With help from Karmarama, Plusnet has teamed up with TV presenter and children’s writer, Konnie Huq to create a series of children’s plays to educate parents and children on internet safety. The trilogy of plays has been created in partnership with online safety experts, Internet Matters, to explore the important topics relevant to young people today – cyber bullying, online grooming and online reputation.
The plays launch on April 29th with a one-off performance at Chickenshed in London, a youth theatre group that works with children to help them understand important social issues through performing arts.
Introducing Plays on the Internet: Three new stories on internet safety from Konnie Huq, from Plusnet and Internet Matters:
Never Trust An Alien
A story about online grooming for 8 - 11 year olds
It’s the year 2090 and space travel is a new way of life, with many missions in progress to discover life away from Earth. While the minds of the population might be on other planets, the risks of talking to strangers online can be much closer to home than it seems.
The Ghosts of the Internet
A story about cyberbullying for 11 - 14 year olds
In 2029, the use of technology is at an all-time high and social media usage is constant. But the most influential people on social media are not always those with the best intentions, and one pupil at the E-cademy risks using her power in the wrong way. But all is set to change following a visit from three ghosts…
Say what you mean, and mean what you say
A story about online reputation for 14+ olds
A pair of lifelong friends receive their first mobile phones together on their birthday. With their lives fully documented online, how will their digital decisions affect their future and will they use the internet for good?
Speaking about the scripts she has written, Konnie Huq said: “As a mother and someone who has grown up with technology, I know how challenging it can be to stay aware of and support your child’s online activity. Hopefully these stories will act as a starting point for parents and children to discuss online safety together in a non-threatening and fun way. The process of working with Chickenshed has been fantastic and the kids really helped bring the scripts to life.”
9-year-old Chickenshed member, Marianna McInanny, said: “Sometimes it can be awkward speaking to my parents about internet stuff. These plays were so fun to act in and we realised that we actually had learned a lot about the internet… and aliens!”
On the creation of the campaign, Chris Cotterill, head of marketing at Plusnet, said: “At Plusnet we’re passionate about doing what is right for our customers. As an internet provider we wanted to address the topic of online safety in a way that resonated with both adults and children alike. By working with Internet Matters and Chickenshed Theatre to produce these plays and by making the scripts and workshop tips available online, we hope to raise awareness of these critical issues. We’re delighted with the plays and want to say a massive thank you to all the young performers who brought everything to life in an engaging, educational and entertaining way.”
Following the one-off performance, the scripts – along with workshop tips for schools, youth groups and parents – are now available to download from the Plusnet website at Plus.net/PlaysontheInternet and internetmatters.org/plays-on-the-internet/
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, commented: “The online world offers children huge opportunities; it allows them to learn, create and socialise however if it’s not used smartly and safely - children may be at risk of online harms.
“That’s why it’s so important that we reach parents as early as possible and arm them with the right tools and resources to help empower their children to navigate their own digital world safely.
“We’re delighted to have worked with Plusnet and Konnie on such a creative project that raises awareness about these issues and hopefully inspires families to have open, honest and regular conversations about the digital world.”
Jamie Mancini, creative director at Karmarama said: “We wanted to create offline solutions to online issues with ‘Plusnet Plays on The Internet’.
“Which is why, the real stars of the show were the young cast who developed the plays with their own experiences, so the scripts would speak authentically to their peers.”