UCLan joins the Cyber Champions initiative

03 December 2012

Chris Theobald

John Dempsey, Barbara McManus and Dr Jo Bryce joined national cyber safety event.

Academic staff from across the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) joined Government and private sector speakers at a recognition event celebrating the achievements of a national cyber safety initiative with schools and youth organisations.

‘Cyber Champions’ promotes best practices in digital literacy and online safety awareness in schools across the UK.

And on 22 November, UCLan’s John Dempsey, Barbara McManus and Dr Jo Bryce attended the event at the House of Commons.
The occasion enabled John Dempsey, Course Leader for Forensic Computing, to announce that the University was pleased to be supporting the programme through the mobilisation and recruitment of student volunteers.

“It’s an exciting, community give-back initiative”

“It’s an exciting, community give-back initiative involving a growing number of partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors,” he said.
“As a simple but effective scheme it harnesses the skills of young professional volunteers, motivated to make a difference to their local communities.”

Other new partners who spoke and formally announced adoption of the programme included the Ministry of Defence, KPMG, Whitehall and Industry Group (WIG), and Kent Police.

The event was hosted in the Jubilee Room by Anu Khurmi, co-founder and Chair of Cyber Champions, and Stephen Mosley MP, co-Chair of the Parliamentary Internet Communications Technology Forum. Speakers included John Cook from the Ministry of Defence, Andrew Archibald the Deputy Director of Cyber from SOCA, and Mark Gibson CEO Whitehall and Industry Group.

“It harnesses the skills of young professional volunteers, motivated to make a difference to their local communities”

School children told the audience about the positive impact the scheme has had already upon their experiences of using the Internet. The Cyber Champions who had facilitated the workshops spoke about their own personal development.

Speaking after the event, John added: “This is an excellent and exciting opportunity for our students from Forensic Computing, Police and Criminal Investigations and Psychology to help the community and develop their personal skills. We are keen to enrich our students’ studies with real-world experience.”

The event organisers announced further activities and events that Cyber Champions will be running next year, including a Cyber Champions launch event for UCLan which will be hosted by the University in the New Year and involve local schools from across the region.