BOXER Luke Watkins swapped the ring for the classroom in support of the NSPCC’s Schools Service.

The former Commonwealth champion cruiserweight, from Swindon, spent the morning at Lydiard Millicent CE Primary School with volunteer for the children’s charity, Sandra Wylie, who delivered Speak out Stay safe assemblies to pupils with the help of Childline mascot Buddy.

So far this academic year, the NSPCC has provided its free Speak out Stay safe programme to more than 13,000 children in Swindon and Wiltshire, visiting 78 schools in total.

The programme is rolled out across the county through a variety of school assemblies and workshops.

During each visit, pupils learn about physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect and bullying in an age appropriate way.

Luke said: “It was great to support a Speak out Stay safe assembly with the children at Lydiard Millicent and see them thinking about the different kinds of abuse.

“I wanted to get involved because I believe the youth are the future and if I can help them engage in any way, then I will.

“I really enjoyed it and hope they remember the simple messages they learned today, because it is important for them to understand they should always feel safe, and know they can always talk to someone if they need to.”

The youngsters learnt how to identify a trusted adult to talk to if they are experiencing a worry or concern and found out about the charity’s Childline service that is available to them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

School Service area coordinator Kevin West said: “The NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme aims to empower primary aged children by educating them about all forms of abuse.

“However, we also want to ensure that children recognise the importance of speaking to trusted adults about any worries they may have, big or small.

“The fact that local celebrities such as Luke take time out of their busy schedules to attend our deliveries lends further weight to these important messages.”