As I write this during a global pandemic, it is difficult to reflect on what was happening during what seemed like a very different time.

However, looking back 2019 was an exciting year for us. Throughout this busy year we worked on creating our new five year strategy with a renewed focus on working collaboratively with young Londoners, involving them in the shaping of our services and providing a platform for their voices to be heard.

Alongside our partnership working continued to grow. We worked with local organisations, as well as joined larger partnership groups such as the National Health Service London Violence Reduction Clinical and Professional Leadership group.

We were able to participate in a number of high profile events sharing our learning and insight. One highlight was a presentation at the UK Association of Women Judges Migration, Slavery and the Law conference, which included the opportunity for me to have dinner with Lady Hale, a truly inspirational woman.

We hope that sharing our insight and learning will give a voice to the young Londoners we work with and ensure that others understand the context in which children and young people are asked to live their lives.

2019 saw us invest in our IT and mobile working capacity ensuring staff were able to work remotely. Little did we know that this would be something we would be acutely thankful for, as the pandemic moved the country into lockdown in March 2020.

The entire Safer London team have managed incredibly, shifting our work with young Londoners and their families into a remote intervention overnight – with outstanding success.

Our Trustees have been supportive and young Londoners have engaged and taught many of us much about the applicability of the digital world.

This coming year, the first in our new strategy, is not at all playing out as we expected. The future is uncertain as we navigate through these unprecedented times. However, we will ensure the following remains central to Safer London’s work – which is the vision of a city that is safe for all the young Londoners who live here.

We aim to continue working with young Londoners who are affected by violence and exploitation in every London borough, which we believe gives us a unique advantage, allowing us to cross borough boundaries and continue our support with a young Londoner if they move.

By working alongside young Londoners and inviting them to lead the conversation, we can create a safer London not just for them – but everyone.

Sherry Peck, Chief Executive

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