Category Archives: Campaigns

Breck’s Last Game – film warns of dangers of online grooming

A film about a 14-year-old boy who was murdered by a man he met online is due to be shown to schoolchildren across the County to help raise awareness of online grooming among boys.

Breck’s Last Game‘ is about Surrey teenager Breck Bednar who was killed by Essex computer engineer Lewis Daynes in 2014.

Daynes ran an online server where Breck, and several of his friends, played games online.

It was through this forum that Daynes groomed Breck over 13 months – telling him a series of lies, turning him against family and friends, and eventually luring him to his flat on the promise of handing over a fake business.

Through the use of avatars, the film captures the events leading up to Breck’s death and also features the real 999 call made to police by Daynes.

The project is the work of an innovative collaboration between four police forces – Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Essex and Surrey – and has been made with the active support of Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave, who appears in the film as herself.

The film was launched on Wednesday 19th September and is being rolled-out to schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, where it will be shown to secondary schoolchildren.

Speaking at the launch of the film, Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon, said: “The launch of Breck’s Last Game is the latest phase in our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of online grooming and child sexual exploitation.

“While Kayleigh’s Love Story was about a local teenager who was groomed over social media, and has been extremely successful in warning children of the dangers of online grooming, Breck’s Last Game tells a slightly different story.

“We recognise that boys are less willing to report CSE and we hope that this film will resonate with them, encourage anyone who is the victim of online grooming to report what is happening to them, and to generate conversations about the dangers posed online, not only in the classroom but also at home.

“I believe that Breck’s Last Game, which will be shown in schools with the right support wrapped around screenings, will do just that.”

Daynes, who was 18 at the time of the offence, was sentenced in 2015 to a minimum of 25 years in prison for Breck’s murder.

’15’ Certificate

The full version of Breck’s Last Games, which carries a warning that, if it were to be screened at a cinema, it would carry a 15 certificate, won’t be released publicly until 2019 to enable it to be shown as part of planned lessons.

Breck’s mother Lorin said: “Breck’s story shows how easily grooming can happen. He met the predator through an online friendship group and would have been flattered to have an intelligent, older mentor helping him expand his gaming skills.

“At the time, I believed the offender was older than he was because he was so controlling and manipulative, even with me, so it’s important for young people to realise not only can predators lie about their age, where they live or who they are online, they can also be a similar age to the victim. They are not always the stereotypical ‘creepy old guy’.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of the fact that boys can be groomed too. Breck’s came after international media surrounding the Rochdale and Rotherham cases, where the victims were all girls. His version wasn’t the ‘typical’ type of grooming people had heard about in the news.

“His story shows even regular school boys can make mistakes if they aren’t educated to recognise the signs of grooming and exploitation.

“I hope through the Breck’s Last Game campaign, young people will take on the real life lessons from Breck’s story so they are able to look after each other, keep safe, and reach their full potentials. Our intention is to educate young people so they are empowered to make safer choices for themselves online.”

Leicestershire PCC helps fund the film

The film has been funded by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach with additional contributions from Surrey, Essex and Northamptonshire police forces.

Lord Bach said: “Every single one of us has a responsibility to protect children and young people from abuse of any kind. As this film evocatively illustrates, abuse is not confined to young girls. Sadly however, many boys and young male victims will suffer in silence rather than seek help which means they don’t receive any support and the perpetrator escapes justice.

“If we can teach young people that all is not always what it seems, we give the knowledge to protect themselves, whether that is on the street or on-line. A film can do this very effectively.

“I also hope that the film will safeguard young males from harm and encourage any victims to speak out and report their experiences, so that we can stamp out this evil behaviour. This is another really good piece of work and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to produce it.”

#IslaStones campaign catches imagination worldwide

Isla Tansley (image 'unknown source')

Isla Tansley, the seven year old girl from Hinckley with a rare form of cancer, has died aged 7 years.

A campaign to remember her has inspired people all over the world to remember her by painting and hiding stones. People were encouraged to photograph, paint and re-hide the stones.

The youngster was the inspiration behind the #islastones campaign which took-off on social media platforms.

Decorated items (mostly stones) include the ‘#IslaStones’ hashtag so anyone finding a hidden article bearing the tag can find out more about the campaign online.

