A fund to help the victims of child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire has already attracted more than £70,000.
Rotherham Council has given £20,000 to the South Yorkshire Community Foundation’s child sexual exploitation fund – and an anonymous donor has given £50,000.
The fund was set up following the publication of Professor Alexis Jay’s report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which revealed 1,400 children had been abused mainly by Pakistani men over 16 years.
Businesses and individuals were urged to donate to the fund when it was officially launched at the High Sheriff luncheon at Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield.
It will be available to community groups and charities working in supporting vulnerable young people not only in Rotherham but South Yorkshire.
John Bramah, the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, said: “This is a problem which affects the whole of South Yorkshire, in fact much of England. Taxis and buses don’t stop at the border of Rotherham or anywhere else.”
He added: “The leaders of the SYCF now believe it is time to apply foresight rather than hindsight. The fund is to help all those whose lives have been traumatised by abuse in all its degrees.”
Mr Bramah said it was not clear yet how the money would be used to fulfil its aim, because the crisis is different from what had been experienced before.
“It’s subtle and it’s silent and there are no pictures which you can relate to,” he added.
David Sheepshanks, chairman of the UK Community Foundations, said foundations like the SYCF were the ‘social glue’ of communities and have donated more than £1 billion to charities and voluntary organisations.
n To donate visit South Yorkshire Community Foundation at any Yorkshire Bank with cheques payable to SYCF CSE Fund, or post to South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Unit 3 G1 Building, 6 Leeds Road, Sheffield, S9 3TY.