LOCAL CHARITY AMBASSADOR RECOGNISED WITH CITY AWARD

LOCAL CHARITY AMBASSADOR RECOGNISED WITH CITY AWARD

A 19-year-old girl who has survived child exploitation and is now an ambassador for specialist local charity Safe and Sound has been recognised at the second annual Derby Youth Awards. Louise Murphy-Fairclough has been presented with the Inspirational Young Person Award in the awards programme organised by Sporting Communities and sponsored by Derby City
Council. Louise has turned her life around with the support of Safe and Sound who nominated her for the award as a positive role model to other children and young people across the county who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

She targeted online by men pretending to be teenagers who bombarded her with indecent images and persuaded her to do the same through systematic online grooming. The police investigated and prosecuted two of them but then her Facebook account was hacked and photos of her shared with all her contacts – prompting friends to turn their back on her and leading to Louise starting on a destructive path of self-harming. Louise was referred to Safe and Sound and, with the help of her support worker, has been able to start rebuilding her self-esteem and confidence.

As well as being an ambassador for the charity, she is a volunteer youth worker whilst starting her studies to become qualified in the role. She has also fronted fundraising campaigns for Safe and Sound, been part of national training and awareness-raising programmes and has helped create appropriate support and resources for both young people and professionals. Louise said: “Safe and Sound saved my life and I have wanted to share my story and also work with the charity to help other children and young people who have been through similar experiences to my own and to better protect others who are at risk of grooming and exploitation both online and in their local communities.

“I am really honoured to have been given this award and I hope that it helps to break down the taboos surrounding child exploitation and raise awareness amongst young people and
their families about the dangers they face.”

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison said: “We are so proud of how far Louise has come. “The mental scars of online grooming will never be eradicated but Louise is determined to
put something back into her local community and work with young people who are vulnerable to exploitation. “Child exploitation includes sexual, County Lines, trafficking, Modern Slavery and
radicalisation and is sadly on the rise. It can affect any young girl or boy regardless of where they live, their family situation, cultural or social background. “As the county’s only specialist charity, we provide a range of support for an increasing number of young people and their families and also work across local communities to raise awareness of the issue. “Louise’s role as an expert by experience is a vitally important one and I am delighted that her bravery and determination has been recognised with this award.”

For more information about support the work of Safe and Sound and ways to support the ongoing Butterfly Appeal, please visit https://safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

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Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665;
[email protected]

About Safe and Sound

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.
The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers. This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge
unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential. The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to
support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked. These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern-day slavery, radicalisation and
human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experience board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the
profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation. Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever –
which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

Local Charity Returns To Its Roots

Local Charity Returns To Its Roots

Specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound has launched a weekly outreach programme across the city in a bid to protect more young people from child exploitation.

Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation which includes online grooming sexual exploitation, County Lines, Modern Slavery and trafficking as well as supporting the wider families and raising awareness of the issues in local communities.

The charity’s expanded youth work team is now making weekly visits to various city parks and surrounding areas.

The key objective is to gather information and intelligence about suspected criminal activity, talk to young people about their experiences and provide support or signpost them to other organisations.

The sessions are funded by the Office of the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the team regularly engage with up to 50 young people a night.

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison explained that the outreach programme had been prompted by potential consequences of lockdown and continued restrictions which had led to young people spending more time online and therefore being at greater risk of grooming.

So far this year Safe and Sound has supported more than 123 young people and their families – compared with 100 during the whole of 2019.

The majority were victims of or at risk of sexual exploitation but there has also been a greater incidence in concerns about trafficking and County Lines.

The local picture is backed by national statistics.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) recently reported that there were at least 300,000 people in the UK who posed a sexual threat to children either through physical contact abuse or online and a 10% rise in internet offending during lockdown with 4,000 intelligence reports passed to police forces to investigate.

New government figures also show that 377 children were referred to the National Referral Mechanism – the UK’s framework for identifying modern slavery victims (including County Lines) – between April and June this year compared to 182 during the previous quarter.

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison said: “Lockdown and the continued restriction on social gatherings has heightened the risk of child exploitation.

“Children and young people have not been in school and their increased stress and isolation has meant they have become used to spending far more time online.

“They have also faced additional issues including increased financial pressures on families and heightened tensions at home which make they more susceptible to manipulative grooming from sexual predators and drugs gangs – both online and in person.

“Our focus from the start of the pandemic was to mitigate the risks of online grooming through awareness of the importance of privacy settings and the dangers of unhealthy relationships.

“As young people have more recently naturally wanted to spread their wings and return to meeting up together, we recognised the need to start the outreach programme to engage directly with young people and highlight the dangers they face at the hands of individuals and groups.

“It is this grassroots work as experienced ‘eyes and ears’ in local communities that helped lead to the successful prosecutions under Operation Retriever ten years ago.

