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New support available for children at risk of exploitation in Crawley and across Sussex

A leading children’s charity has launched a new service for parents and carers of some of the county’s most vulnerable children.



Barnardo’s ‘Dice’ programme, which was set up following a grant from the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Safe Space Sussex Funding Network, is welcoming referrals from families whose children may be at risk of exploitation. 

The Dice programme covers topics including teenage risk taking and the pressures young people face in today’s global world, recognising signs of exploitation (including grooming), the teenage brain and practical advice and information on local support available.

Working in partnership with a cyber specialist from Veritas Justice, a Sussex Based Stalking Advocacy and Support service, which focuses also on cyber and online safety, they will also deliver a session on digital dangers and how to keep safer online.

Lucy Ivankovic, Assistant Director of Children’s Services at Barnardo’s said: 

“Being told or realising that your child may be at risk of exploitation is an extremely stressful time for parents and carers, especially as they play such an important role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of their child. We can help by providing practical advice and support. DICE also gives parents and carers the opportunity to meet others who are going through the same experiences in a positive environment.”

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner said: 

“The challenge of keeping young people safe is becoming more difficult. Every day the police uncover the true scale of complex crimes like child exploitation, while technology creates new ways to commit these crimes. This is why it is so important to have support services in place to educate young people and their families/carers in the digital dangers and how to spot the signs of exploitation. 

“No child should ever be a victim of this kind of abuse and that is why I am pleased to support a programme which demonstrates a commitment to tackling exploitation at its early stages.”

The Dice programme is designed as a supportive and preventative service aimed at parents and carers of vulnerable and/or risk–taking children and young people aged from nine upwards (including young teenagers).

If you wish to find out more about Dice, please contact the Children’s Services Manager Jennie Bishop on or


Aged 9-15? Auditions announced for this years panto at The Hawth

The Hawth, in partnership with Evolution Productions are looking for girls to be part of the Juvenile Ensemble for their spectacular pantomime, DICK WHITTINGTON this Christmas!



Registration will take place at 10am on Saturday 22 June 2019 at The Hawth.

To audition you must be between the ages 9–15 (inclusive) on 1 September 2019 and be under 5’ 2”.

Producers say that auditions will end approximately 2 hours after the start time but you may need to stay longer if you are successful.

You don’t need to prepare anything – you’ll be taught a routine on the day. They ask you come wearing comfortable clothes and soft/dance shoes and advise that you bring some water, but no other food or drink.

They added, “Pantomime is a huge team effort, and we will require full commitment for the rehearsal period and the full run of the production (Monday 25 November 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020).”

Click here to download an audition registration form.

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