Rotherham United help kick-start the next phase of a campaign to keep Rotherham’s children safe – and all Millers fans are being urged to show their support.
Players from the club stood side-by-side in front of an 8,800-strong crowd this week to show their support for the Rotherham Standing Together Against Child Sexual Exploitation ‘personal pledge.’
Since its official launch in November, more than 70 businesses, voluntary groups and public bodies have taken the pledge, making a commitment to understand the signs of sexual exploitation, and to take action if they are worried someone is at risk.
Now people across the town are being asked to pledge their individual support – promising to act as the eyes and ears of the community to stop children and young people being exploited.
Rotherham Chairman Tony Stewart welcomed the new opportunity for local people to take the pledge, officially launched at the club’s match against Bolton on Tuesday (27 January).
“Rotherham United FC is fully behind the ‘Standing Together’ campaign,” he said.
“The football club is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with several local businesses and public bodies to show our support to the campaign.
“I, along with Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas, recently attended a meeting which we hosted at AESSEAL New York Stadium to kick start this campaign and we are delighted to be involved in taking the ‘Standing Together’ message to the next stage.”
People can sign the pledge at www.rotherhamstandingtogether.org.uk. Their name will be added to the growing list of supporters, which can be viewed on the website.
Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Deputy Leader of Rotherham Borough Council, added: “Rotherham people won’t be beaten by these terrible crimes and their evil perpetrators. We are sending a message loud and clear: that those who abuse our children aren’t welcome here, as a community we are wise to their methods, and together we will do everything that we can to keep our young people safe.
“Dozens of organisations and public bodies across the borough have already signed the pledge. Together we believe in the power of a united community. We are now urging local people to take a personal stand, and say ‘no’ to the exploitation of our young people.”
Victims or survivors of sexual exploitation can seek help from a confidential helpline, which provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week – available by calling 0800 7319 256 or emailing rotherhamcsesupport@NSPCC.org.uk