RESIDENTS across Dorset are being urged to get their sparkle on to help keep children safe this Christmas.

The campaign, organised by the NSPCC, encourages the public to show their support for the charity by organising sparkle-theme events on or around December 11.

One in five children in the UK suffer abuse or neglect, and every year specially trained counsellors from Childline answer hundreds of calls from young people in distress.

Caroline Morgan, community fundraising manager for the NSPCC in Dorset, said: "Sadly, one in three calls to Childline this Christmas will go unanswered. We rely on donations for 90% of our income, and £20 would help answer five calls to the service. Our Get Your Sparkle On fundraiser aims to bring light into every child's life, with every pound raised helping the NSPCC to protect them."

The charity deliver a Speak Out Stay Safe programme to primary schools across the country, teaching young people how to recognise abuse and seek help. In the last academic year, assemblies were delivered at 73 schools in Dorset, reaching a total of 17,207 children.

A donation of £90 would fund an assembly for a further 30 pupils, while £580 would help the NSPCC support an entire school.

Landmarks across the country, including Bournemouth Pier, are preparing to light up green in a show of support for the NSPCC appeal.

Caroline continued: "We are grateful to all of the organisations supporting us this year, lighting up landmarks and encouraging people to get involved. It's easy for anyone to take part in Get Your Sparkle On - 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."

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is the UK's leading children's charity, and has been working for more than 100 years to prevent abuse and help those affected to recover. Launched in 1986, Childline is a free and confidential helpline that is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day. On average, a child contacts the service every 25 seconds.

Get Your Sparkle On will lead into the NSPCC's Christmas campaign, Light for Every Childhood. For more information and a free fundraising pack, visit