They can also post a picture on a dedicated Facebook group with over 50,000 members.

Cyclists from the Stoney Stanton Velo Club are reported to have placed three stones during their ride up Mont Ventoux in southern France.

The campaign is reported to have even reached the “….snowy climes of Antarctica, where researchers at the Australian Antarctic Division polished a piece of wood and painted it with a pair of penguins and a chick.”

Isla suffered from a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, also known as ‘DIPG’ is the second most common type of primary, high grade brain tumour in children. Following an operation last year, Isla lost feeling in her lower body.

Local Facebook Groups report ‘findings’ and ‘re-hides’

Member of the Facebook Group, ‘All Things Enderby’, Lucy Bloomfield posted “Leia’s stone found in Enderby – rehidden in The Pastures”

Facebook image

Andy Allbut-King, posting on the Facebook Group ‘The Pastures, Narborough’ wrote “Found a stone this morning on The Pastures in Narborough, then I was informed that this little angel had passed. Fly high with the angels my sweet one. Condolences to your mummy and daddy.”

Facebook image #IslaStones

More information on the Facebook Group #IslaStones

Get your wings at the ready, as the Butterfly Walk returns!

Leicester 'Butterfly Walk'This year will see the third annual Leicester Hospitals Charity Butterfly Walk at Leicester Racecourse on Saturday June 9.

Hosted by Leicester Hospitals Charity and the Breast Care Centre at Leicester’s Hospitals, the walk is in aid of raising funds for the unit and raising awareness of the impact of breast cancer.

As the largest screening and symptomatic centre in East Midlands, the unit has made a commitment to make this year’s walk bigger than the last.

Since the unit opened in 1990, attendance has grown, with over 165,000 women invited for a breast screening.

In 2017, over 1000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed within Leicester’s Hospitals, which highlighted a new need for improvements to areas within the unit.

Amanda Gibby, General Manager for Breast Imaging at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer will have a huge impact on any patient’s life.

“1 in 8 women nationally are diagnosed with breast cancer which is why we feel it is important to raise awareness and invite patients, friends and relatives to our Butterfly Walk.

“At our dedicated unit we are able to provide care throughout a patient’s journey. The unit is purpose build for our multidisciplinary teams who investigate, diagnose and treat all patients that come through our doors.

“We want to make sure everyone gets involved and raise as much as possible to help make our unit a calmer space for patients, as well as making the whole unit fit for purpose as needs and demands change.

“At the event there will be live bands, stalls, prizes and lots of things for the whole family to do, so we welcome everyone to join us for a great cause.

“Fancy dress is optional, but there will be lots of pinks, fairy wings, and tutus!”

Jean Smith was diagnosed in April 2017 with breast cancer after finding a lump. She was referred by her GP and received treatment with the unit. After a mastectomy and therapy she is now returning to her normal life. Jean said: “I never thought I was going to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

“When I first arrived at the Breast Care Centre, I felt scared. I knew deep down there was something to worry about.

“The team explained everything to me. The nurses were so kind and they really made a difference.

“I saw the same people each time, walking the corridors and speaking to me like a person rather than a patient.

“The support from the Unit has been incredible; they are always at the end of the phone for not only me, but my family and friends.

“The care I have received has made my life worth living, it has given me life. If I hadn’t of had the care from the Unit, I wouldn’t be here. You have two paths to choose to walk down and I chose the path to survive.

“I will be walking with my husband, who has been my absolute rock, on June 9 to celebrate my life and raise the important awareness and money we need to keep on fighting breast cancer.”

Gez Salt was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2013 and has worked for the NHS since 1991. She was treated by the Breast Care Unit in September 2013 and has since been recovering, returning back to her demanding job. Gez said: “The Unit is truly one of a kind. Every member of staff at Glenfield gave me the support and guidance I needed to navigate my way through an extremely worrying time in my life.

“From my initial appointment, right through to my treatment, I was always made aware of everything that was going to happen.

“Even after, I always felt like I could get in touch with someone to talk through my experiences.

“The Butterfly Walk this year is so important to me. I will be walking, armed with my tutu and wings, with everyone else to not only support the Unit, but also say a huge thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the amazing care I received.”

This year’s Butterfly Walk will be happening on Saturday June 9 at Leicester Racecourse.

