Music Night Showcases Local Talent

Music Night Showcases Local Talent

Some of Derby’s most successful and up and coming music and dance performers will come together for a special event in the city next month to raise money for specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound.

The event has been 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.

Keen to support the charity, Sharon has brought together a wide range of music acts including soul, rap, jazz, ballads, country Indie-rock as well as dance to perform on Friday October 6 at The Venue between 7pm and midnight.

The headline act for the evening are Indie/alternative quartet, Shadows Of A Silhouette, who graced the YNOT main stage this summer and are heavily influenced by their working class background and groups such as Arctic Monkeys.

The line-up also includes The Steve Frixou Band, Feurtado Beats, Samiie Licence, Jon Ryan, Henry John, Karolina, Richard Comfort, Sharon Jackson, the Nadia Dance Group as well as accomplished musicians and Safe and Sound team members Sheila Isles and Jamie Joseph.

Sharon Jackson explained: “The music night will a fantastic showcase for local talent, particularly young and up and coming musicians and dancers from this area, and to highlight the amazing work that Safe and Sound do in our local communities to support and protect children, young people and families whose lives are affected by child exploitation.

“We hope that it will generate new audiences for these superb performers as well as much-needed funds to help the charity expand its work across the county.”

Nathan Brown, who is a founding member of Shadows Of A Silhouette and performs lead vocals and rhythm guitar, continued: “We wanted to be involved in this event because we know and are very aware of the amazing work Safe and Sound does to protect vulnerable children from the many predators in our society.

“They have been relentless over the past 20 years in highlighting the need for more work to be done at all levels to safeguard children. Their work takes a lot of time and effort and is funded by charitable donations in the main. Without their voices, a lot of the voices of the vulnerable children would go unheard.

“It therefore means everything to us to able to be part of this music event to help raise money for the charity. Music is in our blood, and we get the pleasure of putting smiles on people’s faces when we take to a stage.”

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison concluded: “Music and dance played a really important part in our 20th anniversary celebrations last year and made me realise just how many talented artists and particularly young people we have across the city and county.

“Sharon has done an incredible job bringing the music night together and we look forward to engaging with a whole new audience to raise awareness of the dangers facing young people both online and in our local communities and what we do to help them and their families move forward positively with their lives.”

Tickets for the over-18 music night are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charity-music-night-tickets-706018238557?aff=ebdssbdestsearch&fbclid=IwAR09IGoYbDLTD7sgNABeW7dSyFo8MXLXFbLfkBjPHnIrVAhW-LAiDXVeg1Q and for more information about the work of Safe and Sound, please 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.”

Volunteering Team Lead Joins Safe and Sound

Volunteering Team Lead Joins Safe and Sound

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, has appointed a new team lead to support and grow the organisation’s growing group of volunteers.

Rach Bricknell joins Safe and Sound from a children’s charity where she both volunteered her time and worked on fundraising and events having previously set up her own candle making business and worked in a variety of accounting, business administration and retail roles.

At Safe and Sound, she will support the current volunteering team who carry out vital work across the organisation from outreach sessions and youth activities to administrative and ambassadorial role.

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “Rach’s experience in the charity sector – both as a paid officer and a volunteer – as well as her entrepreneurial flair in running her own business will be a great asset to the charity.

“Volunteers are the backbone to organisations such as Safe and Sound and this appointment steps up the support and development to the wide range of people from all walks of life who give their time to help us in work with children, young people and families across Derbyshire whose lives have been affected by child exploitation.

“Our volunteers support us in a number of ways.  For example, parents of children targeted both online and in person by perpetrators have progressed to become peer mentors – supporting other families through their journey.

“Our youth work and outreach teams are supported by volunteers with an array of life experience to ensure that we can reach out and engage with young people across the city and county.

“We also have a wide range of professionals who provide support for the charity – taking on roles as trustees and ambassadors and also providing their expertise to us free of charge.”

Rach Bricknell continued: “I am excited to be part of an amazing charity that does such incredible work to support and protect some of the most vulnerable young people and families across the county.

