The NSPCC appeared at the first Bedford Blues home game of the year to raise awareness of the charity and promote its PANTS campaign.
On Saturday 18 January, Pantosaurus and a team of volunteers entertained children from St James’ VA Primary, Turvey Primary and Haynes Lower Primary schools by spreading the PANTS message before the match.
PANTS is an NSPCC awareness campaign designed to help children understand what sexual abuse is and with that knowledge prevent the possibility of it happening.
Parents were given leaflets and bookmarks with informative PANTS information so they could become empowered with the knowledge of how to approach this difficult subject with their child.
The charity and rugby club formed a partnership in 2019 to give the club’s supporters a chance to find out more about the charity’s work and the importance of child protection.
Later this year, the charity will also be holding programmes for the Blues Community, which will feature workshops regarding PANTS and Speak Out, Stay Safe, which teaches primary school children how to recognise abuse and speak out to a trusted adult.
Adam King, head of community for Bedford Blues, said, “Having a partnership with the NSPCC at Blues Community gives us the chance to support the growth of children, using rugby as the catalyst for all that we work for.
“We’re really looking forward to working further with the NSPCC to help shape the future for all the children that we work with around Bedfordshire.”
Sarah Lambley, NSPCC Community Fundraising Manager for the East of England, said, “Bedford Blues has a fantastic relationship with the local community, particularly in schools, and this partnership means we can reach more children and help keep them safe from abuse and neglect.
“The children really loved our mascot Pantosaurus, which helped get important messaging across in a fun way and to share vital safeguarding messages with their parents and carers.
“It was great to have this opportunity through Bedford Blues and reinforce the importance of safeguarding young people in sport.”