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The VVU is delighted that between April and November this year it is working with Chelmsford City Council and Maldon District Council, Community Safety Partnerships to bring Virtual Crucial Crew 2021 workshops to 16,000 school children across Essex.

Crucial Crew is an immersive theatre experience, created by TIC Box Productions which explores difficult issues that can affect young people. The workshops provide a rehearsal for real life events and educate Year 6 pupils in important community safety issues before their transition to secondary school.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions and the resulting constraints of face to face work, Crucial Crew 2021 evolved into a virtual event.

A bespoke film was created to cover the topics of child exploitation, grooming, county lines and knife crime. Lines explores the story of a young boy who is groomed and exploited by county lines gangs and looks at the impact on him and those around him.

Children from Castle Point, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Tendring and Uttlesford Districts will view Lines – and then participate in a live interactive workshop.

The live workshop educates children on the warning signs of an exploitative relationship and how to seek help and support.

The project has received excellent feedback to date, with comments that include “eye-opening, thought-provoking enlightening, frightening and essential.”