Safe and Sound Confirmed as Record Breakers

Safe and Sound Confirmed as Record Breakers

A Derbyshire charity’s bid to be recognised as a record breaker has been given the green light by the world-famous governing body.

Specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound created more than 1,000 printed butterflies which were displayed at Derbion in the hope of being recognised by Guinness World Records for the world’s ‘largest display of butterfly replicas’.

After being painstakingly measured and counted by University of Derby Entomology Professor Karim Vahed and Derbyshire police PCSOs Leah Eyre and Abigail Cook, detailed evidence was submitted to Guinness World Records who have now approved the attempt – beating the previous world record which stood at 720.

Visitors to the Safe and Sound stand at Derbion and several local businesses took the opportunity to be part of the world record attempt by buying copies of the beautiful butterflies for themselves – designed and printed by Safe and Sound supporters Mercia Image Print – and these are still available to buy online at https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/butterfly-world-record/  

Thanks to the generosity of the public and the support of main sponsor, personalised giftbox company Colleague Box, more than £3,600 has so far been raised to help take the charity to the next phase of its successful Butterfly Appeal.

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison said: “We are over the moon to be the holders of a coveted world record.

“One of my favourite television programmes as a child was watching Roy Castle and the team on ‘Record Breakers’ and it is very exciting that we have made the official log.

“Most importantly, the world record attempt has given us the opportunity raise awareness of the dangers facing children and young people both online and in our local communities.

“It has also enabled us to raise money to help take our Butterfly Appeal to the next level and our thanks go to our amazing supporters Mercia Image Print, Colleague Box and Derbion.”

Derby-based Safe and Sound first launched its Butterfly Appeal in June 2019 to enable it to expand the breadth and scope of its work.

The appeal has since garnered wide ranging support from individuals, groups and businesses across the city and county – enabling the charity to support more than 300 young people; 60 families and to engage with over 1,000 people to raise awareness of the dangers in the past two years alone.  

These include children aged as young as seven upwards who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation which includes sexual exploitation, online grooming, county lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.  

New activity programmes made possible by support through the Butterfly Appeal have included outreach work, youth activities, family support and transitions work.  

The next stage of the Butterfly Appeal will focus on such specialist work as psychological therapy programmes – identified as even more important due to the pressures on young people’s mental health services post lockdown.

 

 

 

Photograph: Names are (left to right): Adam Bamford, CEO Colleague Box, Amanda Strong, Company Ambassador Mercia Image Print, Adam Tamsett, General Manager Derbion, Tracy Harrison, CEO Safe and Sound.

Miller Homes Supports Families in Need This Christmas

Miller Homes Supports Families in Need This Christmas

Families across Derby will now have a Christmas to remember thanks to a donation from Miller Homes. 

The housebuilder delivered a selection of food to Derby-based charity, Safe and Sound Group, who, as part of their Christmas initiative, have been providing hampers to young people and families who have been affected by exploitation.

The charity, which is located just a short distance from Miller Homes’ Kedleston Grange development, offers programmes and advice to children, young people and families whose lives are affected by their experience of child exploitation. Their mission is to transform young lives, provide a safe space and build on life and educational skills.

Commenting on the donation, Alastair Parsons, area sales director at Miller Homes Midlands, said:

“Support for the people and communities around our developments has always been really important to us, which is why charities such as Safe and Sound Group are so special. Christmas is a time of joy and happiness but also the chance to give back and help those who may need it the most. We are so pleased to be able to support Safe and Sound Group’s Christmas hamper initiative and we hope our food donation will make a difference to families in need during the festive period.

Tracy Harrison, CEO at Safe and Sound Group, said:

“The support from Miller Homes is very much appreciated by the families that we work with who have all had to deal with challenging circumstances in the past year.  I know that they will be touched by the kindness and thought that have been put into these hampers which will give them a much-needed morale booster as we approach the end of the year.”

Miller Homes’ Kedleston Grange development has a selection of one, two, three and four bedroom homes and is located just outside of Allestree.

For more information on Miller Homes’ Kedleston Grange development, visit www.millerhomes.co.uk/new-homes/east-midlands/kedleston-grange-allestree.aspx.

