Blackpool Zoo along with local catering companies Abbey Catering and Tasty Bites recently came together to support Nest, Lancashire’s victim support services for children and young people. The local businesses organised a day of activities for young people affected by crime, including domestic abuse, exploitation and the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.
A group of children aged 6 – 15 recently enjoyed a sunny day at Blackpool Zoo with the Nest team.
Nest Lancashire, run by independent charity Victim Support, provides practical help and emotional support to children aged 5-18 who have been affected by crime to help them move forward and feel safe again.
The charity has been running a series of support groups for young victims, with a focus on victims of the Manchester terrorist attack, since the summer of 2017.
Adrian Wright, Nest Lancashire Children and Young People’s Service Coordinator, said “School holidays can be difficult times for young people who can feel isolated. Some families who are living with the effects of crime may find it difficult to access activities for young people, due to financial or social barriers.
“We try to provide fun, varied activity days in school holidays to give young victims a chance to meet other young people who may have had similar experiences to themselves, and hopefully make new friends. It gives them the opportunity to access social opportunities away from school and their usual peer group, and we often see lasting friendships being formed.
“The generosity of local businesses allows us to offer exciting activities for young people who might otherwise miss out on these types of experiences.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, who established Nest, added: “The support Nest Lancashire offers to young people here in Lancashire is invaluable. The feedback I get about the service is fantastic and I am really pleased to see the difference it can make to young people and their families.
“Children and young adults can be particularly vulnerable if they have been affected by crime and making sure that the support they need is available to them is a key priority for me. Activities like this are an excellent way of showing young people that they are not alone and that they can get help to move forward following a crime.”
Anyone wanting to find out more about the service can contact Nest Lancashire on 0300 111 0323, text NEST and their number to 60777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nestlancashire.org.