Work of NSPCC North Suffolk branch is more vital than ever

Grace Brownfied, head of NSPCC public affairs, with John Simpson chairman of the NSPCC North Suffolk

Grace Brownfied, head of NSPCC public affairs, with John Simpson chairman of the NSPCC North Suffolk branch and Nicki Gibson, community fundraising manager for the NSPCC in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners backing the NSPCC in north Suffolk have heard that their work is more vital than ever after the release of the latest Government figures on child abuse.

They show that in Suffolk alone 3,361 children are in need of help, with 1,634 of those cases involving abuse and neglect.

The North Suffolk branch of the charity met for its annual meeting at Somerleyton Hall this week and Nicki Gibson, community fund-raising manager for the NSPCC in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge, described the local figures of child abuse as 'shocking.' She said: 'These are only the children we know about. Our research has shown far more cases go unreported and many children suffer in silence.'

However Miss Gibson praised the work of the branch, which covers Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Lowestoft, Southwold and Eye, and said with its help the NSPCC was making a real difference to local children.

She said: 'In the year to March 2013, the NSPCC Helpline received 529 landline calls from adults in Suffolk, 208 were for advice and 321 were referred to a separate body – the police or social services. In the same period 2,718 landline calls were received at Childline.'

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Miss Gibson said the charity – which aims to end cruelty to children in the UK – has been reaching out to young children through its Childline Schools Service, which raises awareness of child abuse, bullying and neglect, and helps children understand how they can get help if they need it.

The key speaker at the meeting was Grace Brownfied, head of NSPCC public affairs, who outlined how the charity had lobbied the Government on child protection and abuse issues, and had success in winning amendments to a new Government bill on child protection.

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During the meeting Miss Gibson presented a loyalty award certificate to John Simpson, chairman of the North Suffolk branch, in recognition of his work over the past 12 years. As well as chairman, Mr Simpson is currently covering the secretary's role until a new one can be found, and thanked his family and colleagues for all their help.

It was also announced that the branch has raised more than £31,000 for the NSPCC in the past year, up by nearly £2,000 on the previous year. Most of the money raised by the branch and its district committees goes towards the NSPCC Ipswich service centre which opened in 2010.

A cheque for £7,380 has also been presented to the NSPCC by Robin Farrar from the Bungay Black Dog Running Club, which was raised through the club's marathon in April. Mary Sprake, secretary of the NSPCC Bungay district committee, thanked the club for its continuing support.

The north Suffolk branch is still trying to set up district committees in Beccles, Halesworth and Southwold and is keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in helping. More information is available from Mr Simpson by emailing

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