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Brave fundraisers take leap of faith for local charity

Three University of Derby students are amongst a group of people who will take a leap of faith to raise money for Derby-based charity Safe and Sound on February 29.

Kelly Rawson (34), Lauren Nichol (23) and Mimina Bligh (20) are all studying Youth Work and Community Development at the University. 

They will be part of a 32-strong group of fundraisers who will abseil 80ft off Miller’s Dale Bridge in the Peak District to raise money for the charity that supports children and young people in Derbyshire who are victims or at risk of child exploitation including online grooming, sexual exploitation and County Lines.

Kelly, who is doing her work placement with Safe and Sound as part of her degree programme, said:

“I am totally out of my comfort zone doing this as I am very much a girly girl but it is a very worthwhile cause so I will take a deep breath and not look down!”

Kelly has worked in hairdressing and as a teaching assistant for many years and has returned to education to re-train as a youth worker.

“Working at Safe and Sound is one of the most sought-after placements for students on our degree programme and I was delighted when I got the chance to join the team.

“I am learning a great deal at Safe and Sound and putting what I have learnt and my own life experiences into practice by working with young people.

“We support them to move on in their lives – whether that is building their confidence and self-esteem, building a CV to get a job or returning to education.

“The leap of faith is a great opportunity to put something back into the charity that is helping me to finish my degree and I hope to work full time for Safe and Sound once I have graduated.”

Lauren Nichol added

“Early intervention is vital to keep children and young people safe and I am really looking forward to supporting Safe and Sound by doing the abseil.

“I love the outdoors and what’s even better is that we get the chance to leap off this bridge three times!”

Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison is also part of the abseil group dressed, appropriately, as Spiderman.

She said:

“February 29 only comes around once every four years so we hope to make this a day to remember for all of our brave supporters as well as raising a lot of money for the charity.

“We have had a long relationship with the University of Derby with students coming her on placement and I am delighted that these three are joining us.

“All the money raised will go towards our Butterfly Appeal which will help us expand the work we do to support young people and their families and to raise public awareness of child exploitation.”

For more information about child exploitation and how to support Safe and Sound’s work, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk and follow on Facebook and Twitter @safeandsoundgroup or email fundraising@safeandsoundgroup.org.uk

Picture shows, Kelly Rawson, left, and Lauren Nichol get their head for heights at the University of Derby sports centre climbing wall.


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