Registration is from 10:00 with the main walk starting at 12:00.

» Leicester Hospitals Charity Butterfly Walk

Countesthorpe Brownies get Dementia Aware

Group Picture

A group of Brownies have become the latest people in the district to become dementia aware, gaining a new badge in the process!

The 2nd Countesthorpe Brownies, based at Thistly Meadow Primary School, have been taking on several challenges for their new badge.

From making flowers, creating memory games and hosting a friends and family tea party, the brownies have been learning about living well with dementia.

Their huge efforts have raised over £140 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The badge came from local PCSO Julie Hodkinson, in memory of her friend Winnie.

The project has been funded by Blaby District Council, a partner of the Dementia Action Alliance, and gave a dementia friends talk at the badge-giving celebration event.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health improvement, Leisure and Regulatory Services, who attended the celebration event, said: “I’m so proud to see a group of young people in the district working so hard towards gaining their new badge, and learning so much about being dementia friendly.

“We hope the messages they have taken from this project will be passed onto their friends and families, as we continue our commitment to make as many people in the District of Blaby aware of dementia.”

Charlotte Jeickles, Leader of the 2nd Countesthorpe Brownies, said: “We have enjoyed the dementia awareness challenge and have learnt lots about living well with dementia. The brownies raised £142.50 for the Alzheimer’s Society and really enjoyed being visited by dementia friends.”

The project was first piloted by Hinckley GirlGuiding and the Hinckley & Bosworth Dementia Action Alliance, who put the booklet together and created the badges.

Anyone interested in their local GirlGuiding group taking part in the dementia aware challenge can contact 0116 272 7544 or email leisure@blaby.gov.uk.

[Photo: Blaby District Council]

Stay With Me campaign launches to improve care for patients with dementia

A new initiative to improve the experience of people with dementia, who come into Leicester’s Hospitals, will be officially launched by Nicci Gerrard, founder of John’s Campaign and Julie Smith Chief Nurse, at Leicester’s Hospitals Champions Celebration Event on Wednesday, 13th September.

This inspiring initiative will be called ‘Stay with Me’, and will be rolled out over the next month into all wards and clinical areas.

The Champions Celebration Event is taking place during Older People’s Month 2017 to celebrate the hard work and support Dementia and Older People Champions provide for older people and people with dementia in and around Leicester’s Hospitals.

The principles of ‘Stay with Me’ were inspired by John’s Campaign, a national initiative founded by Nicci Gerrard in memory of Nicci’s father, Dr John Gerrard.

Justine Allen, from the Patient Experience Team explains:

“We’ve developed our initiative from the campaigns statement of purpose, ‘Stay with Me’. The ethos of ‘Stay with Me’ is to help create a welcoming environment on all hospital wards where there are no barriers for family  who wish to stay beyond visiting times for patients with dementia.

“There is a wealth of evidence to suggest patients with dementia who are often frail, vulnerable adults have much more positive outcomes if they are with people they are most familiar with.

“The principles behind this campaign are very simple and similar to that of our existing Carers Charter; to allow family, carers and friends to help support vulnerable patients so it made sense to trial the campaign to see if it could enhance what we already do.”

Throughout June and July 2017, the initiative was piloted on wards 32, 33 and 36 at Leicester Royal Infirmary to see how it works in practice, and to identify possible barriers and difficulties.

During the pilot, staff welcomed carers, friends and family onto the wards beyond standard visiting hours and worked in partnership with families to help provide the best possible care for the patient.

Over 1,400 patients were admitted through the three wards, of which 14 patients had a diagnosis of dementia and had family  who were supported by the scheme to stay beyond visiting times with the patient.

Justine continues:

“Where patients may need some extra support, we have found this is often best placed to come from someone they know and love. Being in hospital can be an emotional and overwhelming experience, especially for patients with dementia.

“Having a familiar face by your side to help with getting dressed, eating or by just simply being there for company and reassurance, can make a huge difference to health and recovery.”

The results of the pilot were overwhelmingly positive and showed excellent engagement with staff from start to finish. Carer and family feedback also suggested they felt more supported and involved.

For further information about John’s Campaign, please visit www.johnscampaign.org.uk

[Source: University Hospitals Leicester Communications | Logo and slogan artwork by Claudia Myatt]