wasting anyone’s time, and no call or click will be ignored. What you tell the Counter Terrorism Unit is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report it. Visit and remember, trust your instincts and ACT.

Click here to access resources on advice and support following a terrorist attack

Tips on how to talk to children about terrorism (NSPCC)
As media coverage of the most recent London Bridge terrorist attack once again demonstrates, the ongoing reporting following such incidents pervades news and social media coverage. New NSPCC tips and advice are now available if you are concerned about how a child is feeling following such events. The charity also has a supporting video on how to talk to children about terrorism, which may be useful to parents and carers.

Please visit the following links for support and guidance. We have also attached a leaflet from the Mental Health Foundation which includes 10 steps you can take when talking to children about scary world news.

Advice on how to cope with stress following a major incident (NHS)

If you have been involved in, or affected by, a traumatic incident, the guidance attached includes information on how you may expect to feel in the days and months ahead, and to help you understand and have more control over your experience.

Click here for the NHS Trauma Leaflet

7 Minute Briefings

We have attached five, 7 minute briefings to this months’ bulletin from Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley Safeguarding Boards, which focus on:

New law changes on safeguarding and drones

For anyone considering buying a drone or model aircraft as a Christmas present, there are some legal considerations to be made before doing so. From Saturday 30th November 2019, new laws came into force about the use of drones. Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator. The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.

Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years. Drones must also be clearly marked with its registration number, which should be large enough to be seen from the ground.

Although there is no legal limit, safe flying is regarded as under 400ft. Drone users should not fly where there are dangers (for example, airfields), hazards (e.g. motorways) or areas where there may be privacy risks (for example, schools). The drone code of conduct says that pilots should stay at least 150m from built-up and busy areas, including schools. They should also be in sight of their drone at all times, so it may be possible to identify who is flying it.

As a general rule, unless the drone pilot has permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they should not be flying a camera-equipped unmanned aircraft (drone) within 150m of a ‘congested area’, which includes schools and nurseries. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recommends that drones with cameras should be operated in a responsible way that respects the privacy of others, as their use may be covered by the Data Protection Act.

The ICO website has tips on responsible use of drones:

  • Let people know before you start recording
  • Consider your surroundings
  • Get to know your camera first
  • Plan your flight
  • Keep you and your drone in view
  • Think before sharing
  • Keep the images safe

More ICO guidance can be found here:

Information about the drone test can be found here: and the ‘Drone Code’ poster can be viewed here:

Film and photography at the school Christmas play

At this time of year, many schools and nurseries will be hosting nativity plays. The perennial question of whether filming and photography be allowed during the play or performance is one that always comes up, and is one posed for both school/nursery staff and parents to consider. Education law barrister Robin Jacobs, from Sinclairs Law, gives his advice for developing a lawful approach to filming and photography at school plays.

Key areas to consider are:

  1. Challenge legal myths
  2. Lay down the rules
  3. Manage the event
  4. Identify vulnerable pupils
  5. Consider filming it yourself
  6. Identify non-safeguarding issues

Read the full article here:

WhatsApp privacy – Group messages

One of the big complaints that comes from users of WhatsApp, is being added to a new group chat and then being inundated with hundreds of messages; in more vulnerable people, this may lead to anxiety as a result of unwanted messages being received. WhatsApp has just been updated with a number of new features, one of which is a privacy upgrade which will stop you being pulled into group chats you don’t want to be part of.

This is accessed via Settings>Account>Privacy>Groups, and you can then select whether anyone can add you to a new group, just contacts or even just certain contacts.

YouTube set to overhaul children’s content – January 2020

This coming January, YouTube is set to make changes that will overhaul how children experience content on the platform. The move comes after YouTube and Google were fined $170 million this year after YouTube channels were found to be collecting children’s personal data without parental consent, which was then used to target personalised advertisements.

The changes set to take effect mean that:

  • Creators will have to tell YouTube if content is made for children.
  • The platform will stop using targeted ads on content made for children (but they will still see ‘non-personalised’ ads).
  • The comments feature will be removed from children’s content.
  • Creators who are found to avoid categorising their content correctly may face consequences.

Creators on the platform use personalised ads to monetise their content, where they can earn money by collecting revenue from ads. YouTube will use ‘machine learning’ to identify videos that target children and young people, which include those that feature:

  • Children and or characters known to or targeted at children.
  • Popular Children’s shows or animations.
  • Play acting, or stories that use or include children’s toys.
  • Children’s music, songs, stories and or poems.

This move by YouTube is a positive step in improving the digital environment where young people play, learn and socialise. In any case, enabling Safe Search filters on YouTube is an extra step that parents and carers can take to help keep children and young people safer on the platform.

Kindness Calendar – December 2019

Action for Happiness have produced a ‘Kindness Calendar’ for December 2019 as they are encouraging individuals to spread a bit more kindness in the world. We have attached it to our bulletin if you would like to take part. Click here for the Kindness Calendar

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas.

JTM’s Monthly Safeguarding Bulletin – November 2019

Topics for this month:

22,000 young people face homelessness in England, this Christmas

A new report by the youth homeless charity Centrepoint has revealed the extent of the issue of homelessness facing 16- to 25-year-olds this winter. The charity sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to all 326 councils in England asking how many 16- to 25-year-olds had presented as homeless or were at risk of becoming homeless last winter. A total of 248 councils responded and some of the statistics are shown below:

  • 37% had stayed in an abusive home with a parent or guardian;
  • 46% stayed in an overcrowded property because they had nowhere else to stay;
  • 33% of young people spent a night in a park because they had nowhere else to stay;
  • 27% had spent a night in a tent;
  • 7% of young people had spent the night in a public toilet.

