Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has piloted a new on-demand security service for its support workers and outreach teams.
Safe and Sound support young people and families across the county whose lives have been affected by child exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.
Meanwhile, outreach workers and volunteers from the Derby-based charity are a regular and visible evening presence both in Derby city centre and in South Derbyshire. Their objective is to raise awareness of young people around grooming and exploitation, provide reassurance around community safety and gain the views of young people about services and support they needed to feel safer.
The team has been trialling ‘My Own Cop’, the new app-based alert system which has been developed by Steve Rimmington, a former police officer who founded Derby-based Repton Security in 2004.
Mr Rimmington explained: “The nature of policing has changed completely over the past two decades decades for many reasons and I know from speaking to former colleagues and with my 20 years’ experience in the security industry that there is now an increasing need for on-demand security and support.
“Myowncop.com is an app-based alert system which is particularly important for lone workers and small teams who need back up quickly and efficiently.
“Having successfully trialled this locally over the last year, with Repton Security providing the response, we now intend to roll this out across the UK and hopefully overseas by partnering with reputable security companies in each location.
“I have supported Safe and Sound in different ways over the years so I am delighted that they have come on board with My Own Cop to provide additional support for the workers and volunteers who do such a valuable job in our local communities.”
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison continued: “Although we already have robust safeguarding in place for our support and outreach team members, I was keen to have another layer of security in place for them.
“My Own Cop is a great idea and provides additional support and reassurance for staff in a wide range of roles.”
Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has joined thousands of organisations across Europe to highlight the potential dangers of the internet – particularly for children and young people.
Safer Internet Day (Tuesday 6 February 2024) aims to encourage everyone to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively and this year the focus is on the importance of age-appropriate digital services, with every child protected, empowered and respected online.
Safe and Sound is a highly-regarded local charity which specialises in protecting and supporting young people and their families across Derbyshire whose lives are affected by child exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation. It is supporting Safer Internet Day due to the growing prevalence of criminals using the internet to groom children and young people for their own purposes.
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “The latest national statistics show that there has been an 82% rise in online grooming crimes against children in the past six years since sexual communication with a child was officially recognised as a criminal offence.
“In the East Midlands alone, more than 2,600 online grooming crimes have been recorded by police during that time, which means that literally hundreds of children and young people in Derbyshire have been targeted by predators. “Last year, Safe and Sound supported a record 343 children and young people who had been victims of or at risk of child exploitation and, in the vast majority of cases, the grooming and abuse started online.”
Mrs Harrison continued that online grooming could involve young people being blackmailed into sharing indecent photographs of themselves; have been sent horrific images and pornography and, in some cases, have been coerced into meeting up with the perpetrators and subjected to life-changing emotional, physical and sexual abuse. “These figures are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg with many more young people too afraid or ashamed to ask for help – petrified that their abuser will mete out the retribution they have threatened or fearful that they will not be believed and somehow be blamed for what has happened.
“Furthermore, most people think that online grooming takes place on traditional social media channels but researchers have identified 150 different apps, games and websites being used to target children.” “Online grooming has therefore had a devastating effect on the lives of too many young people and their wider families and we need to do all we can to protect them. “Organisations such as ourselves who are committed to protecting and supporting children and young people who are at risk or are victims of child exploitation and I welcome the annual Safer Internet Day which highlights the need for the robust action to keep young people safe online.
“I particularly appeal to families to far more vigilant about the dangers online for young people. Please set the highest possible privacy settings on their social media, gaming and search engine apps and channels. “Most of us would question a young person as they leave the home about where they are going and who they are meeting. It’s the same for online activity so please have open and honest discussions about who they are talking to online and that not everybody is who they seem.”
For more advice and information, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk
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A golf day organised by two Derby businesses has raised £2,000 for the county’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound.
A group of 64 golfers took part in the event organised by Invictus Communications in Melbourne and German Automotive service and repair centre in Ascot Drive, Derby.
Jonny McPhee, managing director of Invictus Communications has been a long-time supporter of Safe and Sound including installing a new telephony system at the charity’s offices to ensure they could keep their helplines open.
He also nominated Safe and Sound to be the chosen charity for the recent East Midlands Business Awards which raised £13,000 to support their work.
He said: “Safe and Sound do an incredible job protecting and supporting young people and families whose lives are affected by child exploitation.
“Therefore, when we started planning the golf day with Ian Essex and the team at German Automotive, I was adamant that Safe and Sound would be a chosen charity for fundraising on the day.
“Our whole ethos is buy local, sell local and support local and I am delighted that we have once again been able to make a positive difference to this amazing charity.”
Tracy Harrison, CEO of Safe and Sound met with the golfers on the day as they teed off. She said: “Once again we are very grateful for the generosity shown by Invictus Communications and the businesses and individuals they work with.
“Every penny raised goes into directly supporting young people and families in our local communities through 121 and group support, positive activities and outreach work.
“We can only do this with the support of our local business community and I hope they all realise what a positive difference they are making to so many people’s lives.”
The generosity of a Derby business owner will enable specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, to provide vital support to more than ten young people and their families over the coming year through match funding.
John Shaw, managing director of family-run Vibrant Doors in Sinfin doubled the amount raised at a recent music night to raise funds for Safe and Sound which supports and protects children, young people and families whose lives are affected by child exploitation.
