by High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Sharman Birtles

Foreword to Safe and Free Education Resource

In my work as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, one of the largest Sheriff’s offices in the UK, I support the work of the police and the judiciary.   I take great interest in innovative work that reduces crime, especially initiatives that protect young people from becoming victims of serious crime.

This free educational resource, produced by Safe and Free in consultation with Alice Fookes, Director of Education at UN WOMEN NC UK (London hub) and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, is designed to provide a comprehensive module for teaching Year 9 students about the risks of trafficking, grooming and child sexual exploitation (CSE).  The resource has been designed with input and feedback from teachers at every stage, and is an excellent pack that introduces these difficult topics in an engaging way that aims to empower young people to take the steps needed to protect themselves.  It also encourages them to be vigilant for their friends’ safety.  The pack complies with national curriculum requirements and fits within citizenship and PHSE areas of work.

The inclusion of trafficking to the curriculum is an opportunity not only to teach young people about modern day slavery as a social issue, but to help them to protect themselves by making them aware of the ways that they could be targeted and help them learn what they can do to keep themselves safe.  By seizing this opportunity you are working to prevent this horrendous crime from destroying young peoples’ lives.   We need to do all we can to ensure that the scandal of UK internal trafficking and grooming, such as what happened in Rotherham, can never happen again.

I am pleased to be associated with Safe and Free and commend this fantastic resource to you.    

Why is this pack being taught in schools?

There are an estimated 13,000 people trapped in modern slavery in the UK today. 

Young people are particularly at risk as they are developing and discovering themselves which means they are more likely to find themselves in as yet unfamiliar circumstances such as the work place, socialising without their parents etc and even to take risks. 

We want young people to take confident steps into the outside world by educating them to the risks and vulnerabilities associated with trafficking, that way ensuring they and others are not being exploited and do not fall victim to the traffickers and that they remain always in control of their own destiny.

Why do the students do a fundraiser?

Fundraising on behalf of Safe and Free is an important part of the education pack. It allows students the opportunity to raise awareness for the cause and gives them the chance to reflect on everything they have learnt in the lessons and why this topic is an important message for young people. Safe and Free needs this kind of support so it can continue to do this good work.  As the students engage with their campaigning they can see they are active in making a difference on an important social issue and that their contribution works to protect other young people in the UK.  

Safe and Free provide this resource to schools free of charge.  We believe it is vital that all young people should be protected from trafficking and that education is a key way to achieving this.  We rely on schools to support us through fundraising so we can continue providing this resource to more and more UK schools.

Find out more about fundraising for Safe and Free by clicking the button below.

What age is the Education Pack aimed at?

The Safe and Free Education Pack was originally developed with Year 9 students, however the education pack can be used for all secondary year groups. Teachers are able to adapt the materials to their age group as appropriate. 

Safe and Free wishes to thank:    |    UnLtd    |    UN Women NC UK (London Hub)   |   High Sheriff of Greater Manchester   |  The Breck Foundation

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