“We are therefore returning to our roots as a charity – visiting parks and particularly hot spots where we know from experience that young people tend to meet up and therefore attracts perpetrators who target them for their own criminal purposes.

“Many young people are telling us that they have been approached online and that they continue to feel isolated because of the cancellation of positive activities which they previously enjoyed.

“We are now sharing this feedback as well as information gathered about any suspicious activities with key partners in the city.

“We also aim to reassure young and their families that we are here to support them, engage them in our own youth activities or refer them to other organisations for help with other specific concerns and issues that they face.”

For more information about support the work of Safe and Sound and ways to support the ongoing Butterfly Appeal, please visit https://safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/what-you-can-do/cycle/

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Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers.  This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential.

The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked.  These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern-day slavery, radicalisation and human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experienced board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation.

Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse.  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.

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

PCC toasts funding boost with Derbyshire charity

PCC toasts funding boost with Derbyshire charity

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has provided vital funding to support a charity’s specialist work with vulnerable young people who are victims of or at risk of exploitation.

The Commissioner visited  Derbyshire-based charity Safe and Sound to meet project leaders and volunteers for an insight into the work they are undertaking to transform the lives of young people and children who are at risk of child exploitation including sexual, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.

The charity successfully applied for funding from the PCC’s Large Grant Community Action Grant scheme and was formally presented with a cheque for £24,460.

The funding will secure the services of a family worker to provide specialist support to families directly impacted by child exploitation including the child, siblings and parents.

Mr Dhindsa said: “There are many vulnerable young people in need of support and guidance to protect them from exploitation. Safe and Sound’s work not only helps prevent young people from becoming victims of crime, it also offers support to the whole family which is vital in mitigating all the risks children are exposed to today from social media through to unhealthy or harmful relationships.”

Tracy Harrison, chief executive of Safe and Sound, added: “The impact on the wider family of young people who have been or are at risk of being targeted by perpetrators cannot be underestimated and I am delighted that we now have a dedicated resource to support them.

“Our holistic family support work also addresses the wider issues that affect families – particularly financial hardship and isolation – which can make young people vulnerable to grooming for criminal purposes such as County Lines.

“We are therefore grateful for this additional support from the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner in recognition of the valuable grassroots work that Safe and Sound provides in local communities across the county.”

Since January this year, the charity has worked with 123 young people and their families. -The youngest person supported was seven years old with the majority then being 14-16-years-old. A third were male and two thirds female and 30% of the young people had special educational needs or disability (SEND). Young people were from a wide range of cultures: the majority white British closely followed by Roma/Slovak as well as some black and Asian young people.

The majority of referrals have been around child sexual exploitation – particularly online grooming which has increased during lockdown – but the charity is seeing increasing risk of other criminal exploitation – including County Lines.

As well as being vital support to families of young people affected by or at risk of child exploitation, further help has included access to food banks and wider services and awareness sessions have continued both online and through the charity’s new community outreach programme which has also been supported by the PCC

Safe and Sound Gains University of Derby Recognition

Safe and Sound Gains University of Derby Recognition

Local specialist charity Safe and Sound’s commitment to supporting the employability of University of Derby students has been officially recognised with two prestigious awards.

Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation as well as supporting their families and raising public awareness of the issues.

The charity works in partnership with the University of Derby to provide work placement and volunteering opportunities for students and recently expanded this to those studying Youth Work and Community Development.

Safe and Sound was nominated by student Kelly Rawson for the Community Engagement category of the University’s Employability Awards 2020 and its success in this category was announced online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTnesInn8rA

Kelly was also nominated for and won the Student Volunteer of the Year category of the awards – heralded as one of the most difficult to judge due to the calibre of entries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08-Ql3Ey08A&feature=youtu.be

Kelly Rawson said: “I nominated Safe and Sound for the Community Engagement award because of the opportunities they have given me to work with young people and their families.

“I have learnt so much from my colleagues but equally they have given me the respect, space and support to develop new activities and resources that prove the value of youth work on the work that we do by establishing voluntary working relationships built on trust.”

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison added: “Just as we support children and young people who have been targeted by perpetrators or are at risk of child exploitation, we are always keen to provide opportunities for under graduates at the University of Derby to hopefully increase their future job prospects.

“Kelly has been our first work placement student from the Youth Work and Community Development degree programme.  She has since volunteered for us and has now secured a part time youth work role with Safe and Sound so that she can combine this with finishing her degree.

“She has been integral to building the charity’s new transitions programme to help young people move on with their lives – returning to education, entering the workplace and forging health relationships.

“This includes a 14-year-old girl who was groomed and sexually exploited. She regards Kelly as her role model and is committed to returning to education following in her footsteps as a volunteer for the charity in the future.

“We have a strong relationship with the University of Derby and are obviously delighted that our work to create work placement and volunteering opportunities has been recognised in this way.”

