The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) has revealed details of grants totalling £44 million, of which £1 million will be put towards helping projects designed to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).

A total of 133 organisations are set to benefit from BLF Reaching Community Grants, including charity Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) that works to support parents across England whose children are at risk of being sexually exploited by perpetrators outside the family.

The BLF has granted £489,730 to Pace, which will be put towards better informing parents about CSE so they will have more confidence to offer support to their children, as well as enabling the charity to devise a programme that will be run by parents who have been affected by CSE.

The programme will involve a series of online forums, focus groups and conferences for parents to share stories in order to reduce feelings of isolation.

It is expected that 350 families will benefit from the project.

Gill Gibbins, chief executive of Pace, said: “This grant will help us extend our befriending role with parents from families in the south, enable parents to seek support from each other and speak publicly about their experience with the media and at training events, and to work to bring child sexual exploitation to an end.”

A grant of £366,945 has also been handed by the BLF to The Children’s Society to help develop a CSE school awareness programme in Torbay, which will help to support around 4,500 children.

Lyn Cole, deputy director of England at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “These projects’ support will help to steer vulnerable children away from dangerous paths, inappropriate behaviour and exploitative relationships while training parents to know the warning signs.”

The Safeguarding Children e-Academy recently partnered with Pace to raise awareness of the dangers of child sexual exploitation among parents and careers.

Together we published a report on the attitudes of parents and professionals towards CSE and a free awareness raising course for parents and carers. Since then over 15,000 people have registered for the course.

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