A VITAL charity service which teachers Dorset primary school how to stay safe has been given a funding boost by a supermarket giant.

The NSPCC visited 43 primary schools in Dorset between April 2016 and April 2017 to deliver its ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ assemblies and workshops – reaching 8,957 students.

And now thanks to a new partnership between the NSPCC and Lidl UK, which will see the company raise £3million over the next three years for the cause, it is hoped that the charity can reach its goal of visiting every primary school in the county and across the UK.

Pupils learn about the different forms of child abuse in an age appropriate and interactive way, how they can spot the signs and who they can talk to about any worries they may have.

The partnership, which is the NSPCC’s first with a major supermarket, was the result of a vote among 20,000 Lidl UK employees who work in its 650 stores and 11 distribution centres across the UK.

Staff will be given the opportunity to volunteer with the NSPCC to see the work the charity does with children and teenagers first hand, and observe the ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ programme in person in a local school.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “We are delighted Lidl UK has chosen us as its charity partner. The support means we will be able to train enough volunteers to deliver our schools service to every primary school in the UK, enabling us to reach one million children with crucial advice on how to stay safe and happy.

“This is especially important when you consider that two children in every classroom have suffered from some form of abuse, a state of affairs that is completely unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.

“Lidl’s long-term commitment to support the NSPCC will help us tackle this problem and ensure many more young people are given the opportunity to enjoy a happy childhood.”

Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl UK, added: “We feel proud that we are in a position to give back to those local communities by enabling the NSPCC to expand its schools service to every primary school in the UK.

“This isn’t just a commitment from the business, but one from all our employees who voted for our new charity partner.

“We are all incredibly inspired by the work that the NSPCC does and together, we are dedicated to helping them provide the vital support needed to keep children safe so that they can grow up healthy and thrive.”