Local specialist charity Safe and Sound’s commitment to supporting the employability of University of Derby students has been officially recognised with two prestigious awards.

Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation as well as supporting their families and raising public awareness of the issues.

The charity works in partnership with the University of Derby to provide work placement and volunteering opportunities for students and recently expanded this to those studying Youth Work and Community Development.

Safe and Sound was nominated by student Kelly Rawson for the Community Engagement category of the University’s Employability Awards 2020 and its success in this category was announced online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTnesInn8rA

Kelly was also nominated for and won the Student Volunteer of the Year category of the awards – heralded as one of the most difficult to judge due to the calibre of entries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08-Ql3Ey08A&feature=youtu.be

Kelly Rawson said: “I nominated Safe and Sound for the Community Engagement award because of the opportunities they have given me to work with young people and their families.

“I have learnt so much from my colleagues but equally they have given me the respect, space and support to develop new activities and resources that prove the value of youth work on the work that we do by establishing voluntary working relationships built on trust.”

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison added: “Just as we support children and young people who have been targeted by perpetrators or are at risk of child exploitation, we are always keen to provide opportunities for under graduates at the University of Derby to hopefully increase their future job prospects.

“Kelly has been our first work placement student from the Youth Work and Community Development degree programme.  She has since volunteered for us and has now secured a part time youth work role with Safe and Sound so that she can combine this with finishing her degree.

“She has been integral to building the charity’s new transitions programme to help young people move on with their lives – returning to education, entering the workplace and forging health relationships.

“This includes a 14-year-old girl who was groomed and sexually exploited. She regards Kelly as her role model and is committed to returning to education following in her footsteps as a volunteer for the charity in the future.

“We have a strong relationship with the University of Derby and are obviously delighted that our work to create work placement and volunteering opportunities has been recognised in this way.”


For more information about Safe and Sound and how to support the work it does, please visit https://safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers.  This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential.

The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked.  These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern day slavery, radicalisation and human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experience board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation.

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.

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk