23/11/2015 - Permalink

Theatre production aims to keep Shropshire children safe from child sexual exploitation

Related topics: Partner organisations

Shropshire’s Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) has extended the preventative work that is taking place in schools to raise awareness amongst young people of the risks of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

A key priority of SSCB is the early identification and prevention of child sexual exploitation and one of the main developments over the last month has been the roll-out of Alter Ego’s theatre production on CSE – ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ – in each of Shropshire’s secondary schools.

The production is being performed at Sir John Talbot’s Technology College in Whitchurch tonight (Monday 23 November 2015).

It is anticipated that, in total, over 4,000 Shropshire children will see the performance – which is aimed at Year 8 students – along with hundreds of professionals from various organisations.

This project, which has been funded by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, aims to raise awareness of CSE amongst young people and provide them with knowledge and skills to protect themselves from risk of harm.

Sally Halls, Independent Chair of SSCB, said;

“In order to tackle child sexual exploitation SSCB recognises the need for preventative education to take place in schools, supported by partner agencies such as West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council and the county’s NHS organisations – who are working together to safeguard children from CSE through the implementation of the SSCB Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy.

“‘Chelsea’s Choice’ is an innovative and powerful theatre production that brings to life some of the risky situations that young people may find themselves in and equips them with strategies to deal with this.

“Shropshire CSE Panel will continue to share information and put in place interventions and support to protect children who are identified as being at risk of CSE, whilst SSCB is planning further raising awareness initiatives for local communities and additional support for vulnerable young people and their parents.”

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said;

“It is vital that we raise awareness amongst young people of this form of abuse and support those who are identified as being at risk of CSE. The Say Something campaign provides young people with a confidential, free and anonymous helpline 24/7 by calling 116 000 if they have concerns about themselves or a friend. Posters advertising this helpline have been issued to all schools and settings within local communities. The SSCB website also provides a great deal of information for young people and their parents and signposts them to organisations that can offer guidance, advice and support.”

For further information on Child Sexual Exploitation, other safeguarding issues and what to do if you have concerns about a child then please visit www.safeguardingshropshireschildren.org.uk

Anyone who has concerns about the welfare of a child should contact the Concerns Line on 0345 678 9021.