In November, Dimitri from our SOS+ team delivered a session on county lines at a pupil referral unit. The aim of the session was to help young people understand the consequences of county lines, the methods that can be used to entice young people into them and help them stay safe.
“The session was delivered to a group of 15 and 16 year olds. The young people were restless when they walked in and I was introduced. I recounted my own experiences and asked the young people how they felt upon hearing them. A lot of the young people could relate to them and said they felt feelings of sadness and shock.
We then moved into the ice breaker and the students responded well, settled down and offered up good insights. Once the session got underway they were all very eager for their points of view to be heard and shared.
The points around how county lines activity becomes glamourised and how young people are groomed really hit home. Many young people identified with this and said they had witnessed it themselves.
Overall, the session was such as success that some of the young people stayed behind to discuss their own personal experiences and get one-to-one support and advice. One young woman was so inspired that she decided she would like to pursue a career doing similar work to us. She wanted to make positive changes to her own life and help younger people going through similar situations to the one she had faced.”