Local Charity Gains National Recognition
The chief executive and a young ambassador of Derby-based charity Safe and Sound have both gained national recognition for their work to tackle and raise awareness of child exploitation.
Charity leader Tracy Harrison and child sexual exploitation survivor Louise Murphy-Fairclough (18) were both nominated for the NWG Exploitation Response Unit’s Unsung Hero Awards 2020 alongside representatives of organisations, local authorities and police forces across the UK.
Mrs Harrison reached the final of the Helping Hands Award which recognises the outstanding contribution of those who work tirelessly to improve the response to children and Louise was a finalist in the Inspiring Voices award – for young people who have inspired others to tackle exploitation.
The awards ceremony – originally planned for this month – will now be held virtually when winners and finalists will be congratulated on their work.
Tracy Harrison was appointed CEO of Safe and Sound last May and has been instrumental in widening the charity’s scope and services to support children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation – including sexual, County Lines, Modern Slavery and trafficking – and their families.
Louise, who lives in Erewash, has been supported by Safe and Sound since being targeted by groomers online.
She is now the charity’s young ambassador and works alongside Safe and Sound support officers to raise awareness of the dangers facing young people both online and in local communities.
Tracy Harrison said: “Louise and I are honoured to be finalists in these prestigious awards organised by NWG which is also based in Derby and brings together organisations across the UK in the national response to this growing issue.
“It is a shame that, like countless other events, the awards celebration has been cancelled but we look forward to meeting up with colleagues across the country for a virtual presentation to recognise the good work that is underway to better protect children and young people from exploitation in all its manipulative forms.”
Chair of Trustees Allen Graham concluded: “We are extremely proud that the achievements and commitment of both Tracy and Louise have been recognised in this way.
“Both have played important roles in expanding the remit of the charity’s support for young and families across Derbyshire and in raising awareness amongst local communities of the real and present dangers facing children and young people in today’s society.”
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.
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