30th November, 2012
ECPAT UK fought off tough competition from hundreds of nominees to take home the prestigious Youth Work Award at Children & Young People Now magazine’s annual prize ceremony in London last night.
The ECPAT UK Youth Group, a peer support group for child victims of trafficking, was shortlisted from more than 400 entrants for the Youth Work Award, which is sponsored by the National Youth Agency. The prize is given to the project that has done the most to promote young people’s development and help achieve their potential.
Through the Youth Group, ECPAT UK supports young women and girls, aged 15-21, who have been exploited and abused through domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual exploitation, by empowering the young people to develop life skills to help them recover from their experiences and live healthy lives. The young people are actively involved in all of ECPAT UK’s campaigns and use their experiences in order to help improve the rights of trafficked victims and to prevent the crime happening to other young people.
Youth Programme Coordinator Debbie Beadle (pictured centre left), along with ECPAT UK’s Youth Trustee and Youth Group member, Tatiana Huget (pictured centre right), joined hundreds of hopefuls to pick up the award at last night’s ceremony, which was attended by Children’s minister Edward Timpson. The event was compered by former Newsround presenter Sonali Shah.
Tatiana said: “I was so nervous that my tummy hurt. When they said our name everybody cheered and I was shaking. I had to walk slowly up to the stage because I was wearing high heels and I didn’t want to fall over! I am so proud to be part of this group and that people are listening to us – what we have to say is important and we have to stop this happening to children.”
Debbie, who has been coordinating the ECPAT UK Youth Programme since it began four years ago, said: “I just couldn’t believe it. When I saw all the amazing projects nominated in our category, I was sure we hadn’t won. When they called our name I was ecstatic!
“I am so happy for the young people and that our work has been recognised. I am inspired and humbled by the strength and perseverance of these young women who have been through the most traumatic experiences and come out fighting, determined to make the most out of their lives. I can’t wait to show the award to the rest of the group.”
Bharti Patel, Director, ECPAT UK. Tel: 020 7233 9887 / 07402 113 985
Information for editors:
• ECPAT UK is a leading UK children’s rights organisation. ECPAT UK works with the highest levels of government, but also reaches out to practitioners and those working directly with children through research, training and capacity building
• For statistics on child trafficking, please click here.
• Picture caption: (l-r) National Youth Agency Operations Director Jon Boagey with ECPAT UK's Debbie Beadle and Tatiana Huget, and BBC World presenter Sonali Shah
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