Or, for further details on Miller Homes’ other Midlands developments, click here.

Charity Supporters Cook Up A Feast For Safe and Sound

Charity Supporters Cook Up A Feast For Safe and Sound

Supporters of Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound have donated their favourite recipes for a digital cookbook to help the organisation support more local young people and families.

Local businesses including Cosy, MiniAperture Photography, BB&J Commercial, HSBC, Umbrella’s Cosy Hub and JJ Public Relations have sponsored the cookbook and donated recipe ideas.

The cookbook, which has been designed by Beeston-based digital marketing company Creationz, is now available online at https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/product/safe-sound-christmas-cookbook/ for £7.50.

It is part of Safe and Sound’s Christmas appeal which also includes the opportunity to sponsor a Hope Box, created by Colleague Box, which are given to children and young people nearing the end of their support programme with the charity.

Peter Ellse, CEO of Cosy said: “The cookbook is a brilliant example of community enterprise and so characteristic of Safe and Sound’s solid approach in the community. 

“Cookbooks can often be so predictable or over themed but I am sure that this eclectic collection will become a seasonal highlight in our house.”

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “We appreciate that individuals and companies are being asked to support a wide range of causes this Christmas so wanted to do something more light hearted whilst also helping us expand our work across the county.

“The digital cook book will hopefully give some inspiration to those of us who are already planning festive menus for family and friends this year.

“On a more serious note, our workload has significantly increased again this year as more and more children and young people are referred to us for support having been victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

“We are also supporting a growing number of families affected by child exploitation to build their resilience to the situations they face.

“We never want to turn anyone away so fundraising is an important way to ensure we have the resources and capacity to help anyone who has been targeted by groomers whether online or in person for the purposes of child sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, radicalisation or modern slavery.”

For more information about supporting the work of Safe and Sound please visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/

Latest Award Celebrates Safe and Sound’s Positive Community Impact

Latest Award Celebrates Safe and Sound’s Positive Community Impact

Safe and Sound has won the community initiative category of the Derbyshire Times Business Excellence Awards 2021 in recognition of the positive impact that the charity has on local communities across the county.

The award recognised Safe and Sound’s growing workload to support children, young people, vulnerable adults and families affected by exploitation with a particular emphasis on supporting and protecting young people who have been particularly vulnerable to online grooming during the pandemic.

It also applauded new initiatives in the past year which have included the launch of outreach work in areas such as Ilkeston, Long Eaton and Swadlincote and activities supported by the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF).

Allen Graham, chair of Trustees said: “Once again I am humbled by the recognition received through the dedication, passion and skill of our talented staff and volunteers. We are proud of the different they make every day.

“We are grateful to the sponsors Blachford Acoustics Group and the Derbyshire Times for this accolade and recognition.”

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “Entering awards such as these are important to raise the profile of the work we do across Derbyshire.

“They also recognise the contribution made by everyone in the organisation as well as our partners and supporters to support some of the most vulnerable young people and their families in our local communities.”

City Centre Outreach Programme Hailed Success

City Centre Outreach Programme Hailed Success

Specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound has teamed up with Derby County Community Trust and Derby City Council to engage with young people in the city centre on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The charities’ outreach teams have been highly visible in areas such as the Riverside Gardens and Bus Station between 7.30 pm and 11.30 pm.

Their key objectives have been to talk to young people about their experiences, provide support, gain information of concerns about criminal activity or signpost them to other organisations.

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “We already have established outreach programmes in parts of the city, South Derbyshire and Erewash for the past 18 months as part of our focus to listen to what young people have to say and raise awareness of the dangers they face both online and in person.

“This experience and expertise led us to being invited by Derby City Council to team up with DCCT and focus our attentions on key areas in the city centre where we know young people tend to congregate and are therefore potentially more vulnerable to harm.

“The young people we talked to were very receptive to our approach and appreciated 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.”

Derby City Council city centre manager Helen Falconbridge added: “This has been an important partnership programme as part of the council’s youth violence reduction strategy to reduce risk for young people in our city.

