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Further Awards Recognition For Safe and Sound

Published on Wednesday 27 October 2021

The specialist work of child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has been recognised with two further awards. 


Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation. This includes online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking, drugs lines, modern slavery and radicalisation.  

The charity also supports the wider family and raises awareness in local communities of the dangers facing young people.

Safe and Sound has firstly won the title of Not for Profit organisation of the year in the Derbyshire Live Business Awards.

Chair of Trustees Allen Graham said: “This award is so important for our work. Not only does it recognise the great work of our staff, who are passionate, caring and utterly brilliant but also shines a light on the dark corners of our society. Many young people are at risk of exploitation and this award will ensure we are able continue our work to fight for and protect the most vulnerable.”

Secondly, Keeley Howard (22), who volunteers for Safe and Sound, has been presented with the Inspirational Young Person of the Year award at the Derby Youth Awards organised by Sporting Communities and sponsored by Derby City Council.

Safe and Sound Project Manager Helen West, who nominated Keeley for the award, said: “We are all so proud of Keeley.  Despite personal challenges, she keeps going for other people and continues to be an important voice for young people.

“She is a sensitive and courageous young woman who is determined to be a voice for the many children in the city and across the UK who do not have one.”

Keeley Howard, said, “I’m extremely thankful to have been nominated for the award. I think it’s incredible that young people are being recognised as an advocate for their own life. For the past five years, I have been putting young people’s rights and opinions into force with everything I do!

To be recognised for all of the hard work and dedication is an achievement in itself. I was so shocked when I was announced as the winner and I am very happy.

Formed in 2002, Safe and Sound transforms young lives affected by child exploitation with innovative, hands-on programmes.

The charity’s workload has increased by more than 50% since the start of the pandemic due to the growing risks of online and in-person grooming and exploitation and the additional pressures on young people and their families which have made them more vulnerable to exploitation.

Despite the challenges, in 2020 the Safe and Sound team has successfully delivered:

-    Intensive one-to-one and group support for 150 children affected by child exploitation
-    100 youth participation activities to help children to recover from their experiences and regain their confidence
-    Support for 30 children and families from the Roma community in Derby 
-    Support for 40 families affected by exploitation
-    Support for30 young people through transition to move on in their lives
-    Reached over 500 young people through education sessions in schools and colleges and community groups
-    Reached 200 professionals, community leads and parents through training and awareness.  
-    Collaborative work with 10 new partners to learn from and shape best practice and research
-    Engaged with over 700 children and young people through outreach activity in Derby, Erewash and South Derbyshire

A key focus in the past year for Safe and Sound has been to build its volunteer base.  The growing number of people of all ages giving their time to support the charity’s work includes Keeley Howard from Derby who was nominated for the Derby Youth Voice Awards by the charity.

Keeley has dedicated her time to helping others and has been a vocal advocate for young people – particularly those who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

In Derby, she continues to be an active volunteer for Safe and Sound and is currently part of the outreach team.

She is a past member of the Derby City Youth Council as well as a volunteer young lay member of the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership – ensuring that the perspectives of young people are taken into account when planning services and support.

Nationally, she has worked with the Children’s Commissioner for England and presented at national conferences attended by child exploitation professionals and the police.

She also continues to be an active member of the Young Researchers’ Advisory Panel – advocating for change to drive forward policies that support children and young people who are victims of sexual abuse.

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison continued: “We are honoured that our work has been recognised in the Derbyshire Live Business Awards and that Keeley’s commitment to ensuring the views of young people are heard far and wide has been applauded.

“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.”

For more information about support the work of Safe and Sound please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk
 




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