SOAP stars joined a yellow dinosaur in York to promote an NSPCC campaign to help educate young children about the dangers of sexual abuse.

Emmerdale stars Mathew Bose and Adele Silva joined Pantosaurus in York as part of the children’s charity’s promotion of the PANTS campaign.

The campaign teaches children “Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you and Speak up – someone can help”, in an effort to protect children as young as three or four, and raise awareness of good and bad secrets.

Adele said: “I’ve got a little girl who’s three-and-a-half and it’s definitely something I’m going to talk to her nursery about maybe featuring then working on something just to make them aware of it. It is a touchy subject, and it's about how you go about broaching that.”

Mathew said: “It’s a very sensitive subject to be able to approach all the different ages. I think it’s easier, perhaps, when you have older children, to be able to reason certain things with them but when you’re dealing with very young children they still need absolute protection.

“It creates a safe place, because the terrible things are that people always think it’s strangers that are most likely to be involved with sexual abuse, but it’s invariably people they know already and that’s a terrible thing to have to deal with as adults, to know that it could be something like that, your mind is boggled by it. So in a way, it’s a good resource for adults and parents and chosen, trusted adults to be able to find language and ways of talking about it.”

Adele said: “A character like Pantosaurus is going to appeal, especially to younger children.

“Go online to the NSPCC website and look at their resources and what they recommend.”

Mathew added: “PANTS is a good resource for trusted adults and parents to be able to find the right language to talk to children about these issues. It’s something the charity should feel immensely proud of.”

Helen Westerman, NSPCC local campaigns manager, said: “PANTS helps to turn a tricky conversation in to one parents can feel comfortable having regularly with their children. And there was the added bonus of having Pantosaurus along to support the event, even if he ate more than his fair share of brunch.”

The event took place at Cafe Rouge, in Low Petergate, York, which is a partner of the NSPCC.

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