Specialist charity Safe and Sound has secured funding from the government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) to run a two-week programme for young people and families whose lives have been affected by child exploitation.
Thanks to HAF funding administered locally by Community Action, around 60 young people have joined a wide range of activities such as boxing, table tennis, cooking, music, and crafts. Visits have also included a workshop with HSBC bank in Derby and family outings to Derby Theatre and QUAD.
A key part of the programme has been to ensure the young people and their families, who are from some of the most deprived areas in the inner city, receive a nutritious meal which have been provided by Butler’s Pantry in Burnaston as part of their support for the charity.
The Easter activities have run alongside the one to one and group support that Safe and Sound’s specialist team currently provides for young people and families whose lives are affected by child exploitation. This includes online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.
Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison explained: “Having expanded our youth work provision, we are delighted to be part of the city’s HAF programme this Easter.
“This is a key part of our primary function which is to reduce risks and to keep children, young people, families and vulnerable adults safe.
“The focus has therefore been on building their confidence, resilience and overall wellbeing- whilst having fun.
“We are delighted to have this additional funding so that we can provide nutritious meals and healthy eating workshops through a partnership with Butler’s Pantry.
“Many of the young people and families who we work with are from some of the most deprived areas in the city which increases their vulnerability to exploitation so ensuring they have a decent meal during the holidays is an important aspect of the programme.
“And involving the young people’s siblings and parents have helped them come together, have fun and overcome the impact that exploitation has had on their family unit.”
For more information about the work of Safe and Sound and ways to support the charity’s ongoing Butterfly Appeal, please visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/