Virtual webinars launched for parents to protect young people from gangs and County Lines
A series of virtual workshops are being launched once more in a bid to educate parents about the dangers of criminal exploitation of young people across the county.
The events are being hosted by St Giles as part of its one going SOS+ Project, first commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk in April 2019.
By the end of each 60-minute webinar it is hoped parents will, crucially be able to understand the meaning of the term County Lines, understand the methods used to exploit young people, recognise key signs and indicators and encourage healthy conversations with their children.
The latest sessions have been launched on the back of a number of successful events held in September.
Norfolk’s PCC Lorne Green, said: “It is really positive to see so many parents took part in the sessions in September despite the need to go virtual and I hope this encourages others to follow suit.
“We can never do enough to safeguard our most vulnerable young people and give them the tools they need to make informed decisions for themselves.
“I am really proud of the work the team at St Giles has been doing to continue to protect young people across the county.”
The next sessions are due to take place on the 8 December and 22 December from 5pm, with a session having already taken place on 24 November.
A series of virtual workshops have also been taking place in the county with education professionals. New sessions are scheduled for the 3, 7, 17 and 21 December from 10am.
Feedback from professional attendees has included:
"Thank You. Your enthusiasm has really shown through and very informative on the subject."
"Thank you this was very informative. Having people with real life experience not just academic is always the best way. Keep going."
National charity St Giles received £89,028 under the Hidden Victims’ Fund and a further £87,737 under the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to run the three-year SOS+ Project which aims to provide 120 preventative sessions to around 8,600 schoolchildren in Norfolk.
Intensive one to one support is also offered for those deemed at high risk and awareness raising sessions delivered to parents and teachers.
Thousands of pupils, parents and teachers have so far taken part in an initiative which is led by ex-offender and former boxer Earl Ling.
During the pandemic, Earl and the team at St Giles, have been working hard to ensure the message continues to be spread.
As well as the webinars the team also created an animation, adapted for Key Stages 3 and 4, which tells the story of Nathan who is groomed and exploited by his best friend’s brother.
Nicky Park from St Giles said: "Despite the fact most of us have been living under restrictions since March, criminal exploitation of young people, particularly through county lines, remains a concern.
"By becoming informed and aware, parents and professionals can equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to help protect young people. Our staff have been there themselves, so can speak with real authority and help keep young people in our communities safe."
Find out more..
To sign up to a session (60 minutes long followed by a Q&A) parents and professionals can email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0207 708 8047 or visit the St Giles website.
Alternatively, you can click on the below dates to open a link and register:
St Giles is an award-winning charity using expertise and real-life experiences to empower people who are not getting the help they need, held back by poverty, exploited, abused, dealing with mental health problems, caught up in crime or a combination of these issues.