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Between January and March 2021, we worked in partnership with Southend, Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding Boards to deliver webinars to professionals across the county.

The subjects covered included: safeguarding in a desensitised world; psychology of the offender; understanding gangs and criminal exploitation; exploitation and the transition to adulthood; and online safeguarding in early years. The webinars were delivered by:

Helen Matthews, managing director of CYP First, who has 18 years’ first-hand experience of working with child exploitation survivors and is now the CEO of Street Teams, a charity creatively responding to all aspects of exploitation.

Andy Thompson, managing director of CYP First and a previous registered manager of Ofsted-rated outstanding CSE services.

Zoe Lodrick, a UKCP registered psychotherapist and an experienced trainer and consultant.

Craig Pinkney, a criminologist, urban youth specialist and chief officer for Solve: The Centre for Youth Violence and Conflict CIC (UK).

Steve Baguley, from the NWG-Network, a charitable organisation formed as a UK network of more than 14,500 practitioners, offering support, advice and raising the profile of child exploitation.

Ashley Assiter, Online Safety Development Officer within the Education Safeguarding Service, Kent.

These webinars replaced six local conferences planned for March 2020 across the county, which could not take place due to Covid-19.