NSPCC Cymru/Wales has thanked rugby legend Sam Warburton for a £100,000 donation from his testimonial year.
The charity’s Childline service, its innovative work with primary school pupils and its ground-breaking efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation in Wales will all benefit from the significant sum.
A number of events to celebrate the former Wales and British Lions captain’s career and achievements have been held over the last 12 months with NSPCC Cymru / Wales the main charity beneficiary of the testimonial year.
On Wednesday (20 February) the Cardiff Blues legend handed a cheque to the leading child protection charity and said:
“Picking the NSPCC as my main testimonial beneficiary was a no-brainer. I’ve seen the charity’s incredible efforts first-hand and I’m delighted to be able to hand over this cheque.
“There’s so much groundbreaking work going on in Wales – from helping children who’ve been abused or are at risk of it, to answering thousands of calls at Childline.
“I visited my old primary school with the charity’s specially trained volunteers and it was great to see them teaching the children that it’s ok to speak out if they’re suffering abuse or neglect.
“You could see the kids really took that message in and it’s so important that we help the NSPCC continue deliver its ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ service in primary schools all over Wales.”
The NSPCC aims to reach every single primary school in Wales with its ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ assemblies, speaking to nearly 75,000 pupils and visiting more than 465 schools in Wales in the 2017/18 school year alone.
Childline, which has bases in Cardiff and Prestatyn, provides 24/7 support to children online and over the phone. The service provided 8,373 counselling sessions to children contacting them from Wales in 2017/18 about issues including bullying, abuse, mental health and suicidal thoughts.
And the NSPCC’s three Welsh centres in Cardiff, Swansea and Prestatyn provide direct help to children who badly need it, including specialist counselling for children and young people who have been the victims of sexual abuse.
Hywel Peterson, the chair of the Sam Warburton Testimonial Committee, said:
“The last 12 months have been a whirlwind and, while Sam’s testimonial may have drawn to a close, we mustn’t forget that the NSPCC’s fight for every childhood continues.”
“We know there is a great deal of work still to do to keep children safe in Wales and this generous contribution will make a big impact on the charity’s capacity to teach more children about all forms of abuse, recognising how to spot it, how to protect themselves, and where to go for help.”
Des Mannion, the head of NSPCC Cymru/Wales, added:
“The NSPCC is fighting for every childhood in Wales and we’re extremely grateful to Sam for his support.
“This contribution will make a huge difference to children in Wales and we thank everyone involved in this successful testimonial year.”