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Latest Q&A catch-up with the Childnet Digital Champions

Published: 4th July 2022

As ambassadors for the Childnet Digital Leaders programme, the Digital Champions form our youth representative board.

Helping the Childnet Digital Leaders team to ensure that the programme is youth led, they represent a youth voice which is essential to the programme’s success.

They also support with module development, content creation, events and consultation, as well as representing the programme in the wider online safety community.

This month, we grill Digital Champions Lucy, Cosima, Aimee, Christtian and Alisa on Safer Internet Day and the latest online safety issues…

What activities have you taken part in as a Childnet Digital Champion?

Lucy: I have been lucky enough to be involved in many activities. I have taken part in two Safer Internet Days now, where for one I was part of a youth panel in a live event for UK Safer Internet Centre. I have also done a few calls with MPs to talk about the importance of online safety and what can be done about it, which have been really interesting! As Digital Champions, we also do regular focus groups with various companies such as Facebook which are always very informative and eye-opening!

How has the Digital Leaders programme benefited your school?

Aimee: The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme has been beneficial to my school as it has given students the opportunity to take responsibility and learn about digital safety so that they are able to teach their friends, parents and teachers about a subject they are passionate on. It has even benefited those not directly in the programme because students in the school feel comfortable talking to Digital Leaders about issues or concerns they have with the online world.

Childnet Digital Champion Aimee
Childnet Digital Champion Aimee

Did you enjoy being part of Safer Internet Day 2022?

Cosima: Yes, very much so! It is great to be involved every year, but this year especially was really brilliant as the topic was so relevant to young people. I think by having a specific focus on gaming and relationships online it not only made everything we were talking about extremely relevant to the current issues, but also made it super fun to talk about. Being able to share experiences and advice with those who are not already so aware is such a rewarding experience as you know that it is going to positively benefit so many young people – especially with the interview this year reaching almost 2.5 million people! It is also as always lovely to meet and address so many new people and old friends and get to hear their views and opinions too. The biggest highlight for me was definitely the Safer Internet Day MP call as we really got to get into what issues were going on, why they were happening, and most importantly what could be done to change them!

Safer Internet Day reached more young people than ever – how did it feel to play your part?

Christtian: It feels great to know that I have made an impact in spreading awareness of Safer Internet Day. It is also nice to know that the people that you are telling about Safer Internet Day are, in fact, doing something about it, sharing it, spreading the word, etc. It feels brilliant knowing that more young people than ever before have been impacted by Safer Internet Day 2022 and knowing that I played a part in that as a Digital Champion.

What is the most important issue in online safety at the moment?

Alisa: I believe that online safety is such a wide topic that there’ll never be a way to choose a single problem as the most important. However, in my opinion, one problem that is caused by lack of awareness is the most important. That is sharing too much personal information online with strangers without thinking of the consequences. These actions taken by young people can lead to them getting in a variety of dangerous situations.