ISPCC Childline supported by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation Launch Headbomz National Awareness Campaign and Schools’ Programme to Get Children Talking
•Fun animation and song, created with Oscar-winning Aardman studios, to assist parents and teachers and help show children that talking makes us stronger
•95% of children have problems they want to discuss
•74% of children believe support phone lines are important to help discuss problems
•International model and mum Erin O’Connor joins forces with ISPCC Childline & Vodafone Ireland Foundation to launch the programme
ISPCC Childline in partnership with Vodafone Ireland Foundation today launches ‘Headbomz’, a slightly gory, massively squelchy and ultimately standout schools programme, as part of a national awareness campaign aimed at children aged eight to ten years, to remind them that ‘Talking Makes Us Stronger’. The launch sees the roll-out of an innovative song and video animated by Oscar®-award winning studio, Aardman. The idea puts a unique and fun twist on talking through problems as they arise – talking with a friend, a relative, a teacher or with Childline. This collaboration is part of a game-changing partnership between the Vodafone Ireland Foundation and ISPCC Childline.
The entertaining, light hearted educational programme has been developed in response to new research conducted by Vodafone Ireland in partnership with the ISPCC Childline among Irish children and a panel of Irish childcare experts, showing that children in this age bracket need more support to help them open up about their problems.
95% of children who participated in the research agreed it is essential to have someone to listen to them and help them solve problems, citing bullying, limits to freedom and parental problems as key areas for concern. 82% of under 18s in Ireland have regular access to the internet, which can present further problems. This research revealed several insights on the age group which then led to the creative direction and approach to this innovative Headbomz programme.
The Headbomz song and video was created to deliver the important message of ‘Talking Makes Us Stronger’ to classrooms across Ireland. The animation, directed by Åsa Lucander, and song are inspired by the idea that keeping things bottled up is not good for you and those feelings can build up until your head feels like it may explode.
The song will launch on TV and in cinemas across Ireland this week and will be played online across Ireland’s most popular youth channels to raise awareness with both adults and children alike. The aim for the song is to have it played in classrooms across the country, and be the conversation driver that helps get children talking! Schools’ packs will be distributed to help teachers roll-out the programme, including teachers’ letters introducing Headbomz, USB sticks with the song and video including a singalong karaoke version, sticker sheets, posters, and top-tips to help facilitate a fun discussion with pupils.
Caroline O’Sullivan, ISPCC Childline said:
“Talking Makes Us Stronger’ is an incredibly important message for children, and this new programme is designed to make this clear, easy and fun for children aged eight to ten. At this age, between second and fourth class, children are going through major developments both socially and cognitively. Sharing any worries or concerns should be encouraged by parents, teachers and older siblings as a positive step – talk to someone you trust, and Childline is always there to listen.
“Childline and the Vodafone Ireland Foundation have coined ‘Headbomz’ as an innovative and impactful way for children to express problems and start the conversation among eight to ten year olds in a communication style they are comfortable with. Our research with the Vodafone Foundation underlined a real need to raise awareness of Childline among this age group, as well as highlighting it as an important age to be aware of the benefits of talking about any worries or concerns.
“As a universal service, Childline responds to over 400,000 calls, texts and online contacts from children nationwide every year, working consistently to normalise discussing concerns or worries and supporting children to build resilience. Tomorrow, May 17th is International Child Helpline day, which marks the existence of supports like Childline around the world, so this launch is particularly timely.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO at Vodafone Ireland said:
“As part of our five-year partnership with Childline and our joint vision to keep children safe by keeping them connected, we are hugely excited to bring Headbomz to life and use our marketing and research resources to bring this fantastic initiative to life with a programme that thoroughly engages children. This programme has been in development for some time, and we see it not just as a schools programme, but more as an important cultural movement among children and families in Ireland to start talking more openly together. By talking about the small stuff on a more regular basis, children will learn to become more comfortable to talk about the bigger problems they encounter.
The research shows how vital it is for children to learn the skills to cope with concerns and speak out about their worries from as young as eight, as well as an opportunity for Childline to focus on proactively helping children. Whether it’s homework, friends or family worries, this pre-teenage stage can be a daunting time for many children and we want to mobilise the nation’s children to start talking with the help of Headbomz.
Vodafone Ireland is committed to supporting ISPCC Childline in the important work they do across Ireland, not just by supporting their phone services, but through partnering with them on essential initiatives such as this. It’s only the beginning for Headbomz and we look forward to getting the nation’s children talking about their feelings as they grow, for years to come.”
Visit Headbomz.ie to download the song and read more about this new programme.