Everton welcomed over 60 students from local schools to Goodison Park on Tuesday for an educational session in support of global Safer Internet Day.
Six schools attended the interactive workshop, which aimed to raise awareness of the safe and positive use of technology, whilst encouraging students to ‘be the change’ – helping to make the internet a safer place.
Led by Andy Wood from the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), students used the theme of ‘emojis’ to express their attitude towards the internet before discussing their thoughts with former Blues striker Graham Stuart.
After meeting the group, the Club Ambassador said: “The internet is a place for children to connect, create and learn – if used appropriately – but can also pose a genuine threat to the current and next generation of youngsters. Raising awareness with educational sessions like this can make a huge difference.
“Speaking to the students, I can tell that they’ve been really engaged and it’s workshops like this which remind me how much of a responsibility we have as a football club. Whether that’s in our Academy or alongside Everton in the Community, Safer Internet Day is just one example of how we help to protect children online.”
Andy Wood, who has been working alongside Everton for the last year, added: “The UK Safer Internet Centre are delighted to be working with the Club again on Safer Internet Day 2017. I hope that the pupils will take away the message that through taking positive actions online, they and their peers can make the internet a better place for everyone.
“Safer Internet Day is a global campaign aiming to promote the safe and responsible use of digital technology to children and young people and I know that these messages form a key part of the safeguarding work undertaken by Everton in protecting their wider community.”
Following the workshop, students from Roby Park Primary School, Broadgreen Primary School, Knowsley Lane Primary School, St Aloysius Primary School, St Aidans Primary School and St Gabriel's Primary School were taken on a guided tour by Stuart, before creating a giant ‘emoji’ face in the Park End stand.
The Club has a Safeguarding Team dedicated to ensuring that every child or vulnerable adult participating in a Club event or team does so in a safe environment. Through the wide-reaching EITC projects, many children in the wider community are also supported and protected.
In October, Everton’s Head of Safeguarding, Adam Green was the first person in the UK to be presented with the prestigious NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit’s Safeguarding Stars award for a second year - reflecting the dedication of the team to stay at the forefront of Safeguarding practice in sport.
For more information about Safer Internet Day, visit: www.saferinternet.org.uk