Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board

Children & Young People

Welcome to the Children & Young People pages

The Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) is tasked with ensuring services are equipped to keep children and young people safe.

This section aims to provide you with useful information on where to seek help and support if you are worried about your own, or another child/young person's safety.  We have included some tips and information on things that young people have told us worries them, as well as useful website links and video clips. We want all children and young people in Lewisham to have happy, safe lives. This can start with looking after yourself first, so read on.

It’s Good To Talk

It may sound simple but if you are worried about anything the best thing you can do is talk to someone you trust. This could be

  • Friend
  • Parent/carer
  • Teacher
  • Youth worker
  • Social worker

They may not always know exactly what to do but if they are an adult they can find out and help you. Just talking to someone can help you realise whether your worry is little and may just sort itself out in time or whether it is a big worry which means you need to do something about it as it is not going to get better until you do. Friends can be useful at helping you decide if your problem is big or small and they can help you tell an adult if you need to.

SOME WORRIES YOUNG PEOPLE MAY HAVE:

My parents argue and shout all the time

People don’t always get along. In the same way you fall out with your friends, sometimes parents can disagree over things. This sometimes means they argue and shout at each other which can be scary if you see or hear it. Most of the time adults are able to calm down and make friends with each other after an argument. Most adults sort out their differences by talking to each other. If the arguments happen regularly you could try to talk to your parents. If they realise that their arguments are upsetting you then it should help them to stop it. If you can’t talk to your parents or the arguments are violent then you need to talk to an adult you can trust. Click here for more information on domestic abuse: http://thehideout.org.uk/young-people/home/.

Someone is hurting me

You can be hurt physically when someone injures your body in some way such as hitting you or you can be emotionally hurt when someone calls you names or says things that make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes in families brothers and sisters can be quite mean to each other but they still shouldn’t physically hurt each other. If you are worried about this talk to your parent or carer. If someone else is hurting you then you need to tell someone you can trust.  If it’s other children hurting you then this could be bullying.

I’m scared when I walk home

It’s quite normal to be worried when walking around on your own especially at night. Lots of young people get concerned about walking past certain areas or groups of other young people. Click here for our top tips on walking home alone.

I’m scared on-line

If something happens on-line that worries you tell an adult immediately or click on the CEOP icon to report your concern

CEOP

See Staying Safe On-line. If it is people you know making nasty comments tell someone you can trust and have a look at our section on bullying for help.

Bullying

Bullying can happen to anyone at any age and can take place at school, online, in the street or even at home. Bullying is when someone or a group of people do things that hurt you and make you feel scared or bad about yourself. This can include:

  • hitting
  • pushing
  • name calling
  • teasing
  • talking about you
  • taking money and possessions

If this happens to you then you need to tell an adult so they can help you. Bullies like to be kept secret so they can get away with their bad behaviour so tell someone and then they can’t get away with it. By reporting it you could stop them doing it to someone else.

Cyber or On-Line Bullying

This is when someone or a group upset or humiliate you using the internet, on-line games, email, apps, social media, or text. It is the same as any other form of bullying but you don’t always know who is doing it.

  • If you get any horrible comments or messages take a screen shot immediately and show it to an adult. It can be hard but the best thing to do is not respond to any nasty comments and if they keep happening take action
  • You can report online bullies by pressing the CEOP button that is on most websites
  • Immediately block anyone who bullies you online. Even if you know the person, if they start being unkind to you then block them and report them to the website
  • Always make sure your profile is safe and you have used the privacy settings so only people you know can see your posts

ChildLine has more information on how to deal with bullying on different social media sites

No one has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad and you don’t have to put up with it. If you are being bullied tell someone you trust NOW!

 

Feelings

Talking about feelings can be tricky. Emotions are often messy and difficult to deal with, especially when you’re young or feeling vulnerable. But they don’t need to be a stressful part of our lives and we learn to manage them well.

By developing our ability to be resilient, and sharing this knowledge with others, we can boost all our chances of living happier, healthier lives.

It’s time to break the silence surrounding mental illness, crush taboos and get young people in Lewisham feeling good about themselves and energised by life.

Work It Out Lewisham is an interactive space so that people in Lewisham can learn from, find services, join community conversations, and get help, when and where necessary.

Kooth  is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people aged 11+.  It  is accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Questioning Support

METRO Charity is a leading equality and diversity charity, providing health, community, and youth services across London and the South East, with national and International projects.  METRO Youth works with anyone experiencing issues around sexuality, gender, equality, diversity, and identity across our five domains:

  1. Sexual & Reproductive Health
  2. Community
  3. Mental Health & Wellbeing
  4. Youth
  5. HIV

METRO Youth offer a free and confidential youth group and service for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people.

