Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, has been chosen as one of just 23 charities and organisations nationwide to be awarded a special grant to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Safe and Sound has been awarded £7,000 to help fund an expanding aspect of its work with vulnerable young people and adults whose learning difficulties and additional needs make them at particular risk of exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.
The grant has been awarded by The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund which has awarded one-off additional grants totalling £210,000 to existing charity partners to help them rebuild, strengthen and adapt their service deliver post-pandemic.
Tracy Harrison is CEO of Safe and Sound which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. She said: “Sadly, we know a young person or adult with special educational needs is three or four times more likely to be exploited.
“This risk has been heightened by the pandemic with the increased use of social media and online gaming channels by children and young adults – particularly those with additional learning needs and health issues – as it was often their only link to the outside world.
“Their anxiety and feelings of isolation made them extremely vulnerable to predators and we are still receiving referrals to support young people and vulnerable adults who have been groomed online – often over a sustained period.
“Providing one to one and group support for them and their families therefore continues to be our primary focus. We are therefore very grateful for this grant and the continued support of The Leathersellers’ Company to enable us to do more.”
For more information about the work of Safe and Sound and how to support them during their 20th anniversary year, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk and for more information about The Leathersellers’ Company, visit https://leathersellers.co.uk/charitablefund/