Charity’s Plans For New City Centre Safe Space

Charity’s Plans For New City Centre Safe Space

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, is forging ahead with plans to create a safe place in Derby city centre for young people and families where they can engage with an expanded range of support services and activities to help them re-build their lives.

The charity has secured the purchase of 8 Bold Lane, a former restaurant in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, which will enable the specialist team to support more young people and families and provide a broader range of services.  The charity will also make space available for other charities and organisations to deliver their services.

Safe and Sound works with children as young as seven, young people and their families across Derbyshire whose lives have been affected by child exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.

The charity is currently based in rented offices in Darley Abbey and rents further space for activity and therapy work.

Thanks to £250,000 funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Community Ownership Fund, plans are now being drawn up for the restoration and refurbishment work required to make the three-storey building fit for purpose. Work is due to start imminently and take around six months to complete.

The vision is to provide safe and welcoming ground-floor space for a community hub and a wide range of activities delivered by both Safe and Sound and other youth and family-focused organisations including YMCA, Derby County Community Trust and Umbrella.

The flexibility of the space will enable activities and therapies to be expanded ranging from arts and crafts and music to drama and sport.

The other two floors will include space for 121 and group support, meetings and workshops as well as office accommodation for Safe and Sound’s team and volunteers who are based there.

Fundraising for equipment and specialist facilities will continue under the charity’s Butterfly Appeal banner with the first donations secured including the donation of office equipment from Geldards solicitors and a £4,299 grant from Toyota Manufacturing UK to pay for youth activities equipment at the centre.

Last year, Safe and Sound supported a record 343 children and young people who had been victims of or at risk of child exploitation. The charity largely works with 7-18 year olds but includes up to 25 if there are special educational needs and or disability (SEND) issues or children leaving care.

The charity works with boys and girls. Around 30% of the young people have SEND and 29% did not identify as White British. Workers also regularly support young people who identify as gay, non-binary and trans.

Safe and Sound offers a range of innovative, hands-on programmes to help young people understand what has happened to them, rebuild their confidence and move onto a place of emotional safety, protected from further harm.

Support services include:

–           121 and group support

–           Outreach work in local communities

–           Practical support for families including parents and siblings

–           Positive activities for young people

–           Support through the criminal justice system

–           Longer-term support to transition into positive outcomes such as education and        employment

–           Specialist support for New Communities and young people with special educational needs.

Safe and Sound chair Mark Richardson, who is a director of BBJ Commercial, has been working with fellow trustees, CEO Tracy Harrison and key partners in the city to bring the vision to reality.

He explained that the purchase of 8 Bold Lane was the culmination of two years’ discussions and site visits and was a milestone moment for Safe and Sound, the wider voluntary sector and for the vibrancy of the city centre.

“We have outgrown our rented offices in Darley Abbey Mills and there has always been a desire to have city centre premises to provide a safe and welcoming space for the young people and families that our specialist team supports.

“I am delighted that we have found the premises that will be the long-term home for  everyone who works at and is supported by Safe and Sound as well as providing much needed accessible space for other organisations supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our local communities.

“The property has been vacant for some time and is in disrepair so this is an excellent opportunity to see it brought back to life.  Its location next to the Electric Daisy environmental social enterprise further brings new cultural diversity and community to the area

“I am particularly grateful for the support shown by fellow professionals in the commercial property, construction and legal fields who have recognised the value that Safe and Sound brings to our city and county and who have provided us with their expertise to enable us to secure this purchase.”

CEO Tracy Harrison outlined the importance of upscaling facilities and capacity to support young people and their families whose lives had been affected by child exploitation.

She explained that child exploitation was a rapidly growing problem:

  • Almost 34,000 online grooming crimes against children were recorded in the past six years
  • 6,350 Sexual Communication with a Child offences were recorded in 2022/23
  • In 2021/22, there were 17,486 crimes logged by police in England in Wales where children had been sexually exploited – an average of 48 offences a day.

She said: “Referrals for our services have doubled since the pandemic – reflecting the reality that any child, anywhere – regardless of their age, sex or family background – is at risk of child exploitation.

“However, we have been constricted by having to rent premises not only for our team but to provide an expanding programme of activities, support and therapies which are so vital to help young people and their families affected by exploitation to move forward with their lives.

“The Bold Lane premises will be an amazing community asset that will increase our impact  by providing a centrally located safe and welcoming space for children and young people who are at risk of exploitation as well as their families.

“Our youth participation and parents as peers groups will continue to be heavily involved in the project plan – advising us on the facilities they want and we will continue to consult with our Youth Alliance partners throughout the process to ensure that this facility will benefit everyone.”

Mrs Harrison continued: “With the purchase secured, the Community Ownership Fund grant has enabled us to move quickly on the renovation of the property and we hope to be ready to open our doors in early 2025.

“We still have a long shopping list of equipment that we want to buy and special features that we want to include in the community hub so will be stepping up our efforts through the Butterfly Appeal to make this a reality.”

