Specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has joined forces with leading high street bank HSBC as part of its transitions programme to help the young people and families they support move forward positively with their lives.

Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation. This includes online grooming, sexual exploitation, coercion to run drugs through County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation. They also support the wider family and raise awareness of the dangers in local communities.

A key part of their support programmes is to help the 203 young people and 49 families they are currently working with re-build their lives including returning to education, finding a job as well as addressing financial and housing matters.

HSBC has already supported the charity with fundraising and sponsorship. They are now planning a series of workshops to teach young people with life skills such as budgeting and opening bank accounts and to support struggling families with financial planning.

HSBC local director David Tomlinson explained: “I first came across Safe and Sound whilst judging the collaboration category of the East Midlands Chamber’s Derbyshire Business Awards and was very impressed with the breadth of their work and their passion to support young people and families in the local communities that we too serve.

“As well as supporting the charity’s fundraising efforts, we were keen to share our expertise in financial planning with young people as they transition into adulthood and with families who perhaps have been disengaged in the past with the services and support that banks can provide.

“Our commitment to local communities means we have extensive synergy with Safe and Sound’s work and I look forward to working more closely together in the coming weeks and months.”

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “Although any child is at risk of exploitation – regardless of their age, sex, background or family circumstances – financial pressures faced by the whole family can make them more vulnerable to perpetrators.

“As part of our transitions programme, we therefore put in place a wide range of support to help the whole family rebuild their lives and financial stability is an important part of that.

“We are therefore extremely grateful to HSBC for their commitment both to the charity and directly to the young people and families we support.”

For more information on child exploitation, how to report concerns and the support available through Safe and Sound, visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk 

Picture shows: HSBC’s David Tomlinson, left, with colleagues and Safe and Sound’s Tracy Harrison, third right, at the charity’s recent race night