Thousands of vulnerable children pass through UK railway stations every day. Most of us wouldn’t even spot that they were in danger.
We work with children being groomed, those caught up in 'county lines' gangs, many running away from home and several struggling with poor mental health.
Our teams operate across the North West, London and Yorkshire but we want to expand our work adding more projects until we can create a safety net across the country for vulnerable young people.
Children running away from home or care don’t look any different to those on their way to visit family. Children carrying drugs for criminal gangs appear the same as those carrying school bags. A child on the way to visit a paedophile they met online looks the same as one meeting a best friend at the cinema.
Often they're trying to escape, using the rail network to run away from home or care. The one thing they all have in common is that they've been passing through a station when we've managed to reach them and provide a turning point.
We work with BTP to train station staff and the rail community to look out for children in danger. Now when they find a child at risk they refer them to us. Then our project workers visit them, talk to the child and their families and find out why they were putting themselves in such danger. It’s not easy, and there’s no quick fix. But our teams work with the child for as long as it takes for us to know they will stay safe in the future.