Two people talking

Helping young people stay out of harm’s way

We know parents want to keep their children safe, and that at the same time conversations about safety can be difficult.

We also know that with the right support and advice from the adults they trust, young people want to, and do, make the right choices.

You can help them stay true to themselves, and build their confidence about the right thing to do – so they can trust their instincts and make their own positive decisions, knowing that there is always someone they can turn to.

We’re not here to tell you how to parent. Just to share the approaches young people and youth workers have told us work best when having difficult conversations.

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Stay True to You supports positive conversations about safety with young people.

It’s an evidence-led approach based on what youth practitioners and young people have told us works. It aims to make sure young people know there are trusted adults, and other sources of advice and help, available if they need them. Our resources are free and available for anyone working with young people.

It’s about championing young people. Lifting them up. Helping them see that they can trust their own abilities and are able to make their own positive choices – helping them stay true to themselves.

Youth worker talking with a young person

The best way to engage with a young person is to be TRUE:

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TALK

Create open and honest dialogue with your child and their friends. Build respectful relationships. They may not always want to share with you out of fear of judgement or consequence, but you can overcome this.

Don’t dwell on their futures – they’re living in the here and now. But do try to explore the consequences, in all their forms, to help build young people’s confidence and inform their own positive choices.

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RECOGNISE THE REALITY

Feelings of safety are shaped by many influences, in the real world and online. How safe they feel can change their behaviours and choices. Spot the signs – withdrawing, spending time away from home, negative peer groups. If you’re concerned, act upon it, talk to them.

Acknowledge what’s happening and recognise their feelings and fears, but without adding more. Help them see past myths or negative influences by offering facts and information.

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UNDERSTAND

Demonstrate you’re trying to understand by truly listening to their experiences. Give them space to talk freely with no judgement.

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EMPOWER

Help young people understand their own capacity to avoid conflict and stay safe. Help them recognise the things they can positively do for themselves, and encourage them when they make the right choice.

Always make them feel safe to ask for help. And if it’s not you, who else can they talk to who you both trust?  Help them see there is always someone there for them.

Stay True to You is here to help you have better conversations.

Below you’ll find free practical materials, intended for anyone engaging with young people, to help start meaningful conversations about safety.

Please contact us to order free, hard-copy printed materials of any of the below resources.

Free training is also available to support use of the Stay True to You approach.

Email: info@staytruetoyou.co.uk

The insights behind Stay True to You

All of this starts with what young people and youth workers told us. Start here to dive into the core principles of our approach, understand how young people feel about their safety, and consider how we can best communicate with them.

Download

pdf, 808.41 KB

Upcoming training dates

Free online sessions available for parents/carers, family members and the wider community. Delivered by The Ben Kinsella Trust, these engaging sessions help you to have those difficult conversations and explore the wider issues that can put young people at risk, from online harm to exploitation.

 

Upcoming training dates can be viewed here

Watch again: Online training sessions

We will be making available recordings of the training sessions for parents to watch again in their own time.

 

 

 

COMING SOON

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Want to know more?

If you want further information, or to signpost young people to other organisations that can provide help and support, there are services and activities available wherever you live.

Report a concern for adults or children

If you have a concern for an adult or a child, and if they are in immediate danger, contact 999. If not, you can report through your local safeguarding process. Each local authority (your council) will have details on its website.

We’ve listed the adult and child safeguarding processes for each area in the drop-down menus below.

Thames Valley Police

The police are there to help you stay safe. If you need to report a crime or share a concern – particularly if someone is becoming involved in drugs or knife crime – you should contact the police by calling 101, or if it is an emergency and someone may be in danger call 999. You can also report information online via www.thamesvalley.police.uk

Fearless

Pass information about a crime that may have happened or about someone who may be involved in crime – without giving your name or any details. Your information may help save someone’s life crimestoppers-uk.org/fearless

CEOP Safety Centre

Worried about the way someone has been communicating with you online, or about online sexual abuse? You can report your concerns or speak to one of CEOP’s Child Protection Advisors. There is advice on how to stay safe online, and information on how you can make a report to CEOP on its website www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

Childline

A confidential service for young people offering support on many issues – not feeling safe, mental health, family problems, loneliness and more – they have a free 24/7 helpline 0800 1111 and lots of information on their website https://www.childline.org.uk/

Safe! Thames Valley

Charity providing support to children and families affected by crime, providing counselling, advocacy for children in the criminal justice system and other services https://www.safeproject.org.uk/

The Ben Kinsella Trust

Leading anti-knife crime charity, with a wealth of resources for parents and practitioners https://benkinsella.org.uk/

Victim Support

Providing phoneline and wider support for adult and young victims and those who have been affected by crime, including families and parents https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

National Careers Service

Advice for parents/practitioners on how to support young people in considering their future careers https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/careers-advice

Young Minds

Young Minds is a charity providing mental health support for young people, along with advice for parents and professionals https://www.youngminds.org.uk/

Connections Support

Operating across the Thames Valley to provide advice and support on housing and homelessness, mental health, cost of living and help for vulnerable young people https://www.connectionsupport.org.uk/

Report a concern

If an adult or child is in in immediate danger you should contact 999 and speak to the police. If not, you should report your concern to Milton Keynes City Council through their safeguarding adult or children processes.
milton-keynes.gov.uk

Community Information database

Milton Keynes Council’s Community Information database has links to a wide range of local services and leisure activities.
milton-keynes.gov.uk

MK Council’s Drug & Alcohol Support Service

For all young people and parents, providing assistance with substance misuse. milton-keynes.gov.uk/

16-19 Team

Milton Keynes Council’s 16-19 Team provides support for those not in education, training or employment, as well as support with drugs and alcohol, the local SEND offer and support for care-leavers. milton-keynes.gov.uk/

