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New Drama Aims to Keep Young People Safe

A drama production highlighting the dangers of child sexual exploitation, online grooming and social media will be shown across secondary schools in South Tyneside this week.

Is This Your Story? has been commissioned by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, in partnership with Northumbria Police and Theatre in Education from the Custom's House.

The drama is based on the real experiences of a boy and girl who were subject to exploitation and uses genuine police interviews.

Written by Viktoria Mitchell and directed by Natasha Haws, the production touches on a number of issues including child sexual exploitation, online grooming, social media and consent and relationships.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "For several years we commissioned a touring drama company to give a number of performances of Chelsea's Choice which was highly effective in raising awareness of issues such as healthy relationships, the grooming process and child sexual exploitation.

"However, based on feedback from young people themselves, we decided to use North East actors and base the drama here in the Borough. The result is every bit as powerful and has the additional benefit of equipping our young people with the local knowledge they need to keep themselves safe."

Chair of the local Safeguarding Children Board, Paul Ennals, said: "Today's world contains some threats to our children and young people that previous generations find it hard to imagine. We have a duty to help children keep themselves safe, and this initiative is an exciting new development for our region."

The drama production will be shown to 14 - 16-year-olds at all secondary schools in South Tyneside this week and people can come along to a free performance on Wednesday, 19 July at 6pm at the Custom's House.



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