More than 290 adults* and children in Cumbria have taken part in an NSPCC service to help them overcome harmful or potentially harmful sexual behaviour.
Turn The Page is a treatment programme which helps young people aged 5 to 18 who have shown evidence of harmful sexual behaviour – such as viewing extreme pornography or indecent images of children, or sexting or touching other children in inappropriate ways – improve their psychological wellbeing and increase their optimism for the future.
The service – which only runs at nine centres around the UK – started in Cumbria in January 2010, with the team based at the Carlisle Service Centre working across the whole county.
Since then, 291 adults and young people have been helped through Turn The Page, which involves 30 weekly sessions with specially-trained practitioners as well as projects for service users to carry out at home.
Practitioners talk to the children about their strengths, help them feel better about themselves and learn to handle problems and challenges positively.
The service also helps them understand the risks and dangers of harmful sexual behaviour, work on self-regulation, and make and form positive relationships. The practitioners also support schools and other professionals around the region to help them deal with training and consultation around harmful sexual behaviour.
Rebecca Lynch, Children’s Service practitioner at the NSPCC’s Carlisle service centre, said Turn The Page was a hugely important service for young people in the area.
Rebecca said: “Turn The Page helps young people to understand the difference between potentially harmful behaviour and healthy relationships. It also helps them to move forwards with their lives with a more positive outlook.
“Our practitioners here in Cumbria do an amazing job, and thanks to their efforts and the engagement of service users, there are now 291 young people and adults who are better prepared to understand and feel better about themselves, handle problems positively, and move on with healthy relationships.”
To find out more about the NSPCC and the services it offers, go to www.nspcc.co.uk/what-we-do
*Since 2010, 271 children and 20 adults have received counselling from NSPCC Turn The Page practitioners. The adults refer to parents or carers who also received sessions to help them better support their child.