Pupils at Paulton Junior School have been given a free copy of a new illustrated children’s book, written by local TV presenter Martin Roberts, as part of a new NSPCC schools programme initiative called Speak Out, Stay Safe.
The book, called Sadsville, has been sponsored by local businesses and was written specifically to complement the programme, which aims to help primary school aged children (and younger) understand and identify issues such as neglect, bullying and abuse, and show them where they can get help.
Paulton Junior School is the first Bath and North East Somerset primary school to receive the book.
Martin Roberts visited the primary school on the Tuesday 8th of March to hand deliver the books to the Year 5 and 6 pupils, as well as reading the book to the school assembly.
He and the project team arrived in a traditional red double decker bus, which plays a key role in the story.
Sadsville is the latest book written by Martin from his series ‘The Villes’.
Each book follows Herman, the hero of the series, through each Ville – a mystical land where he encounters problems he must solve.
The last page of the book explains to children how to get help if they have a problem by directing them to the NSPCC’s support service Childline, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Matt Grosvenor, head teacher at Paulton Junior School, which was recently given an OFSTED outstanding rating, said: “We are delighted to be the first junior school to receive the books. Unfortunately many children suffer from abuse but are not always aware of the support and help that is available to them.
“Having a well-known figure like Martin Roberts team up with NSPCC to promote such an important topic is inspirational and I really hope the project is given the support it deserves.”
Martin Roberts, a father of two young children and a long standing ambassador of the NSPCC, wrote the book Sadsville specifically to support the NSPCC schools programme.
He said: “Every primary school child in Year 5 and 6 in Bath and North East Somerset will receive a free copy of the book.
“Once this has been successfully introduced in BaNES, the project will be rolled out to other local educational authority areas, with the ultimate goal being to distribute the book nationally, so every Year 5 and 6 pupil in the UK in the can benefit from the messages in the book and the NSPCC’s Speak Out, Stay Safe initiative.”
The Sadsville project was launched in the Bath and North East Somerset LEA area in December 2015 and after an overwhelming show of support and sponsorship from local businesses and individuals, is now ready to be distributed to Year 5 and 6 pupils throughout the area.
Sadsville will then be launched across several additional nearby areas such as Somerset county, Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, with hopes of a National launch later this year.