Creating a safety net for children at risk

Railway Children’s work in the UK is changing the lives of young people who find themselves in danger in and around the transport network. Together with British Transport Police, we look out for children who are at risk and make sure they are safe – and stay safe for good. Sometimes this is obvious – a child being beaten up, or robbed or a young person sleeping rough on the platform – we all know they need our help.

But what about the ones you can’t see?

What about the troubled teenager hanging out at the station because he’s too scared to go home? What about the girl on the train heading for Euston to visit an older man she met online? What about the child whose schoolbag is carrying drugs for a man who has threatened to hurt him if he doesn’t deliver it? What about the vulnerable children you can’t see?

We know the warning signs and we’ve worked with BTP to make sure they do too.

They now refer any of these vulnerable young people they spot in and around the stations in London and the North West to us. Then our support workers make contact with each child and slowly build up a relationship, earn their trust and help make sure they don’t put themselves in danger again. That means working out what’s going on at home, at school, with friends or with family.

Our project workers keep visiting and keep talking until we make a change.

Until they learn what is, and what isn’t, a healthy relationship.

Until they have enough self-confidence to say no to gangs.

Until the bullies that are making them miserable are dealt with properly.

Until the drug and alcohol abuse is left behind.

Until they realise that self-harming is not the answer.

Until they stop running away from home and school.