With one in 20 children on average experiencing sexual abuse, the team of Plymouth NSPCC workers who completed the city’s 10k, had an important reason to keep going – prevention.
They work daily with children across the city who have experienced sexual abuse, and their families, through the charity’s therapeutic service Letting the Future In.
Prevention is a key aim of the Together for Childhood partnership work the NSPCC is involved in across Plymouth, and it was this programme the team were raising awareness of, and funds for.
Together for Childhood Development Manager, Shelley Shaw said: “Our team was determined to raise awareness of our prevention work because they know that the prevention of child sexual abuse is possible.
“The race-day spirit was incredible, and we are so grateful for all the support that spurred us on, helping us over the finish line.”
Children’s Service Practitioner Ana Broad added: “What an achievement! We were so lucky with the weather, and with all the encouragement from our own #TeamCheer and the other supporters - it really made it a special experience.
“I am not sure my legs are up for doing that again, but I am so proud to have done it, and for such a good cause. Working on the Together for Childhood programme I know just how much all the money raised will help.”
Shelley and Ana were joined by colleagues Corinne Picton, Sarah Cox, Rachel Spence, Sam Wolf, Sam Darko, Bartosz Zaniewski, Ollie Mackie, and Carrie Garrad.
The 10 NSPCC workers were joined by supporter Mohammed Metwally, and Gemma Scott from Plymouth City Council’s Public Health team.
Together for Childhood Plymouth is formed of NSPCC, Plymouth City Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Livewell Southwest, Barnardo’s, community groups, children and families, the voluntary sector, and schools.
The Plymouth PANTS campaign, which launched last weekend with the help of dinosaur mascot Pantosaurus, forms one element of the Together for Childhood programme that is already providing help and support for families at a community level, to protect children from harm.
Pantosaurus cheered on the team, and all the runners taking part in the city 10k this year.
The Together for Childhood team has exceeded its £1,000 fundraising target, and all the money will be used to work with children and their families to explore the best ways to protect them. What works well in the pilot site area of Ernesettle will be rolled out in other areas of the city.
The NSPCC’s Strategic Service Centre Manager in Plymouth, Ollie Mackie says: “The team has shown incredible commitment to the Plymouth 10k, and in doing so have championed the work of the whole Together for Childhood partnership to help keep children in the city safer.
“The cheers and high-fives we received on the day, and the support and donations will really help us carry out this important work, and we could not be more thankful for that.”
For more information about Together for Childhood or to support the team visit its fundraising page, the NSPCC website, @TFCPlymouth on Twitter, or Facebook group - Together for Childhood Plymouth (Ernesettle).
Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk for free 24/7, 365 days a year.