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

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Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers.  This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential.

The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked.  These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern day slavery, radicalisation and human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experience board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation.

Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse.  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.

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

Local Business Leader First To Join Virtual Cycle

Local Business Leader First To Join Virtual Cycle

Derby business leader Helen Wathall MBE has become the first to sign up for a virtual cycle ride organised by specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound.

Miss Wathall is managing director and the fifth generation of her family to head up Wathall’s funeral directors in Derby, Alvaston, Borrowash, Ashbourne and Burton-on-Trent.  She is also board chair of St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).

Having recently re-discovered cycling as a pastime, she is planning to complete the 11-mile route around five Derby parks – Markeaton, Darley and Alvaston as well as Bass and Markeaton recreation grounds.

She has also set up a Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helen-wathall1  to raise money to help the Derby charity support more young people across the county who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

Miss Wathall said: “I used to love cycling but haven’t done it – or indeed very much else – for several years since injuring my knees doing the Team Wathall charity walk from Derby to London.

“My friends and family are very surprised to hear that I am back on two wheels and they have promised to sponsor me to encourage me to do this challenge as the first step.

“It will also be a great way to get out and about back into Derby’s parks and enjoy the greenery that is on our doorstep across the city whilst supporting a great local charity.”

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “We are very grateful for Helen and the Wathall’s team’s continued support for Safe and Sound ,she is a great role model for re-discovering the joy of cycling as a fun and healthy sporting pastime!”

Everyone signing up and donating to the charity receives details of an easy to follow and cycle-friendly circular route, taking in the parks, which they can do whenever they want and at their own pace, either in one day or in stages.

The ride information pack also highlights the parks’ history and interesting landmarks to look out for on the way.

Sponsorship forms and online giving are available for those wishing to raise further money for the charity and everyone who completes the challenge will receive a certificate.

Money raised will go to the charity’s Butterfly Appeal which was set up a year ago to help transform the lives of children, young people and their families across Derbyshire whose lives are affected by child exploitation.  This includes sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking and modern slavery.

For more information about how to join the Five Park Ride and support the work of Safe and Sound, please visit https://safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/what-you-can-do/cycle/

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Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound

 

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

 

The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers.  This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential.

 

The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked.  These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern day slavery, radicalisation and human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

 

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experience board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation.

 

Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse.  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.

 

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

Safe and Sound Wins Two Prestigious Awards

Safe and Sound Wins Two Prestigious Awards

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has clinched two regional awards in recognition of its achievements.

The East Midlands Charity Awards were announced during a virtual event – celebrating the work of charities across the region and concluded with a resounding #Cheer For Charities.

Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal, which was launched in June 2019 to support their ambitious expansion plans, won the fundraising campaign of the year special recognition award; and chief executive Tracy Harrison was named the rising star in the director of the year award category.

Safe and Sound Chair of Trustees Allen Graham said: “It was an honour for Safe and Sound to be recognised alongside many other excellent charities who play such a vital role in the well-being of local communities across the East Midlands.

“It shows just how much has been achieved in the past year since Tracy was appointed CEO and is testament to the many businesses, organisations and individuals who have made the Butterfly Appeal such a resounding success.

“Having recently joined as chair, my congratulations go to the whole team, ambassadors and volunteers and particularly the long-standing trustees who have steered the charity through some tough years and ensured Safe and Sound has returned to a position of strength.

“Everyone has played a part in re-building the charity as a strong and effective resource to support children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation and their families.

“Our work is even more important in these challenging times when young people are isolated and spending far more time online – making them more vulnerable to online grooming by manipulative perpetrators.

“Funds raised through the Butterfly Appeal are enabling us to expand the services we provide, under Tracy’s strategic leadership, which will have an even greater positive impact on the lives of so many young people and their families across our county.

“It is also enabling us to look at different ways of engaging with local communities to raise awareness of the issues and encourage more families and professionals working with young people to seek support.”

For more information about Safe and Sound and how to support the charity’s work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk  and follow on social media channels.

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Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound is an inspiring Derbyshire charity that transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

The charity works at grass root levels delivering individual support to each child as well as families and carers.  This vital support enables them to move not just to a place of safety, but emerge unshackled and undefined by their experience and enabled to reach their full potential.

The charity continues to specialise in child sexual exploitation and is now developing its services to support children and young people facing or at risk of wider exploitation which are often interlinked.  These include physical and emotional violence, neglect, modern day slavery, radicalisation and human trafficking, domestic abuse, missing episodes and County Lines.

Safe and Sound is led by former police superintendent Tracy Harrison with the support of a specialist team; an experience board of Trustees and now a team of Ambassadors who are helping to raise the profile of the charity and the issue of child exploitation.

Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse.  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.

For more information about child exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and how to support their work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk