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Providing support and services for more than 500 children and adults with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria.
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Think First - launch of new film

Think First - It's Real, the new film from Carlisle Mencap highlighting the dangers vulnerable people may face when using social media, has been launched.

Posted Wednesday, 2nd September 2020

Thanks to a grant from the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's Office, plus gratefully-received support from the Francis C Scott Charitable Trust, Carlisle Mencap's award-winning Independence Studio has come up with a new film which instructs people - especially those with learning disabilities and the vulnerable - about how to stay safe when using the internet and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Think First - It's Real has been written, produced and also stars Independence Studio members. With help and editing by the Haltwhistle Film Project, the video, which is about seven and a half minutes long, advises people how to stay safe when using on-line platforms. 

You can watch the video by following this link:

Carlisle Mencap's CEO Sheila Gregory said: "Think First It's Real is very pertinent at the moment because during lockdown many vulnerable people are spending long periods of time, alone in their bedrooms, on their computer, with no-one around to ask advice - so they are even more vulnerable. That is why this video is so important in getting the message across that there are dangers out there online, and how people can spot the signs."

Cumbria's Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: "This film is crucial in getting the message across that you should stop and think about what you are doing when you are online. It also tells you that if you find yourself in a troubling situation you need to speak to someone you trust immediately.

"With greater use, popularity and access to technology comes the increase in risk of cyberbullying, online grooming and risk of exposure to inappropriate content," said Mr McCall. "Because of this, it is vital that everyone has the opportunity to access up-to-date resources like this new film."

In the last few years, Carlisle Mencap's Independence Studio has produced award-winning films highlighting the dangers of such issues as mate crime and hate crime.


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