Everton welcomed more than 170 students from local schools to Goodison Park for an educational session in support of global Safer Internet Day.
Pupils from 14 schools attended the interactive workshop, which aimed to raise awareness of the safe and positive use of technology, whilst encouraging students to ‘create, connect and share respect’ and also reminding young people that a better internet starts with them.
Led by Andy Wood from the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), students drew the online friends they’d want and those they wouldn’t which helped express their attitude towards the internet before discussing their thoughts with Blues FA Cup winner Graham Stuart.
After meeting the groups of school children, the Club Ambassador said: “All the children here today have spoken about how they use the internet as a place to connect with their friends, learn and be creative but it could also pose a genuine threat to young and vulnerable people. Educational sessions like the one taking place today will help raise awareness and help keep our young people safe online.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing the interactive sessions take place and the children have been really engaged. A lot of the young people here seek out football content online therefore as a football Club we feel we have a responsibility, whether that’s with the budding players in our Academy or alongside Everton in the Community going out to school children like those visiting Goodison Park, Safer Internet Day is just one example of how we protect children online.”
Andy Wood, who has been working alongside Everton’s Safeguarding Team for the past couple of years, added: “The UK Safer Internet Centre are delighted to be working with Everton Football Club again. Safer Internet Day is a global campaign that will see more than a thousand organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
“We ran some really interactive sessions here today and got all the young people involved. The aim of today is to ensure all the pupils take away the message that through positive actions online, they and their peers can make the internet a better place for everyone.”
Following the workshop, the students were given the chance to walk out of the tunnel alongside Stuart, before having a commemorative photograph at the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand.
Everton’s dedicated Safeguarding Team helped deliver the session, the team ensures 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.
For more information about Safer Internet Day, visit: www.saferinternet.org.uk