National children’s charity the NSPCC is bringing beloved mascot Buddy to the commercial licensing market for the first time at Festival of Licensing Europe
The NSPCC’s Buddy is a bright green ‘speech bubble’ mascot used to communicate the NSPCC’s ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ (SOSS) campaign, which has so far reached 90% of primary schools nationwide.
The age appropriate SOSS assemblies and workshops are delivered to children aged 5 to 11 across the UK and Channel Islands to encourage them to speak out if something is worrying them.
SOSS covers topics like bullying and abuse, but without using any scary words or adult language. SOSS assemblies and workshops are delivered by trained NSPCC volunteers and staff and Buddy is always a big hit with the children.
Pupils are taught in a lively, interactive and child-friendly way which supports a school’s safeguarding duties and links directly to the curriculum. They also learn about Childline and how the service can help them.
Buddy has been seen by more than 1.8 million primary school children each year, and demand is still growing – in 2019 there were 600 new schools who requested a SOSS assembly for the very first time, an all-time record high.
The licensing programme for Buddy is launching with the agents for the brand, Edutainment Licensing, at the upcoming Festival Of Licensing.
During the outbreak of Coronavirus, the NSPCC were unable to visit schools to run the Speak out Stay safe assemblies as normal – so on June 5th at 9.30am, they launched a virtual version on Facebook with an all-star cast. Appearing with Buddy and NSPCC staff were Ant and Dec, David Walliams and the Department for Education’s Children and Families Minister, Vicky Ford MP. This amazing virtual SOSS assembly has since been made available for both schools and families to access online, building even wider awareness for Buddy and his vital message.
“Our licensing strategy for Buddy is underpinned by the huge awareness of the ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ campaign, identifying licensees, which share the NSPCC brand values” says Clive Gardiner, Head of Digital, NSPCC. “We know kids adore Buddy and what he represents, and we have identified a high demand for branded products both on and offline from children, schools, staff and volunteers. Launching Buddy for commercial licensing is the perfect route to build even further awareness and help keep children safe by working with expert partners.”
“Research has demonstrated that Buddy products will support children and encourage them to speak out if something is worrying them,” said Denise Deane, Owner at Edutainment Licensing.