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February 2015 Newsletter Header
Last year was a busy period for Project Director Antoinette Daniel. All of this could not have been done without the generosity and continuous support of the MAT community, so check out the infographic below to see how you have made a huge difference in the borough of Merton to combat trafficking in 2014.
MAT impact 2014
MAT recent events
What is grooming?
Some of the content in this section have been sourced from the NSPCC website.
 

How does grooming happen?
Grooming happens both online and in person. Groomers will hide their true intentions and may spend a long time gaining a child's trust. They may also try to gain the trust of the whole family so they can be alone with the child. Groomers do this by buying gifts, giving the child attention or advice, taking them on trips, outings or holidays. Once they have established trust, groomers will exploit the relationship by isolating the child from friends or family and making the child feel dependent on them. Groomers can use social media sites, instant messaging apps including teen dating apps, or online gaming platforms to connect with a young person or child.  Groomers no longer need to meet children in real life to abuse them. Increasingly, groomers are sexually exploiting their victims by persuading them to take part in online sexual activity.

Grooming in Merton
Merton Local Safeguarding Children's Board have confirmed that there are 38 cases currently open in Merton of children considered at risk from sexual exploitation, with 12 of these being described as high risk. There were a total of 67 cases in 2014. This is an issue for all local authorities to consider, since it can happen anywhere. It is an issue local councils want to inform children and young people about, so they can protect
themselves.

Online Safety
Children and young people spend a lot of time online – it can be a great way for them to socialise, explore and have fun. Whether you're unsure about what happens online or are up to speed with new technology, it's important that you talk to your child about staying safe. Please click here to find helpful advice and tools you can use to help keep your child safe whenever and wherever they go online. For more information on grooming please visit the NSPCC website.
 
Worried about a child? Contact NSPCC helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support at 0808 800 5000, or email help@nspcc.org.uk.
Get involved
There are many ways to get involved in helping MAT reach community members in the borough of Merton. 

1. Book a MAT speaker for your community group. One of MAT's missions is to raise awareness about trafficking locally, educating community groups and schools about human trafficking, training Merton front-line professionals in how to spot signs of human trafficking and what to do when they suspect trafficking. If you are interested in receiving training, please email Antoinette Daniel at antoinette@matonline.org.uk.

2. Help us fundraise. £350 covers the cost of putting on a play in a local school to educate young people about the dangers of grooming. Contact Antoinette Daniel if you are interested in fundraising on behalf of MAT at antoinette@matonline.org.uk.

3. Volunteer at our next community event. MAT will be hosting two trafficking awareness events in the borough of Merton, and we anticipate holding them in June. Get in touch if you are keen to help at communications@matonline.org.uk.

4. Volunteer on a weekly basis at our office. MAT is looking for an office based volunteer in Raynes Park to help us with some of our data processing. Please email us if you are interested in applying for this role at antoinette@matonline.org.uk.
 
Lantern Theatre Company in conjunction with MAT presents: Trafficked
When:  Friday 27 February 2015, 8pm
Where: Cafe Studio, Lantern Arts Centre, SW20 8RA
 
Details: This creative evening with the Lantern Theatre Company will be in two acts; the first, "TRAFFICKED", a new play with warns young people and their parents and the rest of society about the dangers of "grooming". The Lantern Theatre Company were inspired by this chance to show young people how they, their friends or siblings can be caught up in grooming and how an apparently innocent relationship can be twisted. They hope that this engaging story which is powerful nut not explicit will remain with them and protect them and those around them from a growing problem in our society. The second half on the evening will be a selection of light-hearted sketches taken from one of their other shows. Tickets at £7/£5 (concessions). Tickets can be bought at the door or by calling 020 8944 5794. Click here for more information.

Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day
When: 18 March 2015
Where: Merton

Details: Event TBC. Please follow MAT on twitter or on facebook for the latest updates using the icons at the end of this email.

Unchosen – a night of film and Q & A
When:   Tuesday 24 March 2015, 6.30 to 9pm (doors open at 6pm)
Where:  Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX

Details: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will be holding a film evening with Unchosen to commemorate the UN’s    International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This evening is to raise awareness through film about modern day slavery- and is in conjunction with the Royal Borough's European Communities Against Trafficking (ECAT) Project.
 

 

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