The woman who played a key role in exposing the Rotherham grooming scandal has won recognition for her ‘extraordinary bravery’.
Jayne Senior was given an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Good Housekeeping Women of the Year awards in London.
She ran the Risky Business outreach service in Rotherham and after police and the local council failed to take action against abusers, worked with Times journalist Andrew Norfolk to expose the scandal.
Articles that ran in The Times contributed to Rotherham Council ordering an inquiry by Professor Alexis Jay.
The Jay report went on to reveal that at least 1,400 children in the town had been victims of sexual exploitation and had been let down by those supposed to protect them.
Jayne is now working to support survivors living in the town to rebuild their lives.
She said she was honoured to have been given the recognition.
Jayne said: “A new journey has begun for me now and hopefully for Rotherham.
“I hope it will be seen one day as the town that gets it right, as it develops new services based on the voices of those affected by abuse.
“I give a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone, including those 1,400 children who trusted me and my team to believe their stories.”
Jane Luca, chair of Women of the Year awards, said: “I am extremely proud to be chair of Women of the Year and able to give recognition to such extraordinary and selfless women such as Jayne Senior. Her tireless work campaigning for the victims of child abuse in Rotherham is truly inspirational.”
Lindsay Nicholson, editorial director of Good Housekeeping, said: “We are proud to honour campaigner Jayne Senior, who has shown extraordinary courage and commitment in fighting for 16 years to protect vulnerable girls in Rotherham from ruthless, organised sexual exploitation by a network of paedophiles.
“She was accused of lying, exaggerating and was even sacked in an attempt to silence her.
“She stuck to her guns and eventually police, social work and council bosses resigned, and the National Crime Agency has since moved in to investigate.
“We salute Jayne’s bravery and persistence in giving a voice to 1,400 victims.”
The judging panel for the awards included Sandi Toksvig, Dame Tessa Jowell MP and Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE.