Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound are gearing up for a world record attempt to spearhead the next phase of their Butterfly Appeal.
Safe and Sound have been working with two local businesses, Colleague Box and Mercia Image Print, to develop their plan to smash the current world record for the ‘largest display of butterfly replicas’.
The world record currently stands at 720 but organisers are planning to display 1000 professionally- printed butterfly images at the Derbion on Saturday, August 28.
Professor Karim Vahed who specialises in Entomology at the University of Derby, will first validate the authenticity of the species displayed – the Peacock, Purple Emperor, Small Tortoiseshell, Holly Blue and Common Brimstone – and carefully count and verify the paper replicas before the display is open to the public between 10 am and 4 pm.
His report, backed by independent reports and visual evidence of the event, will then be submitted to Guinness World Records who will decide if Safe and Sound have clinched the world record.
Ahead of the event and on the day, the public are invited to buy one of the paper replicas for £5 https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/2021-support-ideas/ which will be accompanied by a certificate showing they have been part of a world record attempt.
Throughout the day, there will also be children’s craft activities as well as the chance to find out more about the signs and dangers of child exploitation and how Safe and Sound can help.
Derby-based Safe and Sound first launched its Butterfly Appeal in June 2019 to enable it to expand the breadth and scope of its work.
The appeal has since garnered wide ranging support from individuals, groups and businesses across the city and county – enabling the charity to support more than 300 young people; 60 families and to engage with over 1,000 people to raise awareness of the dangers in the past two years alone.
These include children aged as young as seven upwards who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation which includes sexual exploitation, online grooming, county lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.
New activity programmes made possible by support through the Butterfly Appeal have included outreach work, youth activities, family support and transitions work.
The next stage of the Butterfly Appeal will focus on such specialist work as psychological therapy programmes – identified as even more important due to the pressures on young people’s mental health services post lockdown.
CEO Tracy Harrison, a former senior police officer who joined the charity just before the launch of the Butterfly Appeal, said: “Our world record attempt is the perfect way to celebrate the success of the Butterfly Appeal two years down the line and to thank everyone who has supported us so far.
“On a personal note, I have always wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records and this is an opportunity for us and our supporters to be part of this achievement.
“The serious message behind this event is that young people are, today, at even greater danger of child exploitation.
“This is borne out in the fact that our workload has doubled over the pandemic as perpetrators have taken advantage of young people’s isolation and particularly their increased use of social media and gaming sites.
“Lack of privacy settings and lack of awareness about grooming and exploitation has made young people even more vulnerable to perpetrators looking to draw victims heinous sexual activity, drugs crime, modern slavery and radicalisation.”
Natalie Bamford, managing director of personalised giftbox company Colleague Box continued: “The display in the Derbion will be a strong visual reminder of why Safe and Sound chose the butterfly to signify their work.
“Despite the growing dangers of exploitation facing young people both online and in our local communities, we are extremely lucky to have a specialist local charity based here that helps young people and their families to build stronger wings and move forward with their lives.
“Safe and Sound is one of the key charities that we have supported since launching our company just over a year ago. We have helped them buy a minibus which is crucial to getting the charity back into local communities and I am so pleased that we have been able to support them with this fantastic world record attempt.”
Amanda Strong from Mercia Image Print is also an ambassador for Safe and Sound. She concluded: “Although there is obviously a serious message behind the event, we hope that the public will embrace the opportunity to be part of this local world record attempt.
“People can pledge as little as £5 online and then come down to the Derbion to collect their own paper butterfly and a certificate to show their involvement on Saturday, August 28.
“We are also offering businesses and individuals an A3 print of one of the beautiful butterflies from £50 which we will personalise for display in offices and homes.”
For more information about the world record attempt and how to support Safe and Sound, please visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/2021-support-ideas/