Zest - 16 years and under - Friday evenings, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Greenwich

Zest is a friendly and safe space to meet other LGBTQ young people, get support and enjoy fun activities, trips out and workshops about things that interest you.

Live - 16 - 25 years - Wednesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm, New Cross

The Lewisham Live youth group:-

  • is a friendly and safe place to meet other young LGBTQ people.
  • has fun activities, trips out and workshops about things that interest you.
  • Is a free and confidential place to get support from dedicated and experienced youth workers.
  • Live also offers access to a range of other free services.

Get in Touch

Telephone:   020 8305 5004

Email:           youth@metrocharity.org.uk

Facebook:    METRO Charity

Website:      https://www.metrocentreonline.org/ 

Relationship Abuse

Most relationships are healthy and safe, and our parents or carers, extended family, boyfriends, girlfriends and friends want the best for us and treat us well. However sometimes this isn’t the case.

Relationship abuse

Relationship (domestic) abuse is when someone hurts, threatens or makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. It isn’t just physical violence but any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship and includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.

Abuse is not normal and never ok regardless of how old you are. If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. There are different forms of abuse and for more information and to find out where to get help visit: https://www.disrespectnobody.co.uk/ 

Remember it’s not your fault and it is important to talk about it with someone you trust.

Has anyone given you money, drugs, alcohol or gifts and somewhere to stay and then forced you to…

  • have sex with them?
  • do something sexual to them?
  • be touched inappropriately, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • look at sexual images?
  • watch them to something sexual?

Go to our page on Child Sexual Exploitation to find out more

Self-Harm

Self-harm can be really hard to understand but it is a lot more common than some people think. Between 1 in 15 children and young people self-harm.

Self-harming is when a young person chooses to inflict pain on themselves in some way.

If you are self-harming, you may be:

  • Cutting of the skin with objects (e.g. razor blades, scissors, pens, bottle tops etc.)
  • Scratching the skin.
  • Picking wounds or interfering with healing.
  • Burning.
  • Ingesting toxic substances.
  • Excessive drug or alcohol intake.
  • Hitting or punching themselves.
  • Head banging or biting themselves.
  • Pulling hair out.
  • Swallowing or inserting objects.
  • Taking an overdose.
  • Staying in an abusive relationship.
  • Taking risks too easily.
  • Restricting their eating.

It is usually a sign that something is wrong.

You may self-harm for many reasons, including:

  • feeling anxious, depressed or stressed
  • feeling that you do not have a support network or way to deal with your problems
  • You have experienced a stressful life event.
  • Feeling isolation.
  • Have low self-esteem.
  • On-going family relationship problems.
  • Being bullied.
  • You have had a bereavement.
  • Substance and alcohol misuse.
  • Family circumstances are difficult.
  • Stress and worry – particularly about school and exams.
  • Experience of abuse.
  • Feelings of being rejected in your life.

The issues then ‘build up’ to the point where you feel like you are going to explode. Young people who self-harm often talk about the ‘release’ that they feel after they have self-harmed, as they use it as a mechanism to cope with their problems.

Self-harming is dangerous. It is a sign that you have an underlying problem, but if it gets out of hand you could risk killing yourself, maybe accidentally.

Getting help to deal with some of these underlying issues is often key to overcoming or managing self-harm.

Where to get help

It's important to talk about what you're feeling and get the help you need.  Try talking to an adult you trust about your feelings and what's happening for you.  Or access one of the services below:-

  • Young Minds
    • Parents Helpline 0808 802 55 44
    • Advice for professionals

  • GP – Make an appointment to talk about your concerns.  Your may need some support from the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

  • Kooth
    • Online chat support for young people

  • Work it Out Lewisham 
    • Information on services and support available in Lewisham.

  • Papyrus Hopeline 0800 068 41 41
    • Confidential advice for young people
    • Advice for parents / carers.
    • Advice for professionals

  • ChildLine – 0800 11 11
    • Confidential advice for young people
    • Advice for professionals

  • Place2Be
    • Individual one to one, drop in counselling for children and young people experiencing emotional wellbeing issues at 10 schools in Lewisham.
  • Lewisham Mind Kit
    • Online resources for range of mental health/ wellbeing issues and peer mentoring support

  • National Self-Harm Network
    • UK charity offering moderated support forum for self-harm
  • NHS Choices - Moodzone
    • Online and audio resources to improve mental wellbeing and information about available treatments
  • MindEd
    • Online training for anyone working with 0-18 year olds

 

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation can be hard to recognise because you often believe you’re in a good relationship with the person, or people, who want to abuse your trust in them. It could be a friend, or a group of friends. It could be someone you think of as a boyfriend or girlfriend. It could be a person or a new group of people you’ve only just got to know. It could be someone you’ve talked to online. But whoever it is, they could use clever ways to take advantage of your relationship – and that means you can be harmed almost before you know what’s going on.