“If, following the discussions, just one young person recognises that they are being groomed by criminals or thinks twice about carrying a knife then it will have been worthwhile.”

Voting Opens For Safe and Sound Hero

Voting Opens For Safe and Sound Hero

The New and Emerging Communities Worker at Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of the positive impact that she is making on the lives of young people and their families in Derby’s inner city.

The Hope Heroes campaign is run by Hope Not Hate which aims to challenge and expose far-right extremism https://hopenothate.org.uk/about-us/   

More than 300 people and organisations were nominated for the Hope Heroes campaign award and Safe and Sound’s Lucie Radova is just one of six to make the final.

The shortlist is now open to a public vote and Safe and Sound stands to win a cash prize to go towards the work it does to support local children and young people who are victims of or at risk of exploitation which includes sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.

Votes can be made online at https://act.hopenothate.org.uk/page/92586/petition/1 and there is also a blog written by Lucie about the work she does and the particular dangers that are faced by young people and their families in the new and emerging communities. https://hopenothate.org.uk/2021/11/01/vote-for-your-hope-hero

Families coming to the UK from Eastern Europe in search of a better life are particularly vulnerable to exploitation for a number of reasons and Safe and Sound is a key part of the city’s successful New and Emerging Communities Project.

Vulnerabilities to child exploitation have been particularly magnified during the pandemic when young people and families have been isolated, have faced increased financial pressures and young people have spent more time online – making them more accessible to online grooming.

This has led to a 50% increase in Safe and Sound’s caseload across Derbyshire.  In 2020, the charity supported 150 children, young people and vulnerable adults (of which 24 were Roma/Slovak) as well as 21 families affected by exploitation.

The approach taken to support new and emerging communities – particularly Roma families – has adapted in recognition that it is important for them to have a trusted person they can communicate with around the services engaging with them.  

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison, who nominated Lucie for the award, explained: “Lucie thoroughly deserves this recognition. Her skills have enabled Safe and Sound to provide better translation and understanding of the situation they were in and we have learnt that our support for young people has greater impact if we support the whole family.

“A key aspect of Lucie’s work has been to raise awareness across the city’s new and emerging communities about the dangers facing young people.  This has led to a marked increase in referrals for support from community leaders, workers and families themselves.

“Throughout the pandemic, Lucie has also provided additional support for families.  This has included helping them to understand news updates, securing funding for children’s home learning needs and setting up a system to enable families to get direct support from food banks and other agencies.  

“She has used her extensive language skills to update families about the ever-changing guidance and restrictions – minimising the risk of the virus spreading across a community already feeling isolated.

“She has been able to create a positive feel across the community that they are not on their own so that they can support each other and obtain external support where necessary.”

One of the families being supported by Lucie and Safe and Sound is however turning a corner in a number of ways thanks to her patience and perseverance.

The single-parent family was first referred to Safe and Sound following reports that one of the three girls in the family was being targeted and groomed by older men. Lucie has been helping the 17-year-old girl to recognise that she was being groomed and to raise awareness amongst the whole family of the dangers.

Their younger brother, who is 13 and struggles to make friends, is also very vulnerable to getting involved in gangs who have started to lure him in with promises of money, gifts and a sense of belonging.

The family are trapped in sub-standard housing – which Safe and Sound is trying to rectify – and exist on a very low income. 

Language and cultural barriers as well as a chaotic home life have meant that the young people’s attendance at school has been very poor.

During the pandemic, Safe and Sound and partner agencies have ensured that they have the computers and wifi needed to engage in virtual learning and the support worker has brokered better communications with their schools and training providers.

The younger teenagers have also welcomed the chance to do positive activities with Safe and Sound  – such as boxing and table tennis – which has given them a focus and reduced their vulnerabilities to grooming gangs.

Wider family support has included accessing benefits and legal advice and supporting the mother to receive a learning disability assessment which have all contributed to building the family’s trust and improving relationships with authorities.

Lucie concluded: “I am honoured to have been shortlisted for this award.  The focus for my work is that I want to give people in the city’s new and emerging community equal opportunities and help them believe in themselves.”

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