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Charity tackling child abuse awarded funding for Croydon and East London project

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A leading children’s charity has received £270,000  towards an initiative in London tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder and London’s largest independent grant giver, City Bridge Trust, has awarded the money to the NSPCC’s Protect and Respect service which is offered in the Croydon and East London areas.

Over the course of six months the service provides help and support to young people aged 11 to 19 who have been, or are at risk of being sexually exploited. The grant will support the project, specifically in secondary schools in London, and will help to improve how CSE is dealt with in communities. 

Defining CSE as a form of abuse has been a major aspect of this project. The work in Croydon and East London form part of the development of a Theory of Change (ToC). The ToC hopes to have a significant impact on national practice supporting young people experiencing CSE.

Met Police figures show almost 1,000 cases of CSE were reported in London in the last year, a 50% increase between 2014 and 2016. This is due in part as a result of the work of the Protect and Respect service.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, commented:

“This charity is one of the leading organisations in this field of work and is looking to make positive change in how we deal with Child Sexual Exploitation through nationwide policy.

“This project has already been successful in supporting NSPCC’s wider aim to end cruelty to children. Our support will allow the work to develop and expand, and hopefully reach more vulnerable young people.”

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”


Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, added:

“Often, young people will not recognise that what is being done to them is wrong, with groomers tricking them into believing that they have chosen to be in this situation. We want every child to be able to spot exploitation for what it is and, if they find themselves in danger, to know that it is categorically not their fault.

“Our Protect and Respect service shows them how to spot potential abusers, find their way out of an exploitative cycle and help them on the road to recovery.

“Together, we will work to protect children at risk of sexual exploitation in London, help those who have been abused to get back on track, whilst supporting professionals from across teaching, social work, policing and other sectors to keep many more children safe in the future.”


City Bridge Trust makes grants totalling around £20 million per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.

The charitable funder has awarded more than 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners 

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