For example, someone might give you money, drugs, alcohol, gifts or somewhere to stay and then force you to do one or more of these things in return:

  • have sex with them
  • do something sexual to them
  • be touched inappropriately, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • look at sexual images – including films or pictures
  • watch them do something sexual, including having sex or touching themselves sexually

That’s why it’s so important to look out for the warning signs in someone’s behaviour. So be aware, stay alert and keep safe.

What to do if you are worried about yourself or a friend

If you are worried about a situation that you or a friend is in, talk to an adult that you trust as soon as you can. You may also want to contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or their website https://www.childline.org.uk/searchpage/?query.

If you, or a friend, are in immediate danger or want urgent help, call the police on 999.

Use our top tips to protect yourself from exploitation.

Three top tips to keep safe

  1. Trust yourself to know when something is wrong.
  2. If someone makes you feel unsafe, pressured or frightened, follow your instincts and seek help.
  3. Don’t trust people you don’t know, even if they seem friendly – and make sure you know who you are talking to online. Never give away personal details or agree to meet someone who you have only talked to online. Don’t be tricked into doing things that are unsafe, even if they seem like fun. What might look exciting at first could be more dangerous than you realise.

Stay Safe on the Streets

Plan ahead: Before you go out think about how you are going to get home, e.g. Can you travel home with a friend? What time does the last bus / train leave?

Get a taxi?  Remember to only use licenced taxi companies.  The licence number should be clearly displayed on the car to help you decide.

Getting a night bus?  Sit downstairs as near to the driver as possible as it is easier to alert the driver if you are feeling worried or threatened.

Use well lit busy streets and avoid danger spots like quiet or badly-lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted.

If you do have to pass danger spots think about what you would do if you felt threatened.

Consider heading for a public place; somewhere you know there will be other people, for example a garage or a shop.

Avoid passing stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them.

Try to keep both hands free and don’t walk with your hands in your pockets.

Walk facing oncoming traffic wherever possible, to avoid kerb crawlers. If you do have to talk in the same direction as the traffic and a vehicle pulls up suddenly alongside you, turn and walk or run in the other direction.

Keep your mind on your surroundings: remember if you are chatting on your mobile phone or wearing earphones you will not hear trouble approaching.

If you think you are being followed trust your instincts and take action. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening, or if this not possible knock on the door of a well-lit house and see if the person hangs about. Tell the homeowner what is happening and ask if you can wait outside and call your parents. If necessary, call the police.

Beware of someone who warns you of the dangers of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This may be a ploy some attackers have been known to use.

Never accept a lift from a stranger or someone you don’t know very well, even if you are wet, tired or running late.

We all have the right to wear any clothes we wish but it’s worth remembering that you can help to reduce the risks by wearing clothes you can move in easily and shoes that you can run in.

Try not to keep all your valuables in one place: it’s a good idea to keep valuables such as wallets in an inside pocket.

Consider carrying a personal safety alarm which can be used to shock and disorientate an attacker and give you vital seconds to get away.

Online Safety

The internet is a great way to connect with others and learn new things. It’s important you know how to stay safe and keep others safe online.
Top Tips for Staying Safe Online for Children & Young People

 feet iconBe careful what photos and video’s you post online or share with a “boyfriend or girlfriend”.  It can be difficult to control who can see them and how they will be shared, you may not want it to go viral!  Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your teachers or parents to see.  Taking, making, sharing and possessing indecent images and pseudo-photographs of people under 18 is illegal and you could be prosecuted.  A pseudo-photo is an image made by graphics or art which appears to be a photo. This can include, photo’s, video’s, tracings, and anything that can be converted into a photo.  You can read the full “Indecent Images of children: guidance for young people here 

feet iconBe careful who you talk to.  Someone might not be who they say they are.  Friends you make on-line are still strangers, even if you’ve been talking to them for a long time.  You can say no and/or log out of your computer.  Don’t meet up with friends you make online unless you’ve talked it through with an adult you trust first and they can help you stay safe. 

feet iconDon’t be afraid to block someone.  You don’t have to put up with bullying or seeing anything that you find upsetting.  Report it to the site administrator and talk to an adult you trust.  Remember you can choose to close the App or Website at any time.

