When Tracy asked me “Do you want to volunteer for Safe and Sound? ”, it took all of 0.5 seconds to positively respond. The original idea was that I could utilise my experience and contacts working with licensed premises and raise awareness of Child Exploitation. The more I researched the subject, the more I wanted to know…Was this really 2020? Were our children really so vulnerable? Unfortunately, the pandemic then hit by March and the country went into lockdown. The Nighttime economy disappeared overnight. With more young people turning to the internet for company, the risk of exploitation increased. I carried on researching, preparing potential presentations.

After the first lockdown, I was asked if I would be interested in coordinating the volunteers. That was easy, there weren’t many! Including myself, there were four of us on the books, two of which performed very specific valuable roles. Shortly afterwards, I was delighted to hear that another ex-colleague from our old job, who I had a lot of respect for, had joined the volunteering team. Tracy had snared another to share the Coordinator role! We quickly hit the road running (you really had a little alternative with Tracy!), being introduced to key contacts and developing ideas on how to recruit volunteers. My own research discovered that volunteers were the best advert to recruit other volunteers and never a truer word was said. Potential volunteers were being suggested to me from all angles. Staff colleagues, attendees at partnership meetings, ex-service users to name a few. Derby University and Nottingham Trent University have been of invaluable service in spreading the word.

By April 2021, we now have 20 ‘active’ volunteers, all of which regularly contribute to the spectrum of Safe and Sound activities. We have a wonderful team, from a complete range of backgrounds and experiences … and what personally most impresses me most is that they come back time and time again, wanting to do more. Such is the passion of a Safe and Sound volunteer …

Stephen Fairbrother, Volunteer awareness worker and volunteer coordinator.

At Safe and Sound, we aim to transform children and young people’s lives for the better and we want you to help us with that vision. We are looking for BRILLIANT people to join our team and be part of our journey too.

We welcome applications to include why you want to join Safe and Sound, and the skills and experience which you would bring to the charity. Applications should be sent to [email protected] or alternatively contact Stephen Fairbrother, Volunteer Coordinator on 07736 972628 (available on Thursday or Friday) for an informal chat.