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Issue:- Saturday Night, 19 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 6 news items.    Page - 2.

Princess Royal visits Liverpool to learn about support for victims of CSE

HER Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Liverpool to find out 1st hand how an innovative partnership working across Merseyside and Cheshire is tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE).

The visit to St George's Hall, organised and hosted by the charity and social business Catch22, celebrated the local organisations making a real impact supporting children who are victims of sexual exploitation.

The event was also attended by Liverpool's Lord Mayor Tony Concepcion, Lady Mayoress Ann Concepcion, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr David McDonnell CBE DL and the Deputy Police Crime Commissioner, Councillor Sue Murphy.

Catch22 provides support to children who go missing and/or are victims of sexual exploitation. It works with a range of agencies and partners including local authorities and the Police to prevent and tackle child sexual exploitation.

Guests heard from Catch22 managers and frontline staff and other experts, including speakers from the charity, Missing People, and local commissioner Clare Myring, as well having an opportunity to meet parents and carers to learn about what works in providing support and keeping children safe:-

Building high quality relationships with children and young people, listening to them and persisting in gaining their trust

Supporting and engaging parents and carers as well as educating them about social media and how to support children and young people to be safe.

Working in partnership and building trusting relationships with partners and colleagues to ensure that the services provided meet young people's and families' needs.

Catch22's Pan Cheshire team recently received the Children and Young People Now Partnership Working Award for their exceptional work supporting vulnerable children and young people who go missing from home or care and/or who are victims of sexual exploitation. The award recognises the:- "outstanding multi-agency project or team that has made the most demonstrable improvement to people's lives."

Catch22 Chief Executive Chris Wright, said:- "We are delighted to host our Patron HRH Princess Anne here in Liverpool today. She has taken a keen interest in our work over the years and her support is hugely valued in highlighting importance causes such as this. To truly support both victims and communities to overcome and prevent this terrible crime, we have put relationships at the core of our approach. Through listening to victims themselves we have built an in-depth understanding of the context in which children go missing and/or are experiencing sexual exploitation, and the effective ways we can provide support. Strong partnerships with local agencies, including police, are also crucial to ensure our support transcends the borders between local authorities and supports children to be safe, wherever they are."

Catch22 also works across Merseyside providing intensive support and protection to youngsters affected by CSE. This service has been commissioned by Merseyside's Police Commissioner as part of Victim Care Merseyside, a package of care and support for those affected by crime in the region.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Cllr Sue Murphy said:- "I was honoured to join this really important event attended by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, to shine a spotlight on the innovative work being done to help young victims of sexual exploitation recover and rebuild their lives.  I visited Catch22's Wirral team in September to see 1st hand how they deliver this service on Merseyside and I was moved by the stories I heard of their work to support really vulnerable young people and help them cope after deeply traumatic events. It was clear to me their work makes a real difference. Child Sexual Exploitation devastates lives. Those young people who are affected by it deserve the best possible care and support and that is what we are trying to deliver through our partnership with Catch22 as part of Victim Care Merseyside."

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