feet iconAlways put the privacy settings on and don’t share personal information, including details like your date of birth, home address, email address, phone number, passwords or any other information that may be useful to someone who wants to bully or hurt you.

feet iconThink about how you’re feeling before you go online, could someone be offended or upset by what you’re saying or posting?  You may say something you regret later on and damage your reputation.   Your digital footprint will last forever, even if you have deleted something from your device or profile it may still be visible to other people on other networks.  It has been known for young people to find their college and / or job applications be affected by something they posted online.

feet iconUnfortunately, there are people who go online to bully others or get them to do things that could be illegal or harmful to you or others.  If you are bullied or are worried about anything you see, hear, or are asked to do something either online or in the real world, tell a parent or another trusted adult, like your teacher, or contact Junior Crimestoppers @ www.fearless.org .  Preserve evidence by saving or taking a screen shot of the message or material and report it to the site administrator – all sites have a no blame culture with children and young people.  You do not have to do anything you don’t want to or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. 

feet iconIf you see something on a social network site, a website, or someone tries to draw you into extremist or radicalised views, you can get help by contacting the Prevent Team, prevent@lewisham.gov.uk.

feet iconWe recommend you keep your knowledge and skills of staying safe in a digital world up-to-date by regularly looking at the ThinkUKnow website, however there are some other good sites you may also like to look at:-

 

 

Trafficking

People trafficking is the movement of people from one area to another by use of force or threat for the purpose of some form of exploitation.

Examples of exploitation could be forcing a young person to have sex, forcing them into marriage, forcing the young person to work in horrible conditions or forcing them to carry out a crime.

Traffickers can be male and female and control young people by threatening to report them to the authorities, telling them they owe large sums of money, or by threats of violence to them or their families.

Signs of Trafficking:

Could this be you or a friend?

  • Do you go missing from home?
  • Are you prevented from going outside or locked in?
  • Are you not allowed to go to school or college?
  • Are you forced to earn a certain amount of money each day?
  • Do you have an excessive amount of chores to do at home?
  • Do you have a bad relationship with your parents or carers?
  • Are you told you have a large debt to pay back?
  • Are you afraid of being sent away from the UK?

Where to get help?

If you recognise any of these signs then you need to get help by calling the telephone numbers below:

Police – 101 or 999 in an emergency

Child Line 0800 1111

NSPCC 24 hour Child Protection helpline 0808 800 5000

Worried About Yourself or a Friend

If you’re worried about something that’s happening to you or to a friend there are a lot of people who can help you. It’s good to talk to people you trust about your worries, perhaps a teacher, a friend, your parents, or a family member.

Abuse is always wrong, no matter how many times it happens. There can be lots of different types of abuse. It might be helpful to read more on sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse or physical abuse on the ChildLine website

Being abused can affect young people in lots of different ways, but it’s never their fault.

It’s not unusual for young people to find it hard to talk about abuse, even with their closest friends.

When you think about telling someone, it’s important to remember that they can’t always keep what you tell them secret. If you are worried about this, you (or your friend) might want to talk to a ChildLine counsellor before you decide who else to tell. The ChildLine counsellors have a Confidentiality Promise that means they can keep most things private.

You can contact ChildLine in loads of different ways, whether that’s by going online and using the 1-2-1 chats or emailing, or by calling for free on 0800 1111 (the calls won’t even show up on the phone bill).  The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have provided a Quick Guide to Getting Help to Overcome Abuse that you might find useful to get the support you need.

If you or a friend are at IMMEDIATE risk, you should treat this as an emergency and call 999 to report your concerns to the Police.

If you have spoken to someone you trust or ChildLine and you are still concerned that you or a friend are being abused or neglected: –

Contact the Lewisham Council Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).  You can contact the MASH during office hours.

Tel: 020 8314 6660 or out of hours call 020 8314 6000 and ask for the emergency duty team.
Email: mashgcsx@Lewisham.gov.uk

The Out of Office hours (5pm -8am weekdays, weekends and bank holidays) is: 03005 551373

When you contact the MASH please give as much information as possible about your concerns. This information will be kept confidential. This will help the MASH decide the best way to help

Child Exploitation & Online Protection

CEOP is there to support young people, parents and carers while surfing online, and offers help and advice on topics such as:

  • cyberbullying
  • hacking
  • harmful content

It also enables people to immediately report anything online which they find concerning, such as harmful or inappropriate content, or possible grooming behaviour.

