Local charity Safe and Sound has unveiled innovative plans to expand its work that supports and protects children and young people from the devastating damage that sexual exploitation has on their lives.
Safe and Sound, established since 2002, is the only local charity focused on transforming the lives of children and young people who are victims of or at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, commonly referred to as CSE.
Having already worked on an individual basis with hundreds of children and young people across Derbyshire, Safe and Sound now wants to provide additional support programmes for young people, their families and wider local communities.
To brings these plans to fruition, the charity has launched the Butterfly Appeal #BuildingStrongerWings which will be a year-long programme of activity to raise funds and increase awareness of CSE.
At the Butterfly Appeal launch event, which was hosted by QUAD and sponsored by Timms solicitors, Safe and Sound chair Catherine Arkley outlined how the charity was building on its grassroots, victim-focussed approach to transform the lives of young people in Derbyshire.
The charity’s future vision is extensive and includes:
- A new outreach programme to provide hands-on support where young people are at their most vulnerable
- Wider support for the families of victims and those at risk of CSE
- Youth work programmes with new activities from music to sport to build young people’s confidence and resilience
- Specialist psychological therapy programmes to tackle trauma, anxiety and depression
- Longer term support for survivors moving into adulthood enabling them to mentor younger victims
- An expanded community education programme to increase public awareness of CSE and the dangers facing young people
Mrs Arkley said: “Sexual exploitation is a hidden, heinous crime. Young people often don’t understand that they are being exploited or are too scared and possibly ashamed to tell anyone what is happening.
“Our vision of is to support young people to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge, like a butterfly, unshackled and undefined by their experiences and enabled to reach their full potential.”
Safe and Sound Chief Executive Tracy Harrison continued that, in the UK today, one in 20 children suffer sexual abuse which includes child sexual exploitation. That means that in every classroom in Derbyshire, there is at least one vulnerable young person in need of help.
She said: The timing of this launch reflects the growing need for our services as young people are more vulnerable than ever to sexual exploitation, through to wider exploitation with county lines and cyberbullying as just two examples.
“Our young people need more protection than ever and Safe and Sound is the only organisation working on the ground here in Derbyshire, providing practical help and support.
“We are largely reliant on raising the financial support from the generosity of the Derbyshire community and that is why we are launching the Butterfly Appeal. The theme has been inspired by the young people we help.
“We are inspired by their bravery, finding the strength to come out of a dark place and make changes in their lives that transform their futures.
The work of Safe and Sound was commended by Derbyshire’s Chief Constable Peter Goodman who said: “Safe and Sound are the organisation that has changed the lives of many young people who have been sexually exploited, raped and trafficked by perpetrators and helped countless others who have been at risk of such criminal behaviour.
“I first became aware of their work when I came to Derbyshire in 2007 and they came to me with their evidence and intelligence about CSE that was happening across Derby.
“That is why I am supporting them throughout my tenure as Chief Constable and I would appeal others to get behind the Butterfly Appeal that will provide vital support to victims, their families and wider communities across the county.”
Several businesses also pledged their support for Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal. These included event sponsors Timms Solicitors.
Timms Partner and Childcare solicitor Tessa Dunleavy said: “Timms has a wealth of knowledge and experience within the family justice system and represent, children, young people and parents who have been exposed to sexual exploitation in one way or another.
“We are part of the wider network of agencies including police, children’s services and healthcare providers as well as the court system who are all involved in the issue of sexual exploitation.
“The ethos of agencies working together has never been more important if we are to truly tackle this issue and I believe that the Butterfly Appeal will enable Safe and Sound to make an even greater positive difference to people’s lives.”
Further recognition was given to businesses and individuals for their support including Dains accountants, Century Mobile, Derby County Football Club, Derby Express Couriers, Somercotes-based Keramikos, Greenblooms florists and runners in the recent Derby Half Marathon – Antoni Jones, Simon Barcz, Lauren Duffy and Talia Anthony.
A powerful video outlining young people’s experiences and why local people and businesses should support Safe and Sound was unveiled. https://youtu.be/xjcb1y2cfGE
Guests also saw a video message from actor and Safe and Sound ambassador Molly Windsor who won a BAFTA for her portrayal of one of the Rochdale CSE victims in the television drama ‘Three Girls’.https://youtu.be/4IeIie69yXM
Guests were invited to share a message of hope for young people on the Butterfly tree and left the event with mugs and information on future fundraising events which were circulated by Derbyshire Police Cadets.
QUAD CEO and Safe and Sound trustee Adam Buss concluded: “The event shared the grim reality of how CSE affects far too many local children and young people, their families and the wider community.
“However, I know that everyone left uplifted by the inspirational work that Safe and Sound is planning and ideas for how we can all help this vision to become a reality by supporting the Butterfly Appeal.”
For more information about Safe and Support can help and how to support the charity’s work in Derbyshire, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter @safeandsoundgroup
Main Picture shows, from left: Tess Dunleavy from event sponsors Timms Solicitors; Safe and Sound chair Catherine Arkley and CEO Tracy Harrison and Derbyshire police Chief Constable Peter Goodman.
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]
Pictures: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media
About Safe and Sound and the Butterfly Appeal
Safe and Sound was launched in 2002 and is the only local charity that is totally focused on transforming the lives of thousands of children and young people who are victims or are at risk of child sexual exploitation across Derbyshire.
Safe and Sound’s specialist team provides individual support for children and young people from as young as eight up to the age of 18. They also raise awareness of the issue and the dangers facing children and young people through awareness programmes for schools, organisations, businesses and community groups.
Safe and Sound has launched the Butterfly Appeal #Buildingstrongwings to bring to fruition its vision for expanded services to support young people, families and wider community.
Supporters and ambassadors include the Chief Constable of Derbyshire who has chosen Safe and Sound as one of his chosen charities.
For more information about child sexual exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and the Butterfly Appeal please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.co.uk and follow on social media.
Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse. The charity’s specialist team supported every young person affected by the criminal actions of 13 defendants who were jailed in total for up to 22 years for 70 offences.
Child Sexual Exploitation (commonly referred to as CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse and takes many different forms from rape and sexual assault to online grooming and encouraging children to share inappropriate images of themselves.
CSE is a particularly manipulative form of abuse and is also linked to such criminal exploitation issues such as County Lines, gangs, trafficking, and modern slavery.
The key factor is that individuals or groups take advantage of young people by manipulating or deceiving them into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants. This could range from money and alcohol to less tangible things such as the attention that they crave at a vulnerable time in their lives.