YMCA MK

Supports young people with housing and careers advice and provides safe spaces.
mkymca.com/

Youth Network MK

Run out of Bletchley Youth Centre, it provides clubs and projects for young people across Milton Keynes, with a particular focus on the Bletchley area. ynmk.org.uk/

Fresh Youth MK

Supporting young people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds via mentoring support, to help them realise their ambitions. freshyouthmk.org/

MK Dons Sports & Education Trust

Provides a range of positive activities, education and health and wellbeing opportunities for young people from across Milton Keynes. mkdonsset.com/

Young Person’s Sanctuary Milton Keynes

Part of Mind MK, and supporting young people’s mental health. Safe, non-judgemental drop-in services. mind-blmk.org.uk/

Report a concern

If you have a concern about an adult or child and they are in immediate danger you should contact 999 and speak to the police. If they are not in immediate danger, you should report your concern to Buckinghamshire Council through their safeguarding adult or children processes.
buckssafeguarding.org.uk

Youthspace

Services, support, activities and events for young people across Buckinghamshire.
familyinfo.buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Youth Voice Bucks

A hub for youth participation, listening to young people and acting upon what they say.
youthvoicebucks.co.uk

Buckinghamshire Family Information Service

Provides information for children, young people and families, including a directory of activities and services.
familyinfo.buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Wycombe Wanderers Community Trust

Offers a number of health, wellbeing, physical activity and education and employment programmes for young people.
wycombewanderersfoundation.co.uk

7Roadlight

A charity offering 1-2-1 mentoring for young people and for wider families.
7roadlight.co.uk

Action4Youth

Works across Buckinghamshire to support young people and their families. They run safe spaces and youth clubs, deliver holiday activities and support with life skills and careers.
action4youth.org

Community Impact Buckinghamshire

Coordinates volunteering opportunities across the county.
communityimpactbucks.org.uk

Report a concern

If you have a concern about an adult or child and they are in immediate danger you should contact 999 and speak to the police. If they are not in immediate danger you should report your concern to Oxfordshire County Council through their safeguarding adult or children processes.

For adult safeguarding: osab.co.uk/ 

For child safeguarding: oscb.org.uk/

OxMe.info

Everything about young people for young people. Services, activities, and opportunities for young people across Oxfordshire.
oxme.info

Oxfordshire Family Information Service

Provides information and support for children, young people and families, including a directory of activities and services.
oxfordshire.gov.uk

Oxfordshire Youth

Supports young people with all aspects of their lives, from their mental health to staying safe, housing and careers advice. Offering activities and opportunities to young people, parents and practitioners oxfordshireyouth.org

Oxford United in the Community

Provides support for young people and activities to improve health, wellbeing, self-esteem and build life skills.
ouitc.org

Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action

Coordinates volunteering opportunities across the county.
ocva.org.uk

Report a concern

If you have a concern about an adult or child and they are in immediate danger you should contact 999 and speak to the police. If they are not in immediate danger you should report your concern via your local council safeguarding process.

Search “report safeguarding concern + your local area”

Bracknell Forest Service Directory

Provides information on services and activities for young people and families.
bracknellforest.fsd.org.uk

Slough Information & Services Guide

Provides a directory of services and activities for young people and families.
sloughfamilyservices.org.uk

YES Consortium Slough

Provides free activities for young people.
yesslough.org.uk

Windsor and Maidenhead

The local authority website details local services and activities.
rbwm.gov.uk

Berkshire Youth

Works across Berkshire to provide activities, safe spaces, support, education and careers opportunities for young people and those who work with them.
berkshireyouth.co.uk

Together As One

A youth-led charity that works primarily in Slough and Langley with young people of all backgrounds. It provides safe spaces, activities, support with mental health and SEND, advice on careers and housing.
togetherasone.org.uk

Number 22

A charity offering free counselling to adults and young people throughout Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough. They provide free support to help anyone with concerns and worries about their life.

number22.org/

Report a concern

If you have a concern about an adult or child and they are in immediate danger you should contact 999 and speak to the police. If they are not in immediate danger you should report your concern via your local council safeguarding process.

Search “report safeguarding concern + your local area”

Reading Borough Council

The Council website guide details local services and activities.
servicesguide.reading.gov.uk

Brighter Futures for Children

Providing a complete youth service for Reading, with youth workers, youth clubs, activities, support for those with SEND, and care leavers.
brighterfuturesforchildren.org

Wokingham Borough Council

Their service directory details local services and activities.
directory.wokingham.gov.uk

Wokingham Targeted Youth Service

Provides support to vulnerable young people, working in the community from local centres. Provides mentoring and works with other local partners to provide support.
wokingham.gov.uk

West Berkshire Service Directory

Provides information on services for young people and their families.
directory.westberks.gov.uk

Starting Point

A Reading-based charity providing community mentors to young people, offering activities, alternative education and safe space drop-in centre.
startingpoint.org.uk

No.5

A Reading-based charity providing counselling, mental health support and creating opportunities and activities for young people. It has an excellent local signposting service.
no5.org.uk

No.5 Signposting

A service for young people to access services across Reading and the surrounding area.
signposting.no5.org.uk

Reading FC Community Trust

Offers a wide range of activities for young people from the local area including health, wellbeing, education, physical activities, life skills, coaching and employability opportunities.
readingfc.co.uk

Reading Voluntary Action

Coordinates volunteering opportunities for young people.
rva.org.uk

Berkshire Youth

Works across Berkshire to provide activities, safe spaces, support, education and careers opportunities for young people and those who work with them.
berkshireyouth.co.uk