Working as One to help educate Banbury on CSE issues

Mayor Cllr Tony Mepham has his hand painted by project manager Bonnie Nicholls at the WeAreOneBanbury project launch on High Street. NNL-150507-095229009
Mayor Cllr Tony Mepham has his hand painted by project manager Bonnie Nicholls at the WeAreOneBanbury project launch on High Street. NNL-150507-095229009

In the short time since WeAreOneBanbury has started, the project has already begun to have an influence in the area.

Banbury was the centre of a serious case into child sexual exploitation (CSE) earlier last year, when six men were sentenced after being found guilty of various sexual offences against underage girls.

And since this harrowing case came to its conclusion in April, the WeAreOne project is now making leaps and bounds to bring together those who want to put an end to CSE and educate others about raising awareness .

Mrs McNally said: “I felt we needed to give our young people a chance to respond to this issue considering the recent cases in Banbury. When the newspaper came through the post following the sentencing of the men earlier this year, I felt sick to my stomach but equally a strong conviction that something needs to change.

“The young people need a platform to respond to with a different message – a message of hope and freedom for others.

“ Bonnie and I and the rest of our team at the People’s Church will make the most of every opportunity to gather, equip and mobilise our young people with this message.”

“I think it is essential that we remember that these young people are 13-14 years of age and have poured their heart and soul into this project. They have voluntarily given their time, energy and talents to see that their town is safe.

“One young person has told us ‘it’s great that now we know about the risks of CSE we think we have a responsibility to make sure the other teenagers in Banbury also know. We want to make sure that happens’.

“The Warriner has since received feedback from the public saying how great the young people communicated their message on the streets.”