7 February is Safer Internet Day. At a time when much of our life is online, it is important to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet.
Entering its ninth year, the Breck Foundation was established after the tragic death of Breck Bednar, and it continues its amazing work educating children, teachers and parents on how to safely navigate the ever-changing digital domain. Breck was groomed by someone whom he met online through gaming, and who he believed to be a friend, and was lured to his murder at fourteen years old.
The Breck Foundation strives to help young people reclaim the internet from those who seek to use it for harm. They work constantly to make sure what happened to Breck doesn’t happen again, by giving children the tools and knowledge to recognise online dangers. The charity has been at the forefront of supporting the government’s Online Safety Bill which, if passed, will force social media companies to remove illegal content from their platforms, share children’s social media activities in court, and allow Ofcom to give out two-year sentences to social media company managers who fail to prevent children from seeing harmful material.
Part of the charity's work is to educate young people, through in-person and online presentations, which are tailor-made for different ages and special educational needs. So far, they have reached over 125,000 young people and this number continues to grow.
The foundation is continually developing resources to support online education. Their website offers user-friendly guides and blogs about new technology, apps and social media, along with ways to discuss and deliver online safety education. There are also books, plays and music, which were nominated in the Excellence in SEND category at the 2022 Music and Drama Education Awards.
This Safer Internet Day, the Breck Foundation wants to flood the digital world with joy and positivity and are calling on their supporters to stand up to online hate, and post selfies of themselves wearing yellow, the colour of joy. We hope you will get involved! You can also book a presentation for your school, club or community group or purchase their books to share with your children.
If you can, please donate to the Breck Foundation to allow them to continue working with schools, or help them to reclaim the internet by fundraising for them. The work they do is vital for the future of our children, and for making the online world a safer place for everyone.
For further information, please visit breckfoundation.org.