Students to say no to abuse for WeAreOneBanbury launch

Part of the WeAreOneBanbury team ahead of their community launch event tomorrow (Saturday). Pictured from the left are Shannon McNally, Caroline Sargent, Mallory Edge, Theresa Taylor and Bonnie Nicholls. NNL-150630-155802009
Part of the WeAreOneBanbury team ahead of their community launch event tomorrow (Saturday). Pictured from the left are Shannon McNally, Caroline Sargent, Mallory Edge, Theresa Taylor and Bonnie Nicholls. NNL-150630-155802009

A project set up by young people to tackle the impact of human trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) will be launched in Banbury town centre this weekend.

WeAreOneBanbury is the work of students at the Warriner School in Bloxham and is supported by social worker and project manager Bonnie Nicholls and youth worker Shannon McNally of the People’s Church.

The launch of the movement will be at the bandstand in High Street on Saturday from 11am-3pm, where 30 young people will wear specially designed T-shirts and put on videos they have created for passers-by to watch and listen to. Members of the movement will be also be doing face-to-face talks with people on the day and there will be refreshments and goodie bags.

Mrs Nicholls said: “One of the key messages is that human trafficking is a taboo and people do not want to talk about it. The bigger message is that you do not need to be afraid of it and we need to be talking about it. It is amazing to see the young people using the word CSE and saying ‘this is wrong’.

“We have moved into partnerships with charities, schools, churches, businesses and Cherwell District Council. The support has been incredible and everybody is on board, it is an opportunity to pull all of that together.”

Mrs Nicholls and Mrs McNally work on a voluntary basis with The A21 Campaign, an anti-trafficking organisation which delivers awareness and prevention to secondary school students.

The pair have been meeting Warriner School students every Wednesday to inform them about CSE. The initiative follows the sentencing of a group of six men found guilty of various sexual offences earlier this year.

Mrs McNally added: “One idea from one person can change a generation. The best people to teach young people is young people, they can make a difference and be a positive change to others.”

For more details visit weareonebanbury.org or their Facebook page. See also CSE story on page 3.