Tuesday, 15 February 2011

West Yorkshire training day to focus on preventing child sexual abuse

Published on behalf of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and 'Stop it Now! UK and Ireland

100 multi-agency staff who work with children and families across West Yorkshire will complete a child protection training day in Leeds on Thursday (February 17). The event will focus on how agencies can work together and with the public to tackle child sexual abuse and protect children from harm.

The Stop it Now! UK and Ireland event, hosted in association with Leeds City Council, will bring together representatives from various organisations who have contact with children or families or deal with child protection issues. Police, health visitors, child care workers and social workers will be joined by those from the education sector for the one day event.

Entitled ‘Preventing Child Sexual Abuse – Making it Everybody’s Business’, the event aims to explore some of today’s key issues surrounding child sexual abuse and will feature workshops conducted by specialist staff from child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Workshops will cover subjects including:- female sexual abusers; how the internet is used as part of sexually abusive behaviour; children who display worrying sexual behaviour and where agencies and individuals roles fit in preventing abuse and protecting children.

Stop it Now! UK and Ireland works hard to engage with statutory, private and voluntary sector workers as well as parents, carers and other members of the public.

Director of Stop it Now!, Donald Findlater said:
“Child sexual abuse is preventable, not inevitable and the title of this event says it all. Tackling this issue cannot be left to one agency or organisation. We all – professionals and members of the public – need to be involved in protecting children. We need to understand the issues, know where the risks lie and have the confidence to take action when needed. We all have a part to play.”

The Stop it Now! campaign operates a free phone confidential helpline – 0808 1000 900 – which people can call for advice and support in relation to child sexual abuse issues.


Notes to Editors

For further information and interview opportunities please contact Deborah Denis on 01372 847160, 07540 690 315 or ddenis@lucyfaithfull.org.uk.

This event is not open to the general public.

1. Named after its founder, Baroness Lucy Faithfull of Wolvercote, the Foundation is a child protection charity operating UK-wide and specialising in safeguarding children from sexual abuse. The Foundation’s policy is to collaborate with individuals and agencies internationally to develop a more child sensitive and offender aware culture in our societies. The Foundation contributes to legislation and to policy and procedure reviews concerned with safeguarding children in faith communities, in schools, in leisure facilities, on the Internet and living away from home. www.lucyfaithfull.org.uk

2. Stop it Now! UK and Ireland aims to prevent child sexual abuse by increasing public awareness and empowering people to act responsibly to protect children. Stop it Now! believes that it is the responsibility of all adults to take positive action to prevent the sexual abuse of children. Stop it Now! is an alliance of leading children's charities, working with the government and child protection agencies, to promote public education and prevent child sexual abuse. The Stop it Now! helpline has been operating since 2002 and aims to prevent child abuse by encouraging abusers and potential abusers to seek help and by giving adults the information they need to protect children safely. The helpline is funded by the Ministry of Justice and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. The England campaign is supported by the Department of Children, Schools and Families. The Stop it Now! campaigns in Wales and Scotland are supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government respectively. www.stopitnow.org.uk.

Leeds pupils share their vision with Lord Mayor

Picture caption "Cookridge pupils Liam Jones and Jana Al-Thobiti meet the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Leeds."

Pupils from a Leeds primary school presented the Lord Mayor with their ideas to help make Leeds the best city in the UK by 2030.

The children, aged 7 and 8, from Cookridge Primary school were called upon by the city’s partnership organisation, the Leeds Initiative, to share their ideas and hopes for the future of the city.

As a thank you for their input in the ‘What if Leeds…?’ consultation, a group of year 3 children were invited to meet the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor James McKenna, and the Lady Mayoress Cllr Andrea McKenna.

The children presented the Lord Mayor with an owl collage, made up of their ideas, including more money for hospitals, less cars on the roads, less pollution and an enormous swimming pool with slides!

The children’s ideas helped form the initial consultation document which members of the public then gave their views on. The results of the consultation will help form the third ‘Vision for Leeds’, which will shape the future of the city over the next 20 years.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr James McKenna, said:

“The Vision for Leeds is about our young people’s future. Some of us will be retired by then but today’s primary school children will be tomorrow’s business and community leaders.

“It was great to meet these children and hear their ideas. It’s so important we get the views of the young people because it will be their city in the future.”

Jo Speak, year 3 teacher at Cookridge Primary School said:
“The children responded really well to the project and were really enthusiastic about sharing their ideas. They took it seriously because it had a real purpose behind it. They are the citizens of the future and this project meant their ideas were taken seriously.

“We looked at the ‘What if..’ website as part of our project and discussed the opinions that were relevant to the children. Being involved has not only given them a greater understanding of the city but it also helped them articulate their ideas and it has helped with their literacy skills.

“They were very excited about meeting the Lord Mayor and are very proud to be representing all the children who took part as well as representing the whole school.”

‘What if Leeds …? Talk today. Shape tomorrow’ aimed to find out the views of people who live and work in Leeds on how the city should develop over the next 20 years.

Initial findings show that the people of Leeds have voted transport, jobs, the environment good community relations, safety and culture as their key issues for the long-term future of this city.

The ‘What if Leeds…?’ campaign took an innovative approach to consultation, setting up a dedicated website, which allowed open and unmoderated debate. Ten thousand people visited the website during the campaign. More traditional consultation methods were also used, such as online and offline surveys.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Sally Corcoran, the Leeds Initiative, 0113 2478944 or 07891 277 195
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk