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Andrew Mitchell MP meets local Barnardo’s representatives to discuss their work protecting children in Sutton Coldfield

Andrew Mitchell MP has met with representatives from Barnardo’s to hear about the work the charity is undertaking in Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding area to help children and young people who are abused or vulnerable to abuse through sexual exploitation.

Mr Mitchell met with Marian Webb, Assistant Director, Oliver Chantler, Policy Officer, and Debbie Southwood, Service Manager, from Barnardo’s at his office in Sutton Coldfield.

Andrew Mitchell heard about Barnardo’s Birmingham Space Project (jointly run by Birmingham City Council), which provides support for children and young people under 18 years old who are living in Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham and are in vulnerable situations which may lead to abuse and sexual exploitation. The Space Project offers a safe, confidential environment where young people can go for help, advice and support.

Sutton’s MP heard that abuse through sexual exploitation is a very real threat in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield but that Barnardo’s is taking direct action by working alongside local schools, providing informational DVDs and magazines for pupils.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “I am very pleased to see the work that Barnardo’s is undertaking locally to help young people affected as well as raise awareness and understanding. It is very worrying to see the number of young people who have been affected by sexual exploitation, especially as it appears that the age of these children seems to be getting younger and younger.

“The Government is committed to working with national and local partners to develop a better action plan to tackle child sexual exploitation and I know that we will be working closely with local agencies – like the Birmingham Space Project – to build on existing guidance and develop our understanding of this dreadful abuse.”

Young people wanting to speak to someone about any of the issues raised here should call Barnardo’s Birmingham Space Project for confidential advice and support on their freephone number: 0800 072 5070.

Andrew Mitchell MP meets local Barnardo’s representatives to discuss their work protecting children in Sutton Coldfield

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