FAMILIES, friendship groups, schools and workplaces across the Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn are urged to ‘Get Your Sparkle On’ by NSPCC Cymru/Wales this Christmas to help protect children for whom this time of year may not be so joyful.

One in five children in the UK suffer abuse, and every year, specially-trained counsellors from Childline answer calls from children suffering their darkest hour.

Just £3 helps the NSPCC deliver its ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ programme to a primary school pupil to teach them how to recognise abuse and get help, while £90 will provide a special assembly to 30 primary school pupils.

Across Wales in the last academic year, specially-trained staff and volunteers from the Schools Services spoke to nearly 80,000 children in English and Welsh at 435 schools as part of ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’.

Julie Richards, the community fundraising manager for NSPCC Cymru/Wales in the south and west, said: “Sadly, one in three calls to Childline this Christmas will go unanswered, and this fundraising campaign aims to bring a light to every childhood.

“Our specially-trained counsellors speak to children and young people in their darkest hours every day of the year, even on Christmas Day, and £20 would help answer five calls to the Childline service.

“We rely on donations for 90 per cent of our income, and with our ‘Get Your Sparkle On’ fundraiser, every sparkle, every sequin and every pound raised for the NSPCC helps protect children.”

The ‘Get Your Sparkle On’ fundraising initiative encourages the public to show their support for the children’s charity by organising sparkle-themed events on and around 11 December.

Landmarks across the UK will be lighting up green to show their support and raise awareness of the NSPCC’s Christmas appeal.

Julie added: “It’s easy for anyone to take part in ‘Get Your Sparkle On’ this 11 December – whether you’re just wearing a sparkly jumper, or organising a sparkling bake-off at work, every single penny raised will go towards helping children and young people get the help they need this Christmas.”

‘Get Your Sparkle On’ leads into the NSPCC’s Light for Every Childhood Christmas campaign.

To find out more, search #SparkleOn on Twitter or go to nspcc.org.uk/christmas/get-your-sparkle-on for a free fundraising pack.