#HelpingHands from Barnardo's, FAST and Warwickshire Police

Tomorrow, Saturday 18 March, is Child Exploitation Awareness Day, and Warwickshire County Council and partners are calling on residents to learn about the signs of child exploitation.

Throughout the past week, the Something’s Not Right partnership, between the council, Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and the Police and Crime Commissioner, has put on numerous awareness activities and training events in a bid to help professionals, parents, carers and members of the public in recognising child exploitation and knowing how to take action when they spot it. 

People can join the national campaign to raise awareness of child exploitation by writing a personal pledge on their hands and posting it on social media with the hashtags #HelpingHands and #CEADay23. 

The Targeted Youth Support service engaged child and young people with a range of activities, including quizzes, discussions, poster designs and pledging to the #HelpingHands campaign. Helping children understand what exploitation may look like to them is an essential part of stopping it. Anyone interested can find out more about the questions that young people can ask themselves to work out if someone they know might be exploiting them. 

Various training sessions have also taken place, including a session for parents on Thursday evening. If you are a parent or carer who missed this session, further sessions are planned for Wednesday 5 April and Tuesday 2 May. Email rebecca.weaver@barnardos.org.uk for more details and to book your free place. 

In addition, social media posts highlighting the different types of child exploitation have been shared on the Warwickshire County Council social media pages over the week. For information on the different types, what the signs are and what to do if you’re worried about a child or young person, visit the Something’s Not Right website. 

George Shipman, Service Manager, Safeguarding Communities, said: 

“There has been a lot of excellent work done this week to raise awareness of this harmful crime against children. But it doesn’t stop here. We all have a responsibility to ensure that every child and young person is safe from all types of abuse. 

“Take a moment to visit the Something’s Not Right website and familiarise yourself with the signs. Then be alert – if you spot something that concerns you, wherever you are, take action and make sure that young person gets help if they need it.” 

If you think a child or young person is being exploited, you can contact the Warwickshire Front Door between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 01926 414144. If a child or young person is in immediate danger, call the police on 999. 

If you would like to raise awareness of child exploitation in Warwickshire on social media, use #SomethingsNotRight and #CEADay23. 

Where to go for help and support 

  • For information on how to spot the signs of child exploitation, visit www.somethingsnotright.co.uk/spot-the-signs 
  • For information and advice go to www.somethingsnotright.co.uk 
  • If you are worried about a child or young person, contact the Warwickshire Front Door between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 01926 414144 
  • You can also make a report to Warwickshire Police via their website or by calling 101, or you can contact your local Children and Family Centre 
  • Contact Crimestoppers confidentially and anonymously on 0800 555 111 
  • Talk to trained counsellors on the 24-hour helplines run by ChildLine on 0800 11 11 and the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 
  • If someone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 

Published: 17th March 2023