The WeAreOneBanbury campaign started in May of last year and on the back of its success organiser Shannon McNally is taking the course to the teachers.
The classroom campaign has been designed to alert secondary school-aged students in the area’s schools about the dangers of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Focusing on the dangers of human trafficking and CSE and highlighting the ease with which predators can gain young people’s trust via social media and use that to manipulate them into a world of coerced activities under the threat of violence and exposure the three week course reached many of the student population.
Now however, the campaign is switching its focus and has taken the ‘train the trainer’ approach. This will enable the information to reach more young people whilst becoming both more sustainable and efficient.
The first ‘train the trainers’ session took place at Banbury Academy on Monday October 31 and was attended by teachers, board members and department heads from both the Warriner and Banbury Academy.
Mrs McNally, who runs the teaching workshops, said: “What happened before was I, along with my colleague Bonnie (Nicholls), went into the schools and taught them but basically our capacity is limited so this is a more effective way because we are pulling together two schools today.”
The new training sessions will run for two days and will also be open to older sixth form students.
Mrs McNally said: “It equips and empowers others to go and do the teaching so it’s not reliant on one person.
“If it’s multiplyable then the community will be reached more in depth. The heart of this is trafficking and an awareness but it’s also looking at issues of worth, value and self esteem and where we get that from.
One of those participating in the session was the chair of board of governors at Banbury Academy Rebecca Williams who was taking the class for the first time. She said: “What I know about it is from Shannon McNally’s work in the community and seeing the effects of building a team and getting motivated around this idea of human value. Once you understand your own value then you can get mobilised as a group about the value of everybody’s body and how we have to fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.”
Mrs McNally added: “If they’re moved and inspired to take social action then that’s great and I think that is what happens when this is taught.”
For more information visit www.weareonebanbury.org.