For more information or to report a concern click on the CEOP icon

CEOP

Young Carers in Lewisham

A young carer is a young person aged 18 or under who looks after a mum, dad, brother, sister or other relative who is disabled, ill, has mental ill health or a problem with drugs or alcohol. Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister.
Carers Lewisham logo

If you are a young carer there is support available for you. The service includes:-

Carers Lewisham Young Carers Service supports children and young people aged 5-18. It particularly aims to:

    • Improve life skills and learning  
    • Improve self-esteem, confidence and resilience
    • Help reduce inappropriate care   

Young Carers can benefit from:

    • Access to holiday activities including trips, a summer residential and events
    • Signposting and referrals to other statutory services
    • Access to information and advice relating to their caring role, right and entitlements, and support services
    • Term-time respite activities
    • Schools support to improve early identification, assessment and support to young carers in education through awareness-raising to teachers and pupils, offering 1:1 support, advocacy and signposting.

Have a look at the Young Carers Website

Regular Young Carers Clubs

  • 3rd Saturday of every month, 11am-4pm, Ringway Community Centre, 268 Baring Road, Grove Park, SE12 0DS : 11-16 years old.

  • 2nd Saturday of every month, 12-2pm, Telegraph Hill Centre, Kitto Road, London, SE14 5TY: 8-11 years old.

  • 1st Saturday of every month, 12-3.30pm, Cherry Blossom Children’s Centre, 118 Old Bromley Road, BR1 4JY: 8-11 years old.

At these clubs, young carers can access; 1:1 support, play games consoles such as Wii & XBOX, access the internet, sporting activities, arts and crafts and much more. Refreshments and snacks are available at all the clubs free of charge.

Pick-ups and drop-offs are available for young carers aged 11 years old and under.

Contact Details:

Carers Lewisham
Waldram Place
Forest Hill
London
SE23 2LB                                                                                                   

Tel: 020 8699 8686
or e-mail: info@carerslewisham.org.uk

Opening Times:
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Youth Clubs Schedule

Download the schedule
Youth First logo

Youth Club Opening Times

(Check with each site for school holiday opening times)

*up to 25 years with Special Educational Needs
**up to 13 years with Special Educational Needs

Bellingham Gateway Youth Club
185 Brookehowse Rd, SE6 3TT


Mob:
07580 777874

 

Monday & Thursday

Friday

6:15-8:45pm ages 12-19*

2:30-5:00pm ages 8-12**
6:15-8:45pm ages 13-19*

 

 

Honor Oak Youth Club
50 Turnham Road, SE4 2JD

Mob: 07580 777844

Tuesday, Thursday & Friday

6:15-8:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Ladywell Youth Club
End of Malyons Road, SE13 7XE

Mob: 07580 777869

Monday

6:15-8:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Riverside Youth Club
Grove Street, SE8 3QQ

Mob: 07875 087508

Monday

3:45-6:15pm ages 8-12**

Tuesday & Thursday

6:15-8:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

TNG Youth Club
111 Wells Park Road, SE26 6AD

Mob: 07875 091098

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

6:15-7:30pm ages 8-12**
6:15-8:45pm ages 13-19*

Tuesday

5:15-7:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Woodpecker Youth Club
20 Woodpecker Road, SE14 6EU

Mob: 07392 191 237

Wednesday & Thursday

4:45-7:15pm ages 8-19*

Friday

4:45-7:15pm ages 8-19*

Yourth First logo

Adventure Playground

Opening Times

(Check with site for school holiday opening times)             
If your child is under 8 years old they can attend our adventure playgrounds but you must accompany them at all times.

This information is from July 2017 and subject to change.  If you require any more information on our sites please contact our head office 020 8314 9543 or email info@youthfirst.org.uk
*up to 25 years with Special Educational Needs

Dumps APG
14 Oakview Road, SE6 3QF

Mob: 07580 777859

Tuesday - Friday

3:00-6:30pm ages 8-19*

Saturday

11:00-4:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Home Park APG
Winchfield Road, SE26 5TJ

Mob: 07580 777857

Tuesday - Friday

3:15-6:45pm ages 8-19*

Saturday

11:15-4:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Honor Oak APG
Turnham Road, SE4 2HU

Mob: 07580 777844

Tuesday - Friday

3:15-6:45pm ages 8-19*

Saturday

11:15-4:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Ladywell Fields APG
End of Malyons Road, SE13 7XE

Mob: 07580 777869

Tuesday - Friday

3:15-6:45pm ages 8-19*

Saturday

11:15-4:45pm ages 8-19*

 

 

Richard MacVicar APG
New King Street, SE8 3HS

Mob: 07957 198310

Tuesday - Friday

3:30-6:45pm ages 8-19*

Saturday

12:15-5:45pm ages 8-19*

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