Both the Essex Children in Care Council and the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign Team were recognised at NWG’s Unsung Hero Awards 2017.
Held last week as part of NWG’s annual conference, the awards recognised organisations and individuals that have made significant, ongoing contribution to tackling child sexual exploitation.
Care leavers from the Essex Children in Care Council were nominated in the Inspiring Voices Category, alongside a number of young person groups and individuals across the country.
The Children in Care Council were commended for their time in developing projects and training to support vulnerable young people and raise awareness for staff working with them. This includes delivering workshops to Essex school pupils, training professionals and being peer leaders in the Choices programme for 13 – 17 years old.
They were also part of the team that created the video project that inspired the larger scale ‘I Didn’t Know’ child sexual exploitation campaign, which was nominated in the Working Together Category alongside nine others.
Southend, Essex and Thurrock Local Safeguarding Children Boards and Essex Police were recognised once again for their effective partnership working across the wider Essex area, to support communities in understanding the CSE and how to get support.
Since it launched in 2016, the I Didn’t Know campaign achieved a reach of nearly 1.5m on social media feeds in its first week and has also won both the Gold Award at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards and the Partnership Working Category at the You Make the Difference Awards in Essex.
There was a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the ceremony, held in the conference centre at the University of Nottingham. NWG CEO Sheila Taylor was keen to emphasise how all the nominees deserved to be winners and thanked all for their significant contributions towards making CSE a more high profile issue.
There were some inspiring speeches from the winners, including the recipient of the Diamond Award, Fiona Broadfoot, who was recognised for her Build A Girl project and the work she has done to campaign about and deliver training on exploitation and abuse of women and children.
NWG is a charitable organisation, formed as a network of practitioners that disseminate information on CSE and trafficking within the UK. Find out about its broader work and CSE Response Unit here.
The I Didn’t Know campaign re-launched earlier this month, in the lead up to NWG’s National CSE Awareness Day, on Saturday 18th March. This year’s messages identifies with young people who may feel trapped through the grooming process to commit crime and abuse other young people and importantly, emphasise that they can get help and support too.
Don’t forget to access the 2017 campaign resources, including images and case studies on our CSE pages. There is a wealth of information there, including details of support services you can contact for confidential advice and help, as well as dedicated pages for professionals, parents/carers, children/young people and community members/businesses.