Customers at Matalan in Plymouth were greeted in store by a giant yellow pants-wearing dinosaur as the city’s #TalkPANTS campaign continues to gather momentum.
Pantosaurus is the mascot for the flagship NSPCC campaign that was launched in Plymouth in September under the Together for Childhood partnership, which aims to prevent child sexual abuse in the city.
#TalkPANTS provides parents, carers and professionals with a simple and age-appropriate way to talk to children aged 3-11 in their care about sexual abuse, without using scary words like ‘sex’ or ‘abuse’, and uses this acronym:
P - privates are private
A - always remember your body belongs to you
N - no means no
T - talk about secrets that upset you
S - speak up, someone can help
Matalan has been supporting the charity’s nationwide rollout of the awareness initiative that will help keep children safe from harm.
During the store visit on Thursday (14 November), Pantosaurus shared his catchy song with customers, who had the opportunity to find out more about how the campaign’s tips and resources give adults the confidence to know where, when and how to #TalkPANTS.
Mum-of-two Natasha Pasmore, who was shopping in store with her daughter Isla, said: “It’s great to see Pantosaurus in Plymouth – my children think he’s great, and my eldest is going to be taking part in a PANTS week at her school soon.
“I’ve heard the PANTS song and have found it to be a really engaging way to start having very basic conversations with my girls about what could seem quite a serious subject to discuss with them otherwise. It’s pretty simple and it will help keep them safe.”
The NSPCC’s Local Campaigns Manager Julie Campbell said: “We understand that parents, carers and professionals may find broaching this topic with children in their care challenging, which is why our #TalkPANTS campaign in Plymouth is so important.
“It aims to give them the confidence and language to start those conversations, and by sharing consistent and simple messages with children it empowers them to feel more comfortable sharing any concerns they may have with a trusted adult.
“We are hugely grateful to Matalan for the continued support the company has shown us. Our campaign has benefitted widely from their help, and we hope we can continue to make a difference to children’s lives across the country.”
As well as raising awareness of the campaign, Matalan is selling exclusive merchandise, including a Pantosaurus keyring, with all proceeds going to the NSPCC.
Paul Reed, Plymouth Store Manager, said: “We are so pleased to be able to support NSPCC in raising awareness of their PANTS campaign and helping to equip parents with hints and tips to keep their children safe.
“We have two colleagues from the Plymouth store running the London Marathon on behalf of NSPCC next year too, this is a charity very close to our hearts.”
Brad Harrison and Colette Kerton will be taking on the challenge to raise money for the children’s charity. They’ve already started their training and to follow their progress or make a donation you can visit the fundraising pages of Brad or Colette.
The #TalkPANTS campaign in Plymouth forms one element of the Together for Childhood programme, which has seen organisations across the city partner with the NSPCC to explore the best ways to prevent child sexual abuse in communities.
Partners include Plymouth City Council, Plymouth & Torbay Safeguarding Children Board, Devon & Cornwall Police, Livewell South West, Barnardo’s, community groups, and the voluntary, health, early years and education sectors.
Workshops and information sessions will be available for professionals, parents, and carers as part of the year-long campaign, and a Devon and Cornwall Police car is displaying the PANTS message to help raise awareness across the city.
To find out more about the PANTS campaign, visit the NSPCC website.