11 Jun 2009

The Children's Society has taken to the airwaves in the North West of England as part our new partnership with Bauer Media, a multi-platform UK-based media group to raise money for The Children's Society Lancashire Project.

The Children's Society Lancashire project has been chosen to benefit from Bauer Media’s Preston-based radio station, Rock FM. the fundraising appeal launched on air on Monday 8 June 2009, with an interview with Pauline Geraghty, Programme Manager on Rock FM's breakfast show yesterday morning.

Preston-based Rock FM is launching its latest Cash 4 Kids appeal, pledging to raise £30,000 for the project this Summer.
Pauline's interview was repeated throughout the day on Monday 8 June and again on Tuesday 9 June calling for listeners to ring in with ideas on how the station could raise the money.

The campaign is being given a further boost by a host of our celebrity supporters including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Andrew Flintoff and Jessica Taylor (Liberty X) who have all recorded goodwill messages to be broadcast throughout the campaign.

This morning (Tuesday 11 June) Rock FM’s breakfast show host, Adam, interviewed Louise this morning. Louise’s story really captured the hearts of Rock FM’s listeners. Here is a transcript of the interview and, below, we have reproduced some of the many emails and texts that concerned listeners sent into the show soon afterwards.

Interview with Louise, young person from Lancashire Children’s Rights project.

Adam: When did all your problems start?
Louise: around the age of 13.
A: You started running away from home at the age of 13?
L: Yeah.
A: How long were you on the streets for?
L: Sometimes an hour, sometimes a week.
A: So for a period of a week, where would you end up sleeping? Did you ever spend a night on the streets alone?
L: yeah I have done.
A: Where would you find refuge? Where would you end up sleeping, in parks?
L: Once I stopped in a lobby, you know in between the houses.
A: All on your own?
L: yeah
A: When you’re stopping on the streets, what state of mind are you in?
L: Frustrated, angry.
A: When people are on the streets they can often turn to crime. Did anything like that happen to you?
L: Yeah, for money or drugs.
A: So from a girl who’s had quite a normal up-bringing at home, you found yourself on the streets and turned to crime.
L: Yeah
A: were you influenced by older people?
L: Yeah definitely. People who were older would give me drugs, and stuff so I would have to come back and buy them. They would give them to me for free and get me hooked. Some may have given me drugs to abuse me which led to people using me for money or whatever. I was properly young, only 16 and I got on heroine. It led to a lot of people using me. In that time a lot of things happened, like being kidnapped. All sorts and older people taking advantage.
A: Over the last six years you’re life had gone full circle hasn’t it?
L: I’m at uni doing a degree and I’ve just finished my first year. I’m studying Criminology.
A: Fantastic! You using your own experiences and helping other people in the future.
L: Yeah.
A: With the help of Lancashire Children’s Rights project would you have believed this was possible 6 years ago?
L: I didn’t even think about it.
A: And now you can see a future, which is always good.
L: yeah
A: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us today. Hopefully the people of Lancashire will help us to raise £30,000 to help people like yourself and turn a few lives around. THANK YOU LOUISE.

Below are the texts received by ROCK FM following the interview.

· Rock. I am that touched by that poor girls story if i had 30 grand i would give it u myself. I wish her all the luck in the world.

· Rock every credit to louise to managing to turn her life around with some help from the childrens society. From rik 22 in leyland.

· Rock. I would be very up for jumping out of a plane to raise money for the charity its touched my heart and would do this for them even though am petrified of heights! Think if we got all listeners involved we could make some money for then. Peri

· Rock. It will av 2 work! i know they’re good people who dont av much themselves and think a pound wont help but it will, it breaks my heart that people are living on the street at any age. I was sat in my car havin a coffee when i heard the sad story this morning and realised that if we all just gave a little it would make a difference. Paula

In addition The Children’s Society received an email this morning from a listener wanting to volunteer to help. See below.

I am writing to enquire about possibilities of volunteering within the Childrens Society in Lancashire. I have heard an appeal on local radio this morning 'Rock FM' and wonder whether I could be of any help. …Although I have no experience of working directly with children, I would be willing to undertake any training necessary, but I firmly believe that being listened to is the most powerful and life changing thing that anyone can do for someone.

Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact The Children's Society Media Office on 020 7841 4422 or mea@childsoc.org.uk