Safe and Sound Wins Funding For Youth Mental Health Support

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, has been awarded £75K over three years to provide mental health support to children and young people across the city and county.

The funding is being provided by the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds, a new programme being delivered by leading national youth work charity UK Youth.

Safe and Sound will use the money to expand and embed youth work and positive activities for young people ranging from cultural and sporting activities to outreach and team building.

These activities are part of the individual and group support programmes which the charity provides currently in a year to more than 200 children, young people and around 50 families whose lives are affected by exploitation including sexual exploitation, trafficking, online grooming, County Lines, modern slavery and radicalisation.

CEO Tracy Harrison explained: “The impact of child exploitation on the young person and their whole family can be devastating and take a particular toll on mental wellbeing.   

“The activities supported by this funding are therefore designed to boost self confidence and self esteem – making young people stronger and more resilient to come to terms with their experiences and move forward positively with their lives.”

Ndidi Okezie, Chief Executive of UK Youth said: “Youth workers can spot the signs that a young person is experiencing difficulties and can support them to open up, talk through what they are going through and seek help if they need it.

“With a youth support system already on its knees post pandemic we know the numbers of young people that need support from a youth worker are only going to rise as we face the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.

“UK Youth are delighted to be able to help fund Safe and Sound, one of almost 100 organisations across the UK improving support for young people over the next three years through their incredible work with young people.”

Earlier this year UK Youth, working in partnership with the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, launched Thriving Minds, an ambitious fund for projects to improve mental health support and provision for young people through youth work. Organisations will be supported for three years, both with funds and a tailored package of extra support including workshops, training and by building communities of best practice.

The initial £10m pot provided by Julia and Hans Rausing has been boosted by an additional £1m from the Westminster Foundation.

In July 2020, the prevalence of mental health problems in 5-22 year olds went up to one in six, up from one in nine in 2017. This comes at a time when support for young people is suffering. Children are waiting up to three years for access to mental health care in some parts of the UK. In the last decade more than 4,500 youth work jobs and 760 youth centres have closed, as over £1bn funding has been cut from the sector.

For more information about the work of Safe and Sound and how to support them during their 20th anniversary year, please visit and for more information about the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds, visit

Back to news