A new football themed campaign to help children and young people keep themselves safe was launched at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Wednesday.
The scheme, 'Hidden Lives', is being run by Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and aims to educate parents, carers, children and young people to the dangers of contacting and speaking with people online.
The campaign also aims to show children and young people ways in which they can keep themselves safe.
The campaign is being delivered in partnership with Southend and Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards as well as in collaboration with Essex Police, the Essex Football Association and Colchester United.
The Essex Football Association has around 30,000 young people as members. All members will be receiving a special football themed red or yellow card.
The young people will receive a 'Think you know' card which on one side the card asks three questions to make young people think and on the reverse is information how young people can keep themselves safe.
Parents and carers will also be given a corresponding 'Do you know?' which gives advice and guidance.
The launch took place on Wednesday at home of Colchester United FC, Weston Homes Community Stadium and was attended by Simon Hart- Chair of the ESCB, Det Supt Ewen Wilson of Essex Police, Colchester United manager Joe Dunne, Michelle Tricker of Colchester United, Carol Long from the NSPCC, Phil Sammons, Chief Executive of Essex County Football Association and Colchester United mascot Eddie the Eagle.
At the launch, Chair of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, Simon Hart said: "We are delighted to launch this campaign and believe it will make a real difference to the safety of children and young people.
"It is extremely important for young people to be aware of the dangers which may arise from talking to others online, but it is also important to educate parents and carers on the dangers and this is what this campaign aims to deliver," he added.
.www.escb.co.ukFor information about the cards and further information on the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, please visit