The NSPCC has teamed up with New Roots Housing Project in Worksop to provide information and support to more than 1,500 young people on how to spot the signs of grooming and sexual exploitation.
The year-long It’s Not OK campaign focuses specifically on older teenagers, as this age group may not report abuse for fear of not being believed, or because they do not recognise when a relationship is exploitative.
It’s Not OK ran in partnership with New Roots, a housing project in Worksop which provides supported accommodation to homeless or vulnerable young people, and a number of other groups including Nottinghamshire County Council’s Tackling Emerging Threats to Children team and Missing Children Officer, Retford Post 16 Centre and The Children’s Society.
Students at a number of Nottinghamshire school including Retford Post 16 Centre and North Notts College in Worksop, have worked with specially-trained New Roots and NSPCC staff in group work programmes, and watched an interactive theatre production performed and delivered by a team from York St John University which explores the characteristics of abusive relationships and exploitative relationships.
Carol Scawthon, CEO of New Roots, said: “By working together with groups and organisations from across the local area, we are able to talk to young people about issues that they might not have discussed before. There has been some really inspirational work during this campaign and there is a lot that we can build on in the future.”
Bill Ingleton, learner success team leader at North Notts College, said: “We believe that it is essential that our students understand the signs of an abusive relationship and are also able to recognise if a relationship is becoming unhealthy and exploitive.
“The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority and there is always support on hand for those who need it.”