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A day of learning and celebration at Think Again! Tackling Exploitation event

Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.-Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman's words were certainly put into action at this year's Think Again! Tackling Exploitation event.

In the second and concluding part of this years' programme, young people from schools across Cardiff came together at County Hall to showcase their presentations on Child Exploitation. The event was split into two parts- with the presentations in the morning and the launch of the Cardiff Council funded YMCA Cardiff SHOTThink Again!report and accompanying video in the afternoon.

In March, pupils joined organisations such as South Wales Police, YMCA and others for a series of workshops around the many and varied forms child exploitation can take.  Following on from the event, the young people took the information they'd learnt and combined it with empirical and desk-top research to create their own presentations. These were then delivered to classmates with the aim of inspiring discussions and increasing knowledge, amongst both pupils and staff, on this increasingly important subject matter.

We knew the young people wouldn't disappoint but everyone at the event was truly blown away by the thought, effort and passion that went into each schools exceptionally high standard of presentations.

Fitzalan High School

It's never easy to be first to the stage but the pupils from Fitzalan did themselves proud with their presentation on County Lines. Great use of surveying skills and some brilliant suggestions- including making Social Media companies accountable for educating users about County Lines, especially given how central they are to its recruitment and operations.

Willows High School

Willows followed with a brilliant presentation on Sexting. Their research exposed the worrying fact that 80% of ‘sexters' are under 18- highlighting just how important the Think Again! Project is in raising awareness and understanding within schools. Their thorough presentation exposed how images intended for one trusted person can spread virally and be used by those looking to exploit young people- such as dangerous adults and County Lines runners.

Bishop Of Llandaff.

The audience was blown away by the animation skills of the Bishop of Llandaff students. Their presentation used a clever mix of PowerPoint and self-made animated videos to highlight the many areas of child exploitation including: modern day slavery, child abuse and grooming. They also demonstrated a savvy use of technology to engage their classmates- using Kahoot to deliver an online quiz.

St Teilos

Fantastic facts and fabulous presentation skills combined to make St Teilos presentation on Child Grooming and the many forms it can take both entertaining and eye opening.

Cathays High School

Cathays delivered a presentation that educated all in the room. They used a clever mix of facts and clips from a recent EastEnders storyline to highlight the calculated and systematic steps taken to manipulate and recruit young people by those running County Line operations.

A range of the creative therapies young people had used to express their experiences.

Hands up! Great insight and suggestions on how society can tackle exploitation from the schools who took part.


This year's youth ambassadors really excelled, going over and above to deliver impactful and insightful information. We're pleased to say that schools have really taken the project's ethos on board, with pupils being asked back to deliver their presentations to staff on inset training days and staff implementing the student generated content into next year's curriculum. What a fantastic commitment to both educating and learning from our young people.

The afternoon session showcased the incredible work of the Think Again! Project. Funded by Cardiff Council funded and run by the YMCA, the project worked with young people who had experienced child exploitation. The project aimed to gather their thoughts and feelings to evaluate services, as provided by Cardiff Council, Cardiff and The Vale NHS amongst others, they had accessed as a result of their experiences. From their feedback, service providers can learn about what worked, what made things worse and what measures need to be put into place to ensure any future young people who have experienced exploitation feel fully supported through their individual experiences.

The project culminated with a creative and impactful video. You can watch the video and learn about the participants experienceshere.

**The Video was selected for the finals of the Youth Excellence Awards. We're proud to say the team were worthy winners- congratulations to everyone involved on this deeply personal but hugely important project.**


The event was concluded by Claire Marchant, Director of Social Services. Claire outlined the Council's commitment to working with schools and youth services in a truly collaborative way in order to ensure the services provided are both suitable for and shaped by young people themselves.

Young people receiving their certificates and time credits from Councillor Hinchey.

Ahuge thank youto all the schools and staff for taking part in this event. We can't wait to welcome you back next year.