Businesses pledge to stand togetherPublished Thursday, 18th December 2014
Town centre businesses have become the latest organisations to commit to looking out for the signs of child sexual exploitation by signing up to the Rotherham Standing Together campaign.
Amongst the retail outlets pledging their support are La Bella Lingerie, Things That Boys Like and Patchwork Pig.
Owner of La Bella Lingerie Karen Carr said: “This initiative is a great way for the Council, local businesses and voluntary organisations and groups to join up and look after the young people of Rotherham. In our different roles we need to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and encourage people to be more vigilant about what they see and hear.”
Owner of Things That Boys Like Chris Paston said: “The website offers great advice on how to spot when a child may be vulnerable to being sexually exploited. By taking a little bit of time and being on the lookout for signs we can all stand up together and protect our town’s children.”
To date around 70 organisations have signed the pledge. They include Rotherham United football club, the Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, Voluntary Action Rotherham and the Minster.
Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration Councillor Dominic Beck used his regular town centre walkabout to visit some of the shops, telling shopkeepers about the campaign and asking them to pledge their support.
Councillor Beck said: “We have had a very positive response from businesses. I think most people in Rotherham are shocked about the events described in the Jay Report and whilst the Council is redoubling its efforts to improve services, many people are looking for a way to contribute to rebuilding the community and ensuring that this sort of thing can never happen again.
“People are often unsure about how they can help however and this campaign has a very simple message – pledge your support, know the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to report concerns, and display the pledge sticker. It’s a very simple yet effective way to help.”
The Rotherham Standing Together Against Child Sexual Exploitation campaign is a community-led initiative with businesses and individuals working together to keep Rotherham’s children safer.
Wherever you see the ‘We've Signed the Pledge’ sticker displayed you will know that business or organisation has committed to learning how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and report it if they see it.
By joining the campaign, businesses and organisations promise to:
- Take a stand against child sexual exploitation in Rotherham
- Show their public support for the pledge by displaying the pledge sticker, including details of how anyone can report concerns
- Make sure their staff or volunteers understand how child sexual exploitation can happen - and know how to report it
Joining the campaign is simple. To send a message that Rotherham stands together against child sexual exploitation, and find out more about the crimes and how to prevent them, go to the website and sign up. Both organisations and individuals are invited to pledge their support.
Anyone who is concerned about a child or young person should contact Rotherham’s Children’s Services team on 01709 336080. To report suspicious or potentially criminal behaviour people should contact the police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency).