Children’s charity Barnardo’s has launched an urgent appeal for additional funds following a sharp rise in reported cases of child exploitation.
The London charity is looking to raise an extra £370,000 to help appoint new support workers for those children in desperate need.
Barnardo’s worked with 127 sexually exploited children in London last year, and a record 2,118 children countrywide – almost double that of 2010.
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s CEO, said: “Barnardo’s has been working to tackle the devastating impact of child sexual exploitation for two decades.
“The scale of this abuse is shocking – with more and more incidences of child sexual exploitation coming to light.
“Our experts in London see how this abuse inflicts devastating damage to vulnerable children. They work tirelessly to help these children pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.”
The charity has increased the number of specialist child sexual exploitation services around the country due to the rise in cases.
The charity assists both vulnerable boys and girls, some victims as young as 11, and last year began operating in ten new locations increasing their work to 47 areas.
Mr Khan added: “Every day, more sexually exploited children are referred to us. Girls and boys from all walks of life can become victims of child sexual exploitation and the numbers are growing.
“Without further funds we simply won’t be able to reach all those who need our help.
“We urgently need people to make a donation so we can give all children who come to our door the support they need.”
Barnardo’s works with 200,000 children, young people and families each year, and runs more than 900 services across the UK.
For information or to make a donation visit www.barnardos.org.uk/emma
Picture courtesy of janet isnt real, with thanks