Family fun day focuses on preventing child sexual abuse in Ceredigion and will culminate in balloon release

(July 26, 2013) Two organisations committed to making the lives of children better will put preventing child sexual abuse firmly on the agenda this week by hosting an awareness and prevention family fun day. The one day event taking place at Cardigan Leisure Centre today (Friday, July 26) will be attended by Julie Morgan AM, Chair of the Cross Party Group on Children.

The event is a collaboration between the national child sexual abuse prevention campaign Stop it Now! Wales and Jig-So Children’s Centre, Cardigan, and marks the fourth anniversary of Stop it Now! Wales.

Attendees include:- Julie Morgan AM; Mr Tim Burton, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys; Mr Parry Davies, Strategic Director – Care, Protection and Lifestyle and Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, Ceredigion County Council and Chief Inspector Angela Reed, Dyfed Powys Police.

Activities throughout the event (11am-2pm) include face painting, outdoor games, mobile making with Welsh Women’s Aid, mini sports, activities from various organisations and a design a balloon competition.

The day will culminate in a charity balloon race to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Stop it Now! Wales. The balloons carry contact numbers for Jig-So and the Stop it Now! Helpline. They cost £1 each and are environmentally friendly. Local Florist in Cardigan, Pink Orchid, has donated the helium. Prizes for the furthest balloon travelled that is returned include, among other things, a hamper of “goodies” and a family ticket to Folley Farm Adventure Park and Zoo.

Multi-agency staff from across Ceredigion who work with children or families are also expected to attend.

Julie Morgan AM Chair of the Cross Party Group on Children said:

I’m delighted to take part in this event organised by the Stop it Now! Wales campaign.

“It’s so important that the issue of sexual abuse of children is highlighted and is brought out into the open so that we can discuss it and debate how we can best come together to stop it.”

National Manager of Stop it Now! Wales Rebecca Morgan said:           

“Sexual abuse affects more children than we would like to think – at least one in ten across Wales. Events like this, where we get to raise awareness of the problem and talk about what can be done to prevent abuse from happening in the first place, are really important.

“Stop it Now! Wales is celebrating four years of working to protect children from sexual harm and campaigning for more emphasis on prevention in government policy.

“When we launched in 2009, our public survey told us that 70 per cent of people in Wales wanted to know more about child sexual abuse. Since then we have delivered over 400 awareness raising and education sessions and courses to over 4000 parents and carers across Wales. Calls to the Stop it Now! helpline have increased steadily year upon year and we continue to expand and support both the current child and family workforces as well as the workforces of the future in taking a pro-active approach to protecting children and young people from sexual harm.”

Linda Grace, Jig-So Chair of Trustees said:

“It is a privilege to be working in partnership with Stop it Now! Wales on this vitally important campaign on preventing the sexual harm of children.

“This work has added a significant dimension to the work Jig-So delivers in support of families throughout Ceredigion and other communities.

“Both parents and professionals consistently tell us how much they value the opportunity to discuss this issue and how to gain access to other resources of support.”

The Stop it Now! campaign operates a Freephone confidential helpline – 0808 1000 900 – which people can call for advice and support in relation to child sexual abuse issues.

Residents of Ceredigion and the surrounding areas can access further information on protecting children from sexual abuse from the Parents Protect! website – www.parentsprotect.co.uk

…ends…

 Notes to Editors:

 1. For more information please contact Deborah Denis, Stop it Now! Media and Communications Manager, on +44 (0) 1372 847160, +44 (0) 7540 690315 or ddenis@lucyfaithfull.org.uk or Linda Grace, Jig-So Chair of Trustees on +44 (0) 7974 732275.

2. Media are invited to attend the event on July 26th where photo opportunities will be available. The event begins at 11.00.

3. The event will be attended by

·       Julie Morgan AM and Chair of the Cross Party Group on Children

·       Mr Tim Burton, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys

·       Mr Parry Davies, Strategic Director – Care, Protection and Lifestyle and Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, Ceredigion County Council

·       Chief Inspector Angela Reed, Dyfed Powys Police

·       Stop it Now! National Manager, Rebecca Morgan

4. Stop it Now! Wales aims to prevent child sexual abuse by increasing public awareness and empowering people to act responsibly to protect children. Stop it Now! believes that it is the responsibility of all adults to take positive action to prevent the sexual abuse of children. Stop it Now! is supported by an alliance of leading children’s charities, working with the government and child protection agencies, to promote public education and prevent child sexual abuse. The Stop it Now! helpline has been operating since 2002 and aims to prevent child abuse by encouraging abusers and potential abusers to seek help and by giving adults the information they need to protect children safely. The Stop it Now! Helpline is funded by the Public Protection and Mental Health Group in the National Offender Management Service of the Ministry of Justice, Lucy Faithfull Foundation, charitable trusts and donors. Stop it Now! Wales is supported by the Welsh Government. www.stopitnow.org.uk  Stop it Now! also runs the public education website www.parentsprotect.co.uk.

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