A project that works with young people affected by sexual exploitation and trafficking.
National Working Group (NWG)
The Men’s Room
The Garfield Weston Foundation
© Avlon / PhotoVoice
Having Our Say 3 is a photographic and digital storytelling project that offers young people the opportunity to explore and reflect on their experiences of, and perspectives on, the impact of sexual exploitation and trafficking. The project will:
- Enable young people affected by sexual exploitation and trafficking to represent their experiences and perspectives on the issues through photography and digital storytelling and subsequently build self-confidence, self-worth, and insight hence developing future safeguarding. This will be achieved through a structured programme of activities.
- Enable young people to advocate for themselves and directly inform a professional context by producing material that will be developed into a resource so that adults (professionals as well as parents and carers) are able to provide better services and support to other young people similarly affected.
- Offer training that enables professionals to use the resource effectively in their work with young people and parents/carers.
- Evaluate and measure the effectiveness and impact of the resource through follow-up structured evaluative activity.
Young people affected by sexual exploitation often face complex and enduring interrelated issues such as familial domestic and sexual violence, substance misuse, poor physical and mental health, experience of being missing from home or being ‘looked after’.
Feedback from members of the NWG network (our umbrella partner) suggests many complex needs continue to go unrecognized or are misunderstood by some support services (especially general health and education) and by parents/carers. Often behaviour seen as challenging may also prevent needs being addressed, which can contribute to isolation and lack of support, and compound vulnerability and levels of risk.
This is true for both genders and prevalent within all communities, however young men are shown to be less likely to access support. In order for services to enhance and diversify the ways they support affected young people, a need has been identified for resources made by affected young people, which can more effectively support others in similar situations.
HOS3 focuses on gaps identified following the completion of the Having Our Say Too project, and will offer young people the opportunity to make sense of their experiences for future safeguarding, and equip practitioners and parents to support them better.
The project will consist of 3 workshop phases, run in collaboration with the delivery partners, from which work will be developed into a resource that can be used within the sector, to help address and provide tailored support for both young people affected by sexual exploitation, and practitioners working with them. The resource will include the young people’s digital stories, selected images, activities and information to be used by professionals, young people and their families.
Each of the delivery partners has elected a specific area affecting the experience of young people affected sexual exploitation, that would be beneficial both the professionals accessing the resource, and the young people of the projects.
NSPCC Croydon have chosen to explore communication with parents and carers as their specific area of exploration. Participants will reflect on their experiences with their parents, and any barriers that might have made this process difficult for both parties.
The Men’s Room in Manchester will share their perspective as male victims; and help develop an under represented area in the sector. Their insight will enable the resource to consider how professionals might encourage more young men to access the services and support available.
The young people of Barnados Middlesbrough will reflect on the role of the Internet in sexual exploitation. Considering grooming and social media, but also internet safety, the work that is developed will be a useful addition to the resource.
These activities will provide unique sections as part of the resource, strengthening its usage for professionals and young people alike. The contributions of the young people to the resource will enable it to be a support to a wider range of people which recognises diverse need, and to recognise and contribute to the importance of helping young people hear messages from other young people.
Each participant will have the opportunity to have his or her work accredited by the BTEQ Level 1 qualification Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness (SEPE). Each activity and workshop will be developed so that the participants are able to reflect their experiences into the development of the resource.
After the completion of the delivery stage of the project with all three partners, the participants’ digital stories, and their work throughout the project will be brought together in the final development of a resource and training scheme specifically for professionals working within the CSE sector. The resource will replicate the selected exercises from the project, participant stories and reflections enabling their voices to be heard.
There will also be online materials and photographic exhibition and project launch.