Keeping Safe is a project designed to empower young people, their parents and carers with the knowledge and skills to combat the growing threat of child sexual exploitation and encourage positive emotional relationships.
The project has been funded by Conservative controlled Tamworth Borough Council and the Staffordshire Public Health Team for 12 months and is being delivered by Staffordshire-Safety.Net, a not-for-profit social enterprise experienced in working with young people.
Workers from the project have been talking to young people in informal settings – going down to the skate park in the Castle Grounds and the shops in Glascote Heath. They also offer one-to-one sessions with young people identified as ‘high risk’.
It is estimated that one in five teenagers have been abused by their boyfriends or girlfriends. Figures also show that six in ten 12 to 15-year-olds have a smart phone, giving them the ability to easily communicate with strangers and share images.
Keeping Safe raises young people’s awareness of issues they may face and gives them the skills to deal with situations, which could potentially become negative. The project also explores positive relationships and encourages young people to support each other to stay safe.
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Community Development, said, “This is an excellent initiative, which fits in very well with the great work that the Tamworth Street wardens are doing to educate young people about the dangers facing them online.
“I am delighted that Tamworth Borough Council is able to provide funding for the Keeping Safe project.”