Safe and Sound Gains University of Derby Recognition

Safe and Sound Gains University of Derby Recognition

Local specialist charity Safe and Sound’s commitment to supporting the employability of University of Derby students has been officially recognised with two prestigious awards.

Safe and Sound supports children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation as well as supporting their families and raising public awareness of the issues.

The charity works in partnership with the University of Derby to provide work placement and volunteering opportunities for students and recently expanded this to those studying Youth Work and Community Development.

Safe and Sound was nominated by student Kelly Rawson for the Community Engagement category of the University’s Employability Awards 2020 and its success in this category was announced online  

Kelly was also nominated for and won the Student Volunteer of the Year category of the awards – heralded as one of the most difficult to judge due to the calibre of entries.   

Kelly Rawson said: “I nominated Safe and Sound for the Community Engagement award because of the opportunities they have given me to work with young people and their families.

“I have learnt so much from my colleagues but equally they have given me the respect, space and support to develop new activities and resources that prove the value of youth work on the work that we do by establishing voluntary working relationships built on trust.”

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison added: “Just as we support children and young people who have been targeted by perpetrators or are at risk of child exploitation, we are always keen to provide opportunities for under graduates at the University of Derby to hopefully increase their future job prospects.

“Kelly has been our first work placement student from the Youth Work and Community Development degree programme.  She has since volunteered for us and has now secured a part time youth work role with Safe and Sound so that she can combine this with finishing her degree.

“She has been integral to building the charity’s new transitions programme to help young people move on with their lives – returning to education, entering the workplace and forging health relationships.

“This includes a 14-year-old girl who was groomed and sexually exploited. She regards Kelly as her role model and is committed to returning to education following in her footsteps as a volunteer for the charity in the future.

“We have a strong relationship with the University of Derby and are obviously delighted that our work to create work placement and volunteering opportunities has been recognised in this way.”

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