NSPCC launches Voice of Online Youth to give young people a say in online safety decisions



Voice of Online Youth is a group of young people formed to help influence and improve how children are protected online

Children’s opinions and experiences of online safety should be invaluable to decision makers as they know first-hand the risks young people are facing

NSPCC calls for Ofcom to make consultation with children an integral part of online safety regulation


The NSPCC has brought together a new group of young people to advise the charity, politicians, regulators, parents and professionals about the best way to protect children online.


The ‘Voice of Online Youth’ is a group of 15 young people, aged 13-16 from across the UK who are passionate about helping children to have safe and happy experiences online.

They aim to get young people’s voices heard and ensure decisions about online safety are informed by their unique experiences. They will do this by meeting with decision makers across all nations of the UK, attending events, and engaging in workshops.


The Voice of Online Youth, which is supported by Vodafone, is formed of ten people from England, two from Scotland, two from Northern Ireland, and one from Wales leading to a diversity of perspectives and life experiences within the group.


The group, which officially launched today (June 28th), forms as Ofcom consults on its initial plans to regulate social media under the Online Safety Act.


Shalom, 14, from Bolton, says: “I wanted to join the group because I think the online world is such a wonderful place and I want to contribute to making it so young people can navigate the online world and discover new opportunities while also being a safe space for us to be in.”

Rayhaan, 17, from Leicester, says: “I want to spread awareness about the many issues facing young people on the internet today. Together, I hope we can work towards a future where everyone is safe online.”

Leo, 15, from London says: “I joined the Voice of Online Youth because I want to make sure children across the country feel safe and happy online. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to create structured, meaningful and useful advice.”


Young people’s voices were central in the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign which called for the Online Safety Act. The charity made sure key decision makers heard about young people’s experiences and what they thought needed to change. The Voice of Online Youth will build on this through giving children a vital voice in the implementation of the act.


Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive: “The Voice of Online Youth will offer valuable insight and a unique perspective to the NSPCC, bolstering our efforts to ensure children’s online safety is prioritised.


“This group can also help shape the thinking of policymakers and regulators, who desperately need to be considering the views of those impacted by online challenges to truly understand the issues they face.


“It’s crucial Ofcom engage with young people when implementing the new online safety regulation to ensure it is effective and results in a truly safer online world which children can enjoy.”


The NSPCC also want the next Government to ensure children and young people’s voices and experiences are meaningfully considered in the development and implementation of online safety regulation through introducing statutory mechanisms to ensure their voices are consistently heard.


Vodafone – who has been working in partnership with the NSPCC since 2023 – will be supporting the young people as they bring their experiences, ideas and learning to the discussion of safety online. Their input will help contribute to the industry’s collective objectives around online safety.


Nicki Lyons, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, Vodafone UK said: Ensuring young people are safe online is a critical issue that is rightfully gaining attention and momentum across UK society. Children are growing up in an increasingly digital world with the internet at their fingertips, so it’s vital that we listen to, and learn from, their experiences and concerns.


“The Voice of Online Youth will give these young people a voice. By making them part of the conversation, they can help inform policymakers of the issues facing them and support the development of much-needed tools and regulation.


“We’re proud and excited to be supporting the Voice of Online Youth, building on a partnership with the NSPCC that centres on ensuring all our children can navigate the digital world safely and confidently.”