ACT News 15/02/16

ARC Making a Difference and Tackling Sexual Exploitation in Devon

The Ann Craft Trust is pleased to have supported ARC’s three year project, Helping Each Other, which tackled sexual exploitation of people with learning disabilities. Our CEO, Deborah Kitson, was  a member of the Advisory Group and has seen first-hand how the project has made a positive difference to lives of people with learning disabilities.

“Over the last three years Rod (Landman, ARC) and his team have helped educate and safeguard young people and adults in Devon. Helping Each Other has been crucial in providing an insight in to why people with learning disabilities are at such an increased risk and the benefits of both peer education and raising awareness of professionals.”

The three year project will come to an end in March this year. Below is ARC’s press release – containing information about the celebration events and the positive impact of Helping Each Other.

Note: If you have concerns or need more information about safeguarding people at risk of sexual exploitation contact the ACT team here. If you would like to know more about the specific training we offer around this form of abuse please click here.

ARC Press Release February 1st 2016


Successful and innovative sexual exploitation project for people with learning disabilities in Devon

People with learning disabilities are twice as likely to be sexually abused as the general population. An innovative project in Devon, run by people with learning disabilities has been trying to put a stop to that, and let people know how they can be safer. Devon is the only place in the country where a peer education approach to sexual exploitation has been used.

In 2013, the Association for Real Change ( were awarded funding from Comic Relief for a project that has included both peer education and training for social care staff. Evaluation has shown a seven-fold increase in people with learning disabilities knowing what to do if sexual exploitation becomes an issue for them. Staff have said that the training has had a significant effect on their knowledge, confidence and practice.

The three year project culminates in two celebration events, which will tell people about the teams’ successes, and share the resources they have designed to educate people about sexual exploitation. These take place at Barnstaple Library on March 2 and Plymouth Guildhall on 11th March.

The events are open to social care providers, carers, professionals and people with learning disabilities. If you would like to come please contact Rod Landman at

One of the project workers, Sharon Luke from Braunton, said, “The project is finishing, but we hope that is not the end of the story. We want the work to keep going, so please come and support us on 2nd March.”