A girl, Rosie, with her head leaning against a doorway

Young runaways like Rosie face violence and abuse on the streets

Over 5000 desperate children ended up on the streets last Christmas. We’re urgently working to prevent this happening this year to children like Rosie.

Rosie's story

Rosie hadn’t planned what she would do when she ran away, she just had to escape the violence. Cold, hungry and lonely, she wandered the freezing streets with no idea where to go.

Child abusers look out for runaways – as they’re often so vulnerable that they mistake attention for kindness. So when a group of older men approached Rosie and said she could come back to their house for something to eat, she gratefully agreed to go with them.

They took her to a squat. There were people arguing, taking drugs and drinking alcohol in every room – and it quickly became clear to Rosie that none of them wanted to help her.

They tried to get her drunk and Rosie didn’t know how to get away.

Our safety net supports young runaways like Rosie

Thankfully, a member of the public had seen Rosie being taken away and called 999. The police took Rosie from the squat and called one of our projects, and we quickly sent a project worker, Claire, to help Rosie.

Thousands of children like Rosie will run away from home over the Christmas period – and we must keep them safe. Will you help us with a donation? 

Providing guidance

Claire saw that Rosie was at great risk. She couldn’t go home, and she certainly couldn’t stay on the streets. So we were able to arrange somewhere safe for Rosie to stay over Christmas, where she’d be warm and well fed. But Rosie needed more - she was traumatised and needed someone she could trust to talk to. So Claire arranged to meet her to help her start coming to terms with her experiences.

In one-to-one sessions arranged just for her, Rosie told Claire why she had run away – and what happened at the squat. It was such a relief for Rosie to find an adult who listened and who wanted to help. In time, Rosie decided that she wanted to live with her paternal grandparents, who live in the same city. They had no idea what had been going on and were anxious to take Rosie in.

Runaway children like Rosie go through horrendous experiences on the streets. We can protect them – but only with your support. Will you help us with a Christmas gift? 

We continue to support Rosie

Last year, Rosie couldn’t imagine putting up stockings, ready to be filled with presents by a loving family. But thanks to supporters like you, things are very different this year.

Since working with Claire, Rosie is much happier. She’s doing well at school and has made a good group of new friends. She’s even the star player of the school netball team. And Rosie knows she can still see Claire any time she needs.

Whatever you are able to give this Christmas could help us protect another runaway child from the same dangers Rosie faced. Thank you in advance of your generosity.

Button that reads 'Donate now'

Button that reads 'Donate now'


Rosie after running away last December

Rosie huddled under a blanket

Rosie huddled in a disused building

Rosie approached by a man

Rosie approached by a man

Button that reads 'Donate now'


Rosie and her grandmother

This year, with help from her project worker, Rosie and her grandmother look forward to a better, more safe Christmas

Runaways in your area

Over 5000 desperate children ended up on the streets last Christmas. We’re urgently working to prevent this happening this year.

Use our map to find out the number of children in your area who will run away this Christmas.

Figures on the map have been estimated on the basis of our survey work with young people across the country. You can read a full explanation of how we calculated them.


Find out more

Read Rosie's story

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