Over 2,000 school pupils across Hertfordshire will be watching a play this June, which highlights the issue of children being groomed and sexually exploited.
Herts Aid is working with Alterego Creative Solutions taking the play to 16 secondary schools and education centres across the county between June 2 and June 10.
The play, called ‘Chelsea’s Choice’, will be shown to 12 – 15 year olds and is based on the real-life experiences of exploited children. It aims to help children identify risky situations, promotes safe internet use and helps to raise awareness of the grooming process and the different forms that can take. It also provides children with contacts in case they, or someone they know is being exploited.
Suzanne Bannister, Director at Herts Aid said, “This is a difficult subject to tackle, but it’s one we can’t ignore. The Internet and social networking can make children vulnerable to grooming and children who are initially flattered by the attention of someone older can quickly end up in an abusive situation, out of their depth and scared.
Chelsea’s Choice is hard hitting, but it’s a really effective way of giving pupils the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their friends from this kind of exploitation.”
Herts Aid has been given a grant by the Big Lottery Fund to undertake this project. Chelsea’s Choice has already been seen by over 100,000 young people throughout the UK and has proven highly successful in raising awareness of the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation. The tour of Hertfordshire begins in Waltham Cross on June 2 and ends in St Albans on June 10.
To work alongside the activity in schools, Herts Aid has also produced a one-page document for parents, giving tips on helping to protect children online.
For further information on tackling child sexual exploitation visit hertssafeguarding.org.uk