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Conference to keep Sunderland's children safe being held in city

Sir Paul Ennais, independent chairman of Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board.
Sir Paul Ennais, independent chairman of Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board.

Young people from across Sunderland are meeting today to share their ideas about what makes them feel safe and what would help make them feel safer.

The Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board Young Person Conference is bringing more than 50 young people aged between 11 and 21 together who live, go to school or college and socialise in the city.

Sir Paul Ennals, independent chair of Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board, said: "This is all about helping us to get a better understanding of what the important safeguarding issues are for our children and young people so we're absolutely delighted that we've got more than 50 young people from across the city coming along to take part.

"Because of the work we do, we obviously think we have a good idea of the issues young people are facing.

"But it's important that we test that with young people to make sure that we are targeting our resources in the right places, and also that we're identifying and acting on any new and emerging risks.

"We want to get their ideas on what makes them feel safe and what they would like to feel safe about so we can work with them to improve services and support for them and to reduce risks across Sunderland."

Young people attending the conference at Bede Tower will also be able to take part in workshops on:

• Online Safety

• Emotional Resilience

• Alcohol and Substance Misuse

• Healthy Relationships

Safeguarding partners from across the city including Sunderland City Council, Together for Children, Northumbria Police, Health, the NSPCC, Washington MIND and Barnardo's have all been involved in organising the conference.