Chelsea's Choice - Performance for Parents and Carers
This term, thousands of children across the county will see a powerful theatre production about child sexual exploitation (CSE), a form of child sex abuse.
AlterEgo's Chelsea's Choice was shown in secondary schools across Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland. The play was created to raise awareness of CSE and the devastating impact it can have on a young person's life, while educating young people about how they can keep themselves safe.
To coincide with this and to ensure parents can support efforts to protect their children, a free performance of the 50-minute play was being offered to parents and carers at the Sue Townsend Theatre in Upper Brown Street, Leicester, on Monday, 30 October at 7.30pm.
At the performance, parents learnt how to identify the warning signs of grooming and CSE and how to prevent it happening to their child. The play also covers:
Awareness raising of the journey victims of CSE may have been on which has resulted in them being exploited
How victims of CSE may fight against intervention as they may not see themselves as victims
What makes a healthy relationship
What makes an unhealthy relationship
Safe Internet Use/Sexting
What consent is
The grooming process and the differing models and methods
Where to go for help & advice.
Donna Smalley is Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's Service Manager for the Multi-agency Child Sexual Exploitation (MA-CSE) team. She said:
"I am urging parents and carers to come and see the performance their children are experiencing at school this term in order to gain a greater understanding of the risks they may be exposed to as they grow up.
"We work relentlessly to protect children but cannot do this alone. It is really important that parents and carers are aware of the signs of grooming or sexual exploitation and Chelsea's Choice is an excellent vehicle for this. It is only by working together that we can keep our children safe."
Ivan Ould is Leicestershire County Council's cabinet member for children and families. He said:
"CSE is an abhorrent crime and we work closely with the police, NHS, schools and others to tackle it.
"Chelsea's Choice is a hard-hitting performance which we know effectively engages young people. But it's equally important that parents know how to spot the tell-tale signs and I'd encourage them to attend the free performance."
Sean McGrath, Creative Director, AlterEgo Creative Solutions Ltd, added:
"'Chelsea's Choice has now been seen by well over 800,000 young people and thousands of adults throughout the UK and recently showcased in New York City to city, state and federal professionals. Raising awareness of what CSE is, what the warning signs are and who people can turn to for help and advice is vital if we are to help protect our children from this heinous crime."