Police chief has to make kids a priority

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GREATER Manchester is soon to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for the first time. Our new commissioner will make sure the public has a say in how Greater Manchester is policed.

Barnardo’s is determined to ensure that forces prioritise tackling child sexual exploitation – a hideous crime that sees children across Greater Manchester being groomed, abused and exploited for sex. We are proud of the steps that we have made so far, working alongside our partners, including the police and local authorities.

But there is more to be done to help these frightened and vulnerable children to escape from this vile abuse.

Barnardo’s has been working to stamp out child sexual exploitation around the UK for 18 years, and is part of three multi-agency child sexual exploitation teams in Manchester, Wigan and Oldham.

We are asking all candidates standing for election to promise that, if elected, they will make child sexual exploitation a priority, and take the necessary steps to stop this abuse.

We urge members of the public to message their police commissioner candidates in their area by going to www.barnardos.org.uk/cutthemfree and join us in the fight against this crime.

Mark Lee

Director, Barnardo’s North West

You can make a real difference

I am urging the nation to share their professional skills and passions to support local charities, community groups and clubs.

It’s vital that we support these groups with our skills in a bid to help them survive during difficult economic times. I volunteer across the nation, supporting community groups and young people who are interested in my passions, such as music, railways and trains. I know first-hand the difference it makes to their lives.

After school and sports clubs, small charities and community groups urgently need people to share their skills and passion to help them survive. From web design, marketing or accountancy to a personal passion for photography, gardening or music – everyone has a skill they can use to help others.

This year’s Make a Difference Day, on Saturday, October 27, is the nation’s biggest single day of volunteering, and we need you to start thinking about how to share your skills to benefit your local community. Nearly a million people have taken part so far. You can register for CSV Make a Difference Day now to receive free resources to help create an inspirational volunteer project. So whether you want to take part with your company, school, community group, or even go it alone, get in touch now by visiting www.csv.org.uk/difference or calling FREEPHONE 0800 284 533.

Pete Waterman

CSV Make a Difference Day