For more information about Safe and Sound, the work it does and how to support the charity, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

Golf Day Supports Vulnerable Young People and Families Across Derbyshire

Golf Day Supports Vulnerable Young People and Families Across Derbyshire

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.”

https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/

https://www.invictuscomms.com/

https://germanauto.co.uk/

Derby Businessman Opens Doors To Match Funding For Local Charity

Derby Businessman Opens Doors To Match Funding For Local Charity

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

Parry Creative Develops Charity’s Brand Identity

Parry Creative Develops Charity’s Brand Identity

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

UK child exploitation charity becomes first SME to receive British Safety Council funding to support staff wellbeing

UK child exploitation charity becomes first SME to receive British Safety Council funding to support staff wellbeing

Derbyshire-based charity, Safe and Sound has become the first organisation to successfully win funding from British Safety Council to improve and support its staff’s wellbeing.

The funding of up to £10,000 was awarded to Safe and Sound through British Safety Council’s Keep Thriving campaign to improve workplace wellbeing.

Tracy Harrison, CEO of Safe and Sound, attended the first 3-hour workshop in November 2022 to help her and other small and medium organisations (SMEs) develop a wellbeing strategy, delivered by experts from British Safety Council’s Being Well Together programme.

Workshop attendees are invited to apply for funding six months after attending workshops with only the most effective and innovative proposals receiving approval.

Further awards will be made to other organisations taking part in workshops between November 2022 and March 2023. The money will help the SMEs to implement their wellbeing strategy and plans.

Commenting on why the money will make a difference and how Safe and Sound will make use of it to support its staff’s wellbeing, Tracy Harrison said: “I am delighted that our work to support our amazing team who in turn work so hard to support children, young people and their families in our local community has been recognised in this way.

“As a charity, we champion diversity, personal development and inclusivity and our team represents the local communities that we serve.

“This grant will enable us to implement our wide-reaching strategy to ensure the wellbeing of our staff who do an incredible job in sometimes the most challenging of circumstances and we are extremely grateful to British Safety Council’s Keep Thriving campaign for its support.

“Initiatives we are planning as part of our new wellbeing strategy include bespoke training, team building and wellbeing workshops.”

Safe and Sound supports and protects young people and families whose lives have been affected by child exploitation.

Commenting on the funding award, Mike Robinson, British Safety Council Chief Executive, said: “I am excited and proud that as a charity British Safety Council is supporting small organisations in this way, and delighted that Safe and Sound is the first recipient. I know the difference even a modest amount of funding can make to employers who lack the HR and financial resources that larger ones can use to support their staff.

“In its application Safe and Sound showed not just that it would use this money in creative and imaginative ways, but also that it would measure, evaluate and track the impact of its activities carefully, that it is listening to its staff to develop its plan and that it fits with the strategic needs of them and the charity.

“We look forward to working with Safe and Sound as it progresses on its wellbeing journey and hearing how it gets on with implementing its plan over the coming months.”

About Keep Thriving

Keep Thriving is British Safety Council’s campaign to help improve the wellbeing of workers, within and outside of the workplace, so that all of us can thrive.

As part of eight key calls to action, the Keep Thriving campaign is asking organisations and businesses to commit to:

  • Appoint an executive director responsible for wellbeing, acting as a sponsor driving change
  • Actively engage employees in determining workplace wellbeing interventions that work for them
  • Adopt a holistic approach to health, safety and wellbeing, focused on training people to enable prevention and avoid poor wellbeing.

For more on the campaign: https://britsafe.org/campaigns-policy/keep-thriving/keep-thriving-campaign/

About Safe and Sound

Safe and Sound is a charity which transforms the lives of children and young people in Derbyshire affected by child exploitation.

It supports children and young people at risk from all forms of exploitation, largely sexual and criminal exploitation, but including arranged marriage, trafficking, gangs and country lines. Its aim is to support at the earliest opportunity with prevention and early intervention programmes. For more, visit: www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

About Being Well Together

The Being Well Together Programme is one or three-years, delivered by both British Safety Council and its award-winning mental wellbeing sister charity Mates in Mind, to help them improve the wellbeing of their workforce.

It includes access to an online portal with key resources as well as a support manager and options for audit, consultancy, and training services.

More information is available here: https://www.beingwelltogether.org/

Safe and Sound To be Showcased At Regional Business Awards

Safe and Sound To be Showcased At Regional Business Awards

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, has been chosen as the recipient of donations and funds raised at the East Midlands Business Masters Awards 2023, run by Business.com East Midlands. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/eastmidlands/events/east-midlands-business-masters-2023

Safe and Sound’s CEO Tracy Harrison, who won the public and third sector leadership award earlier this year which is also organised by the business news platform, will be among the keynote speakers at the awards presentation on October 19 at Nottingham’s Crowne Plaza.

She said: “We are very grateful to the organisers for supporting our charity in this way. I am looking forward to meeting many business leaders who already support us – including the event’s headline sponsors Invictus Communications – as well as representatives from some of the region’s leading businesses and organisations who will be receiving well-deserved recognition on the night.”