Local rugby heroes are helping to kick Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) into touch after joining forces with Doncaster’s multi-agency CSE team.
Doncaster Knights rugby players have made pledges as part of the Helping Hands campaign for the national CSE Awareness Day on Sunday 18 March, after taking up an invite from Doncaster Children’s Services Trust CSE champions and their colleagues in the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust (RDaSH), Barnardo’s and South Yorkshire Police.
The Trust and its partners are also hoping that members of the public will get on board with the campaign by posting their own pledges as part of the social media #HelpingHands campaign on Twitter and Facebook.
During the next couple of weeks, the dedicated team will be visiting schools and getting involved in outreach work in the community in their bid to get the public to back their work in keeping young people safe.
The CSE team will be on hand to offer support to young people at Balby Carr school when a play on the subject of CSE is delivered, just in case any of them want to disclose, or need advice.
They have also asked schools to run assemblies on the issue and, during the Easter holidays, on Monday 26 March and Tuesday 27, they will be available to speak to members of the public at Doncaster Dome.
Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Paul Moffat, said: “Child Sexual Exploitation is a terrible blight on our community and ruins so many young people’s lives. We at the Trust are determined to work with our partners to stamp it out once and for all.
“The Trust has stringent systems in place for identifying and dealing with CSE and we have the ability to act immediately if we detect instances of this abhorrent crime.
“It is really important that members of the public are able to spot the signs of CSE and know how to report it; and the awareness day is vital in getting those messages out.”
Christina Harrison, Children’s Care Group Director for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS FoundationTrust (RDaSH) said: “I want to thank our local rugby stars for supporting this campaign. Making everyone aware of the signs of child sexual exploitation is extremely important. Young people suffering from sexual exploitation may show unexplained signs including physical injuries, weight loss, getting involved in gangs, hanging out with groups of older people or going missing from home. These are just a few of the signs and there may be more. Please help us raise awareness of this terrible crime.”
South Yorkshire Police Public Protection Unit Detective Inspector Richard Partridge said: “We have a dedicated team of officers within our Child Sexual Exploitation unit, who work continually with our partners to protect members of our communities and bring offenders to justice.
“Our commitment remains to protecting victims and CSE awareness day provides us with another opportunity to highlight the warning signs of child sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as taking the time to encourage victims of this horrific crime to come forward.
“I’d like to encourage anyone whether they are victim, or a member of the public with concerns, to please report it and allow us to act on it and put a stop to it.”
Doncaster Knights Communication Manager Michael Casey said: “Doncaster Knights are only too happy to help generate awareness of the good work Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and their partners do.
“Hundreds of children enjoy playing rugby at Castle Park every week and the Child Sexual Exploitation team does fantastic work in the local community to safeguard our children from exploitation.“
For more information about spotting the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation, visit www.doncasterchildrenstrust.co.uk
If you have any concerns please contact Doncaster Children’s Services Trust CSE champions on 01302 737200. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Details of the CSE national awareness day can be found at https://www.nwgnetwork.org/event_type/national-cse-awareness-day-2018/
For help on the intranet: CEOP leaflet