More than 120 people gathered at Reach Events in Pride Park to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound.
Young people and families who have been supported by the charity joined Safe and Sound staff and trustees, representatives from key partners including Derbyshire police, Derby City Council and local businesses who have supported the charity to mark the milestone.
Safe and Sound trustee Adam Buss was MC for the evening which included music and dance by city-based young people, a two-course meal prepared and served by Butler’s Pantry and a charity auction which raised more than £1,500 for the charity.
Guest of honour was Sheila Taylor MBE who founded the charity and is now CEO of the Derby-based NWG network of more than 14,500 practitioners working on the issue of child exploitation and trafficking within the UK. Mrs Taylor and the team at Safe and Sound were integral in Operation Retriever which resulted in Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse in 2010. The charity’s specialist team supported every young person affected by the criminal actions of 13 defendants who were jailed in total for up to 22 years for 70 offences.
She told the audience that, sadly, child exploitation was even more prevalent 12 years later and that Safe and Sound were at the forefront of innovative work to protect and support children, young people and families across the county.
“Safe and Sound’s role is vital both locally and to continue to improve practice nationally and I am proud of the work that they continue to do. We have got to stop these heinous crimes happening to our children and education is the key if we are to reach a point when there is zero tolerance to child exploitation.”
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison thanked everyone who had been involved in the
“We are proud to have stayed true to Sheila Taylor’s legacy of being a grassroots charity – protecting and supporting young people and their families in our local communities. Our dedicated team of professionals are committed to transforming lives through a wide
range of services from one-to-one and group support to outreach work and positive
The evening also saw the presentation of several awards. The supporter of the year, chosen by the young people working with Safe and Sound, was presented to Natalie Bamford from Derby-based Colleague Box who, as well as raising thousands of pounds for the charity, has also developed the ‘Hope Box’ to provide young people with positive memories and activities.
Highly commended trophies were also presented to Wathall’s, Dains Accountants, Loates HR Consultancy, Cosy Direct and Rotarians in Derby.
The staff award went to Katie Turner who leads on a new service provided by Safe and Sound – Family Group Conferencing – which is a pilot programme delivered on behalf of Derby City Council to help keep families together in times of crisis.
And the young person’s award went to a 16-year-old local boy in recognition of the courage he showed in bringing a perpetrator to justice.
Chair of trustees Mark Richardson concluded: “The anniversary event was an incredible celebration of the charity but also a sobering reminder that child exploitation is a real and present threat to the safety and wellbeing of far too many young people and their families. We are grateful to everyone who has and continues to support the charity to ensure that our team will always be there when young people need us and that we can prevent
exploitation where and however we can.”
For more information about the work of Safe and Sound and how to support them, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk and for ticket information for the anniversary event, please email [email protected]