Parents urged to sign up to workshop to protect youngsters from drugs

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Parents across Norfolk are being urged to sign-up a virtual workshop aimed at educating them about the dangers of criminal exploitation of young people.

The 60-minute long webinars, specifically created for parents and guardians, have been designed by St Giles as part of its three-year SOS+ Project, first commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk in April 2019.

The sessions started just days before pupils returned to school, taking place on September 1 and 8, but a further session will take place on September 17.

It is hoped they will make parents aware of the term County Lines, understand the methods used to exploit young people, recognise key signs and indicators and encourage healthy conversations with their children.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green, said: “It is vital we do all we can to safeguard our most vulnerable young people and give them the tools they need to make informed decisions for themselves.

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“Whether it be as a teacher, a parent or indeed a grandparent it is incumbent on us all to recognise the signs and do all we can to rid our county of County Lines and the knock-on impact it brings to our communities.

“The work the team at St Giles have done across the county to date has been vital in helping young people see the real consequences of taking the wrong path in life and I would encourage as many parents as possible to take part.”

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National charity St Giles received £89,028 under the Hidden Victims’ Fund and a further £87,737 under the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to run the three-year SOS+ Project which aims to provide 120 preventative sessions to around 8,600 schoolchildren in Norfolk.

Mark Stokes, chair of Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership and chief executive of the OPCCN, added: “The work being undertaken by St Giles is crucial in ensuring both parents and young people are given the tools and support they need to prevent exploitation.”

Coralyn Burge, manager of the SOS+ Service at St Giles, said they were pleased to be helping to raise awareness of the issues with parents and care givers.

• To sign up to a session email or call 0207 708 8047.

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