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Big Lottery Visit to Safe West Sussex

On Monday 26th November, Safe West Sussex had a visit from our funder: The Big Lottery.

Safe West Sussex has been funded by the Big Lottery for five years in total and we have just finished our second year. The visit gave us the opportunity to speak about all of the amazing things we have done in the past two years and to talk about our plans for the future.

On the project we currently work with young people aged between ten and 25 who are either at risk of CSE or those who are seen as ‘subjects of concern’. We meet with our young people on a one-to-one basis or in small groups of up to six, either at their school/college or in the community. During the Big Lottery visit we were able to show our visitor some of the work we have done with our young people around healthy relationships, online safety, consent and recognising the signs of CSE.

We also deliver healthy relationship workshops to classes of year six pupils across the county and we showed our funder the resources we use. To date we have worked with over 800 young people. In addition, we also work with parents to support them in their understanding of CSE and how their child may be at risk. We can do this via phone calls or messages as well as regular meetings face-to-face, if appropriate.

Our visitor was particularly interested in the impact our work has had on the young people, professionals and parents we have worked with.  We shared some of our case studies which showed how the young people we have worked with have made positive changes to their lives and improved their understanding of relationships during and subsequently after their work with us. We also looked at feedback received during the past two years:

Quotes from two young people after working in a group with the safe project: “I was going through some things with my best friend at the time, some bad things. You helped me to realise what a real friendship should be and that she wasn’t a real friend. I felt able to end that friendship and we no longer see each other.”

‘Last week I walked home in tears but not because I was sad, just because the things you were saying made me realise that I’ve done some bad things. Last session (on risk) made me realise that that some of the things I have done in the past were wrong, dangerous and I shouldn’t have done them. I know that it is my fault and it has hurt people around me. I needed to hear you say some of the things that you said to wake up and realise. Also the things you said when we worked on healthy relationships made me realise how bad my last relationship was and, if I was still with him, I would feel confident in ending it.’

Year 6 child after Healthy Relationship workshop: “It was all really helpful and useful for children that might be in an unhealthy relationship at home or school that they are worried about.  We know where to go now if we need help. Thank you.”

Teacher after year 6 Healthy Relationship workshop: “I felt that every activity promoted really useful discussion for the children. I particularly liked the traffic light activity as it raised so many issues that are relevant to our children right now and which will continue to be so as they move into high school.”

Parent after one-to-one support: “I think knowing you are there has been amazing. Without your support I would have been left very alone. I truly appreciate your support.”

Parent of a young person working with the safe project: “I know Y especially has really taken to you and enjoyed the sessions, she even recognised herself how much she has moved on since the first one. Thank you so much.”

If you would like further information about our services or would like to make a referral, please contact either Kay or Ruby on 01903 522966.

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