YOUNG people and a theatre company have come together to spread the word on staying safe online.

Catch22 Peer Champions worked with theatre company 2engage to develop Snap Trap – a presentation and performance about internet safety and smart technology.

The young people, who work closely with Catch22’s Pan Cheshire Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service, shared stories from the digital lives and their negative experiences of social media during a series of development workshops delivered by 2engage.

Funded by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund and supported by Cheshire local authorities and Police Safer Schools Partnership, the presentation is designed for Cheshire primary schools and uses the real life experiences of young people to help educate and equip children aged 9 to 11 with the knowledge and skills to stay safe online.

The 2Engage Snap Trap performance is currently on a Cheshire wide tour of primary schools. There will be 40 performances, with some schools joining together for the performance so more children will benefit. By the end of the project around 3000 children will have experienced the play.

The Catch22 Peer Champions themselves have continued their awareness raising efforts and created two short films which explain the rules on how to keep safe and the group have also been active in their own schools sharing their knowledge.

Ed Morris, project director at 2engage said: “We want our young people, the digital generation, to enjoy using smart technology whilst being aware of the risks associated with online activity and the use of social media apps and gaming.”

Jude Houghton, senior service co-ordinator at Catch22 Pan Cheshire Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service said: “This project has been an amazing success and has reached so many young people, raising awareness and enabling young people to support one another with their learning.”