Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound is appealing for volunteers to enable more local children and young people to enjoy positive activities.
The charity is currently supporting more than 150 young people across the county aged seven and above who are victims of or at risk of Child Exploitation.
Part of this is to introduce them to positive youth activities such as creative arts, music and sport. These are proven to help build their self-confidence and make them more resilient to exploitation such as online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking, drugs lines, modern slavery and radicalisation.
The charity however needs more volunteers who help take and collect the young people from the host of local clubs and organisations that they work with.
Volunteers are asked to provide their own transport, undertake safeguarding training and complete a DBS check.
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “Low self-esteem and confidence are real issues for many of the children and young people that we work with – largely down to their experiences of grooming and exploitation both online and in person.
“Positive activities, which can be anything from an art club to table tennis, are therefore an important part of the individual support programme that we put in place to help and protect both the young people and their families.
“With so many activities cancelled during the pandemic, we are effectively playing catch up to enable as many young people as we can to benefit from a wide range of activities.
“However, many families are unable to or without the means to transport them to these clubs and we really need volunteers who are willing and able to take them to the activities and then take them home after the session.
“Personal safety of these young people is of paramount importance so we are reluctant to rely on public transport and taxis and the reassuring presence of a trusted adult is a valuable part of our youth work programme.
“We simply do not have the capacity at present to match the demand and we are therefore looking for people to volunteer their time, even if it is just a couple of hours once a week, to enable us to offer these activities to as many young people as possible.”
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]