Column: Start of our therapy services should have a positive impact across county

This year at Safe and Sound, we celebrate our 20th anniversary and, to mark this milestone, we have launched new therapy services to help children and young people who are victims of, or at risk of, child exploitation to regain their self-esteem and move forward positively with their lives, writes Tracy Harrison, CEO of Safe and Sound.

By Tracy Harrison
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:27 pm

As well as one-to-one and group support, positive activities and practical help, we now offer innovative therapy services for Derbyshire people including person-centred creative art therapy.

Each young person will have six sessions designed to help them rediscover their confidence, re-establish their self worth and reconnect with those around them by formulating healthy relationships.

We are now supporting more children, young people and families than ever before whose lives have been affected by exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, coercion to run drugs through County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.

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Tracy Harrison, CEO of Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound.

Grooming and child exploitation has a devastating impact on young people’s lives and the therapeutic art process creates a non-judgmental environment that encourages them to look upon themselves with empathy, compassion, and unconditional positive regard.

It will be a valuable part of our one-to-one and group support and ensure our young people feel valued, heard and respected as part of their recovery.

Finding different ways to support young people is more important than ever with the increased referrals – particularly among very vulnerable groups.

Many young people have had their lives and social circles disrupted by the pandemic, leaving them vulnerable to grooming.

With families facing increasing financial hardship due to the cost of living crisis, more doors are opening to criminals who are looking to exploit them and coerce them into activity in return for money and expensive gifts.

By the time the young people realise that supposed relationships are not what they seem, they are in too deep to walk away.

I am delighted that we are marking this important milestone in the charity’s journey with the launch of this service, made possible through the fundraising and sponsorship support of local individuals and businesses as well as foundations and grant-giving organisations.

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