Last year our friends at The Children’s Society asked for our help with a powerful new campaign. Here, Clare Bracey, Director of Campaigns, returns to share the enormous difference that BritMums bloggers are making to Seriously Awkward.
Eagle-eyed BritMums visitors may remember my previous guest post inviting bloggers to become ambassadors for The Children’s Society’s new campaign. That was last summer. We had just launched our campaign to tackle the most serious issues facing older teenagers and we didn’t know how people would react. The campaign is for the 16 and 17 year olds we see across the country falling through the cracks between adulthood and childhood. We are speaking up for those older teenagers, so often seen as resilient or troublesome, who can be experiencing harm, abuse or neglect – but are being let down by the law.
Thank you to bloggers
It’s now nearly nine months later. I definitely need to say thank you to all the bloggers who have gotten involved so far and spoken up for this country’s most vulnerable teenagers. Following my post on BritMums, we were amazed that so many of you came forward to write blogs in support of the campaign. Some of you have bravely shared your own teenage memories, or spoken about the challenges of parenting teenagers. Many have shared their own awkward teenage recollections and acknowledge what a challenging age this can be.
Bloggers have helped us spread the campaign far and wide in a way The Children’s Society has never experienced before. Thanks to the far reaching support, over 20,000 people have taken action to support the campaign.
This means we can make the most of a current golden opportunity in Parliament. The Government has introduced a bill that could see the changes that are desperately needed to protect 16 and 17 year olds from sexual exploitation put into law.
Thanks to campaigners emailing their MP, there have been detailed debates on the campaign in Parliament. We were invited to speak directly to the committee in charge of examining the bill. As the debate is heating up ahead of a crucial vote, we will hold an event in Parliament soon where MPs can meet with expert practitioners and young people from The Children’s Society. We need as many parents as possible to invite their MP to meet our experts on 13 April so we can secure the vital protection from harm that teenagers need to stay safe from sexual exploitation.
How bloggers have got Seriously Awkward
John Adams, Dad Blog UK
‘Writing a blog comes with responsibility. In some respects it turns you into a public figure. It’s right and proper that I use my blog to support a variety of causes.’ This comes from writer of the BritMums Dad Blogger Round-ups, John Adams from Dad Blog UK. By giving his unique thoughts on the Seriously Awkward campaign and our fight against sexual exploitation, John has shown true concern for the issues being raised. He has reflected on being a parent to two young daughters himself and his own concerns that not enough is done to highlight that these appalling crimes happen to boys too. He kindly drew attention to Luke and Jemma, just two of the teenagers who came to us when they had nowhere left to turn and hosted a guest post from our Director of External Affairs and dad of two, Peter, about the campaign.
Anita Cleare, Thinking Parent
A regular in the BritMums Teen and Tween Round-ups, Anita Cleare at Thinking Parent is known in the blogging community for her insights on parenting teenagers. She has supported the Seriously Awkward campaign with thoughtful posts about her own troublesome teenage years, parents’ fears for teenagers, and worries over issues such as grooming. Anita wrote to 10,000 of our supporters urging them to take action to help us support more teenagers affected by child sexual exploitation. She also helped get #SeriouslyAwkward trending at our national debate on dangers facing teenagers in the UK.
Vicki Psarias, Honest Mum
BritMums author Vicki Psarias from Honest Mum is one of the most popular parenting and lifestyle bloggers in the UK. As well raising awareness of Seriously Awkward on Twitter, Vicki has helped The Children’s Society to raise vital funds. Check out her tasty family recipe for ‘Papa G’s Perfect Pancakes’ which she kindly donated to support our baking fundraising.
Blog for The Children’s Society
Bloggers have helped us reach over half a million people about the Seriously Awkward campaign already. We’d love to keep that momentum going at this crucial stage as the campaign goes through Parliament. I invite all of you to use the power of your blog to speak up for this country’s most vulnerable teenagers.
We are also looking for bloggers who would like to be involved in some upcoming work to raise awareness of the impact of money troubles on children and families. If you would like to blog for The Children’s Society, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the latest blogging pack.
Parents, you can give your support by joining our Seriously Awkward campaign to show the nation’s teenagers you are on their side.