The City Bridge Trust has announced it is awarding £120,000 to the Children’s Society in support of its Stride Project.
The Project, which supports boys in London who have been targeted, groomed and trafficked for criminal exploitation, including county lines drug dealing, provides one to one support to boys aged 11 – 18 to help enhance mental health and wellbeing. It also offers group sessions to raise awareness of healthy relationships and risks of grooming and criminal exploitation.
Greater London area manager at The Children’s Society, Helen Leadbitter said: “Young people are groomed into exploitation - including trafficking along county lines - with drugs and alcohol or promises of status and wealth and then controlled using terrifying threats, violence and sexual abuse.
“This is a really worrying issue across London and elsewhere, and we know from our frontline work and research that while any child in any community can be affected, including girls, boys are often targeted.
“Sadly, too many children end up being criminalised rather than supported as victims and do not get the help they need to escape this cycle of exploitation and recover from the trauma.”
Read more about the Project here.