“I know from personal experience that nothing beats the feeling that you have given something back in whatever way you can.  It is also the opportunity to learn more about the issues that people face in their lives and to develop new skills which are invaluable in all aspects of home and work life.

“I am relishing the role – both in working with our existing volunteers and to recruiting more people to keep pace with the growing demand for Safe and Sound’s support services. Their input really can make a positive difference to the lives of so many people in our local communities.”

For more information about volunteering at Safe and Sound, please visit https://www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer-my-skills/

Rise In Online Grooming Is a Concern For Us All

Rise In Online Grooming Is a Concern For Us All

By Tracy Harrison, CEO of Safe and Sound – Derbyshire’s leading charity that supports and protects children, young people and families whose lives have been affected by child exploitation.

Latest research reveals that more than 2,600 online grooming crimes have been recorded by police in the East Midlands in the six years since sexual communication with a child was officially recognised as a criminal offence.

That means that literally hundreds of children and young people have been contacted by perpetrators online; 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.

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.

Between April 2022 and March 2023, Safe and Sound supported 346 children and young people and, in the vast majority of cases, the grooming and abuse started online.

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 have long been calling for the swift passage of the Online Safety Bill which has slowed since the draft was first published more than two years ago.

The legislation will mean that tech companies have a legal duty of care for young users and put safeguards in place to protect children online with stronger regulation by Ofcom.

We hope that the Online Safety Bill will become law this Autumn but, in the meantime, I appeal to families to be 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. 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

Safe and Sound Appointed To Progress Family-Focused Programme

Safe and Sound Appointed To Progress Family-Focused Programme

Specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has been appointed to deliver a special programme that aims to strengthen family relationships and reduce the number of young people going into local authority care in Derby city.

The charity has worked closely with Derby City Council to deliver a pilot Family Group Conference programme in the city which is the first in the Midlands and were part of a competitive tendering process to determine its future delivery.

The programme was originally devised by Leeds City Council and centres around empowering and supporting families to find solutions to the issues they face and remain together as a family unit rather than matters escalating and their children being placed in care.

Over the two-year pilot, 115 families have been referred to Safe and Sound by Derby City Council with 95 conference reviews held – bringing the wider family around the table to discuss the future of the children.

Issues have ranged from single parents who have been empowered to ask their families for practical and emotional support to children being cared for by other family members rather than being placed in care due to issues at home.

Safe and Sound has drawn on its experience in supporting children and young people who are victims of or at risk of exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation as well as helping the wider family.

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison explained: “We were originally appointed to lead on this pilot programme because of our proven track record in protecting and supporting children, young people and families – empowering them to take back control and re-build their lives.

“Children in care are more vulnerable to exploitation and if we can keep them safer in the family home it reduces that risk too.

“We also have widespread experience of supporting young people and families who are new arrivals to the city such as those in the Roma community who have a long-held mistrust of authority and whose children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

“Throughout the pilot programme we have demonstrated how we can successfully empower and support the family to broker relationships, work through issues together and make safe decisions and plans so that children going into the care of the local authority is the last resort.

“We have worked with families facing a wide range of issues to move forward positively and have also been able to put extra support in place where we can or signpost them to other organisations for help.

“I am delighted that foundations we have helped put in place will now be built upon moving forward so that we play an important role in empowering families to find a solution that enables more young people to grow into adulthood safely and with family support.”

Cllr John Whitby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills at Derby City Council, added: “The Family Group Conferencing approach reflects the aims and values of both Derby City Council and Safe and Sound where children are at the centre of practice.

“We have a shared desire to empower and enable families to find solutions, make changes, build resilience and, most of all, to remain together.

“The work undertaken initially in Leeds and now in Derby has shown that, through building relationships with professionals who support and guide through this process, families can and do achieve this.”

Among the families supported through the pilot Family Group Conferencing programme is a couple with seven children.  On discovering that she had a terminal illness, the mother knew her partner could not cope. By bringing the four grown up children around the table, plans were progressed for the younger ones to be looked after rather than going into care.

Another mother with a young son was facing an ongoing alcohol misuse issues.  Through the Family Group Conference she was empowered to admit the extent of her challenges and to ask for help and support from her wider family which has ensured the safety and care of her son.

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