Jigsaw4u has been shortlisted to receive funding from GamesAid so we can begin a brand new project to support local children and young people at risk from criminal exploitation.
GamesAid is a UK based video games charity which acts as an umbrella to support a number of smaller charities who help disadvantaged and disabled children and young people. We are asking all those working within the gaming industry or studying a games course to use their vote for us. You can become a GamesAid member here, registration takes less than two minutes https://www.gamesaid.org/join-us/members/
‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs. In most instances, the users/customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.
A common feature in county lines drug supply is the exploitation of vulnerable young people. The dealers will frequently target children (often in local authority care or from dysfunctional families) to act as drug runners or move cash so they can stay under the radar of law enforcement. Young people exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network’s drug dealing business. Children often do not see themselves as victims or realise they have been groomed to get involved in criminality.
Our proposed rapid response service will provide specialist interventions for local young people who are at high risk of or are involved in County Lines, and will remain with the child in the event that they become Looked After and are placed outside the Sutton and Merton area.
The service will use our local police and social services networks to initiate support within 24 hours of a child becoming suspected of County Lines involvement.
We will build consistent, caring and professional relationships with young people, and use proven therapeutic interventions to help them safely move away from criminal exploitation.
We will support young people to overcome the issues which led to the situation, such as complex or abusive family lives, being in care, poor mental health or negative social factors. Outcomes for young people will include increased safety, improved mental health, reduced criminalisation and better life prospects.
We will also help the police build intelligence around how County Lines is affecting the local community (in a confidential manner which does not place young people at risk).
Please help us to protect local children and young people-vote Jigsawu!