The ROSE project - empowering people with learning disabilities to be heard and for their voice to genuinely influence work to reduce the risk of sexual exploitation at all levels.
Our Reach Out Stop Exploitation (ROSE) project aims to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and how to stay safe online by delivering training and presentations to schools, colleges and health care professionals. The training is delivered by fourteen Reach clients with learning disabilities who have been trained as peer mentors. They work together to create and deliver training on positive relationships and how to stay safe from sexual exploitation. Right now they are delivering training and presentations online to schools, colleges and organisations around the country.
The mentors are supported by Dani Noquet who manages the project for Reach, Bridget Fisher who acts as a consultant and assists with project development and Kay Greenwell, project coordinator who supports the mentors to deliver the project. You can find out more about some of our project team below.
ROSE Project History
Our project builds on work previously done through a partnership project that Reach took part in – the HOPE Project which aimed to prevent sexual exploitation was led by the British Institute of Learning Disabilities with funding from the European Social Care Fund. The project enabled ten Reach clients with learning disabilities to train as peer mentors. Following this training they delivered sessions to children, adults with learning disabilities and health care professionals across Nottinghamshire.
In June 2019 Reach was awarded a three-year grant from the Samworth Foundation’s Young Voices fund for the ROSE Project, which builds on the learning and skills developed during the Hope project. Samworth awarded the grant to Reach so that the voices of young disabled adults could be represented in their initiative to reduce risk of sexual exploitation.
The original peer mentors from the HOPE Project have been supported to maintain and increase their skills and new mentors have been recruited and trained.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Dani Noquet, ROSE Project Manager on 01636 919946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What did you find most useful about our training?
"Being delivered by people with learning disabilities, hearing their perspectives."
"Having the young people involved in delivering the session as this was more impactful."
What changes will you make as a result of our training?
"Review that training for frontline staff emphasises the points made about working with people who have learning disability and potential vulnerability."
"I feel that this training has made me more confident about exploring the topics of online and offline sexual exploitation."
How could our training be further improved?
"I don't think the training could be improved, I think the training should be promoted more as it is so useful and highlights the dangers that we may not have realised."
Meet some of our Project Team
Isobel - Mentor
I really liked the students at St Francis. They were interested in what we were saying. They were willing to learn and got involved in our puzzles and quiz. We helped a new mentor as well so now she can work with us at our schools. I really enjoyed designing the cover logo on the workbook, making it like the flowers and the thorns to protect us.
Dani - Project Manager
I enjoy working within a project that promotes inclusion. We are colleagues working together, towards the same goal. Seeing mentors grow in self-confidence and finding their own voice is one of the most important things to me.
Lizzie - Mentor
I like being a mentor for the ROSE project as to me it means helping people with disabilities keep themselves safe at all times, online and outside. It helps people be aware of the dangers, change the way they think, how they are online and what to look out for so it can be stopped before it has started.
Kay - Project Coordinator
What I love most about working on the project are the challenges that come with instigating change and working alongside a fantastic team of colleagues. The biggest challenge is getting the message out to as many people as possible in a very different world to when I joined the project. The mentors come to life when in a classroom and it has taken us all time to adjust to the technology required to present the project online. It has been such a privilege to watch the mentors grow in confidence.
Chelsea - Mentor
I joined the ROSE team as a mentor in 2019. Activities that helped me feel part of the team were icebreakers and games. I like that the team decides what happens in the project by having discussions about what will happen next. I feel staff need to hear my voice as part of the stopping sexual exploitation project. My hopes for the future of the ROSE project are to get as many people as possible to know about sexual exploitation.
Bridget - Project Consultant
On the Rose project I get to work with a great bunch of people - we all share the same idea that people with learning disabilities are entitled to good, positive relationships. I have been working with some of the mentors for five years and have witnessed how they have grown in confidence and ability. One of the greatest benefits of the project is getting our message out to people with learning disabilities and those who support them so that they can understand how to avoid sexual exploitation.