Specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound is marking its 20th anniversary by announcing the launch of new therapy services.
Safe and Sound supports children, young people and their families whose lives have been affected by exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation, coercion to run drugs through County Lines, trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation.
Last year, the charity worked with 203 young people (compared with 150 the previous year), as well as 49 families whose children are being groomed and exploited.
As well as one-to-one and group support, positive activities and practical help, Safe and Sound is now offering innovative therapy services 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 re-connect with those around them by formulating health relationships with other people.
Safe and Sound has launched an anniversary sponsorship programme to support this and other services for individuals and wider communities and a number of companies have already signed up.
Over the past 20 years, Safe and Sound has supported thousands of children aged as young as seven and young people who are victims of or at risk of exploitation.
Chief executive Tracy Harrison said: “Grooming and child exploitation has a devastating impact on young people’s lives and the therapeutic art process creates a non-judgmental environment 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 such as new communities and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities.
“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 fund raising and sponsorship support of local individuals and businesses as well as foundations and grant-giving organisations.”
For more information on how to support the work of Safe and Sound during its anniversary year visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk.