The Phoenix Project
93.3% of females and 94.4% of males under 18 said that there would be barriers preventing them from disclosing abuse
The Phoenix Project is a confidential service to support children, young people and their families who are at risk of or affected by Childhood Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
The project supports children and young people aged 8 -17 to make positive choices about healthy relationships and personal safety. We also provide a package of support for parents and carers to help them understand childhood sexual exploitation and to safeguard the children and young people in their care.
Spurgeons has been running the project across Birmingham since 2013, with funding support from Comic Relief, a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities grant and the Esme Fairbairn Foundation.
What is Childhood Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for money, drugs, alcohol, gifts, affection or status, among other things. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.
The warning signs of CSE can include:
The child goes missing
They receive unexplained gifts
They become associated with a gang
Their mood changes or they may have a low mood or depression
They misuse drugs and/or alcohol
They miss school
They become secretive
They demonstrate inappropriate sexualised behaviour
They have sexual health issues
They become vulnerable through internet or social networking sites
Our service programmes are individually designed to make sure we can be effective within the local community and provide support to fulfil each individual's needs.
The range of services at one of our Children's Centres typically includes:
Young Parents Group
Stay and play sessions
Father support groups
Supporting parent and child relationships, family therapy, nurturing
Helping parents return to work
How does the Phoenix Project help?
Weekly support for young people - Phoenix provides weekly support sessions to young people who are vulnerable to CSE. This includes helping them understand:
Awareness sessions for practitioners
we also deliver awareness raising sessions for practitioners and young people in schools.
Healthy and unhealthy relationships
Grooming in relationships
Consent and the law
How to stay safe online
Advice and support for parents
we provide targeted work with parents and carers including:
CSE awareness training
Understanding and living with the risks and safety plans
Abusive relationships and grooming
Internet and E-safety
Consent and the law
To find out more about the Phoenix Project, download one of our leaflets:
If you know someone who is affected by or at risk of CSE, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 638 0876. We accept referrals from organisations and individuals.
What people say about the Phoenix Project
“[Phoenix] has provided an invaluable service…there would be an enormous gap without the Project.”
– Birmingham Safeguarding Family Support Team
"[The family support was] very useful…things was explained in detail and made me feel a lot better.”
"[Phoenix Project worker] showed me about relationships and patterns of behaviour and victimisation - it was like a profile of my situation. They’re helping me.”
– Young person