CentrePoint ask young people ‘Don’t be afraid to ask and to know your options before your options run out’. CentrePoint listen, advise and connect young people to the right services and support young people affected by homelessness not just over Christmas, but throughout the entire year. CentrePoint offer a warm bed and a safe place for over 1500 vulnerable young people every single night, alongside support for education, employment and training.

To read the full report and access the contact information please visit:

CentrePoint website:

The Whitechapel Centre – Christmas Donations from JTM Staff

This year staff at JTM have decided that we will not be handing out Christmas cards, but rather spend the money by donating to the Whitechapel centre instead.

The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. They work with people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation and they are committed to helping people find and maintain a home, and learn the life skills essential for independent living. The Whitechapel Centre is open 365 days a year providing services to rough sleepers, people living in temporary accommodation and those at risk of becoming homeless. Last year, they worked with 4,025 people to end or prevent their homelessness.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact Tom Sumnall on 0151 336 9340.  To find out more about the Whitechapel centre, please visit:

Getting help in the holidays – cards
We have attached small helpline cards to this bulletin, which have helpline numbers for Young Minds Crisis helpline, ChildLine and the police, so that learners’ can get help if they’re struggling with their mental health during the Christmas holidays.

Click here for the crisis cards

Contextual Safeguarding

Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools/educational settings and online can feature violence and abuse.

Therefore, when young people are exposed to violence or exploitation in their training provider, school, community or peer group, this may fracture their family relationships and undermine the capacity of their parents or carers to keep them safe. It is really important to identify and explore all factors, situations and relationships surrounding that young person to help keep them safe if they are vulnerable, being abused or at risk of being harmed. 

We have attached more information on contextual safeguarding to this bulletin. Click here for more on contextual information

7 Minute Briefings

Seven minute briefings are based on a technique borrowed from the FBI. It is based on research, which suggests that seven minutes is an ideal time span to concentrate and learn. Learning for seven minutes is manageable in most services, and learning is more memorable as it is simple and not clouded by other issues and pressures. Local authorities and safeguarding boards are using 7 minute briefings to inform individuals on local and real issues to raise awareness and support.

We have attached three, 7 minute briefings from Lancashire Safeguarding Board, which focus on:

Increase in modern slavery in Birmingham soars

New statistics published by the Home Office show that the number of modern slavery cases has continued to remain at an alarmingly high level across the West Midlands this year. Of the 293 cases of suspected modern slavery taken place, around 70% of cases involved children. Across the UK, 2019 has seen a dramatic rise in modern slavery cases and the number of potential victims referred in the first three quarters of 2019 has already surpassed the 2018 total.

Shockingly, the figures for the most recent quarter also included 3 cases where people were referred after potentially having their organs harvested. The Home Office suggest that a rise in county lines criminal activity is behind the increase in young people being exploited for their labour.

The National Crime Agency lead the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. NCA officers work at the forefront of law enforcement, building the best possible intelligence picture of serious and organised crime threats.

If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact JTM’s Safeguarding Team immediately.

NHS Safeguarding App

The NHS Safeguarding app continues to support frontline staff and citizens with 24-hour, mobile access to up to date safeguarding guidance and local contacts to report safeguarding concerns.

It is accessed by over 300 users daily and has had over 61,000 downloads.

It provides an overview of necessary legislation and guidance covering both children and adults safeguarding as well as an NHS staff guide and contains regional contact information on how to report a safeguarding concern, as well as links to national bodies and for healthcare staff to have a one stop sign posting and safeguarding information.

It can be accessed via Apple iOS, Google Play or it can be downloaded by visiting your device’s appropriate app store and searching for ‘NHS Safeguarding’.

30 years of the internet

30 years ago children had to knock on their friend’s door or call on their landline to ask if they wanted to go out to play. They watched films on VHS, recorded programmes off the TV, and listened to music on cassettes. They had to go to the shops to buy a new game, or the local library to get a book. 30 years on, with the development of the World Wide Web and new technologies, childhood – and adult life too – have been transformed. We can now do virtually everything and anything at a much faster pace, with infinite information just a couple of clicks away.

Children born after the digital revolution do not know any other way. The internet has radically changed the way we learn, play and communicate. It provides incredible new opportunities, from connecting with people across the world, to creating and sharing your own content, to accessing different careers. But alongside this have come new harms including cyberbullying, online grooming and exposure to indecent content.

1989 was a landmark year for children, with the establishment of the Children Act and the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). For the first time, the Act provided a legislative framework for protecting vulnerable children – and it’s the basis of the laws and practices we still have today. Over 30 years our laws and systems have evolved to cover different groups of children and better meet their needs. However, we have not managed to keep pace with technological change and respond effectively to the challenges and risks it creates. So, the question is: does the Children Act 1989, and the system it underpins, sufficiently protect children growing up in today’s world? And will it be able to protect them in 30 years’ time when they’ve moved from instant messages and video chat to holograms and robots?

Barnardo’s, the UK’s oldest and largest charity, have produced a short, informative eight-page report called Generation Digital, that considers the impact of digital technology on childhood when addressing the key principles in the Children Act 1989:

  • Children’s welfare
  • Education
  • Parental Responsibility
  • Listening to the voice of the child

The report can be viewed here;

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