That pledge, in turn, was match funded by Big Give – bringing the total raised for the charity to £5,800.
Mr Shaw set up Vibrant Doors at his kitchen table in 2012, and now heads up a team of 20 who supply internal and external doors and accessories to customers across the UK.
He said: “I was blown away when I attended the music night and learnt more about the incredible work that Safe and Sound do to support and protect children, young people and families across the county.
“I am Derby born and bred and, as a family business, we are all committed to supporting our local communities in whatever way we can.
“I am particularly passionate about supporting young people to develop their skills and confidence to progress in the workplace and most of our management team started here straight from school.
“Safe and Sound therefore match our company values and I am delighted that our support has opened the doors to match funding for the charity to provide support for young people and families who really need it.”
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “Any child, anywhere, can become a victim of child exploitation whether through online grooming or being targeted by individuals and gangs who prey on the vulnerabilities of young people.
“The youngest person we worked with this year is eight years old. We are also supporting a growing number of families because the impact of child exploitation has a ripple effect – potentially destroying lives and family relationships.
“The generosity of companies and individuals across the county like John and the Vibrant Doors team enables us to provide specialist 121 and group support as well as organising positive activities to build self confidence and providing much-needed outreach support within local communities blighted by child exploitation.
“We are so grateful that this donation opened further doors through the Big Give national initiative and this money raised will be a lifeline so many young people and families across the county who need support to move forward positively with their lives.”
The music night, held at The Venue in Abbey Street features some of Derby’s most successful and up and coming music and dance performers and was organised by Sharon Jackson, a former case worker at Safe and Sound who is the founder of Shield – a safeguarding and child protection training service.
Sharon Jackson concluded: “The music night was a fantastic showcase for local talent, particularly young and up and coming musicians and dancers from this area. As well as generating new audiences for these superb performers, it raised much-needed funds to help the charity expand its work across the county.”
For more information about the work of Safe and Sound, please visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk
A former soldier is returning to the boxing ring to raise money for Safe and Sound, Derbyshire’s specialist charity that supports young people and their families whose lives are affected by child exploitation. Harry Sloman (22) from Melbourne now works in construction after serving in the Mercian Regiment. He will be taking part in an Ultra White Collar Boxing event on November 25 at Arleston Hall in Derby and is asking family and friends to sponsor him in his endeavours.
Harry explained: “I first took up boxing when I was a teenager because I was being bullied at school. It gave me the self-confidence and self-esteem that I needed to get me out of a black hole and I have since taken part in six white collar boxing events – winning all of my bouts.
“I am really looking forward to the training and then the event itself and I hope to raise a decent amount of money for Safe and Sound.
“The scale of grooming and child exploitation – especially in our local communities – really resonated with me because of how vulnerable I felt when I was younger. “Feeling confident and in control of your life is so important to a young person’s wellbeing and safety so I felt this was the perfect way to raise money for Safe and Sound.”
Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “We are very grateful that Harry has chosen to raise money for us in this way. “Boxing is a key part of our positive activities programme for both young boys and girls to help build their confidence and resilience which are crucial to them moving forward with their lives.”
To support Harry Sloman, please visit his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harry-sloman?utm_source=copyLink&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=harry-sloman&utm_campaign=pfp-share&utm_term=ef18d6b4ccda46cc8e1d689f45413122
For more information about Safe and Sound and how to support they do in local communities, visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk
Derby-based Parry Creative has completed the first stages of a brand development project for specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, which is designed to better reflect the expanded range of services it provides to local communities.
The team has invested their time and expertise into Safe and Sound after founder and Managing Director Laura Parry attended fundraising events where she learnt more about the charity’s work.
Work so far completed includes refreshing the branding of the charity’s on-going Butterfly Appeal, created icons which will ally to the different and expanded service areas and updating the marketing materials’ colour palette.
Further work planned includes creating templates for future marketing materials and ongoing support for fundraising events.
Laura Parry explained: “The charitable sector is facing so many funding and profile challenges in this economic climate that a strong and consistent brand identity which builds recognition and reputation is more important than ever.
“Having become established within the Derby business community we were keen to put something back and chose to focus on Safe and Sound because of the passion, dedication and energy shown by the Safe and Sound team and particularly CEO Tracy Harrison.
“The feedback to the work completed so far has been very positive and I hope that this will help the Safe and Sound team in their marketing communication activities in the future.”
Tracy Harrison added: “We are in the fortunate position that we have been able to grow our services and support more young people and families than ever before but that has led to our brand identity becoming rather messy.
“Parry Creative have taken the time to really understand what we do and how we do it and has used their expertise to provide the tools we need to better communicate with our target audiences in a clear and consistent manner.
“Pro bono support from professionals is a life line to charities such as ours as it enables us to improve our operations whilst utilising the income that we do have to directly support and protect children, young people and their families whose lives have been affected by child exploitation.
“I am therefore extremely grateful to Laura and the team for giving us their time and expertise on such an important project at this vital stage in our charity’s future development.”
For more information about Parry Creative, visit https://parrycreative.co.uk/ and to find out how to support Safe and Sound and the work they do in local communities, visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk