New school play highlights child sexual exploitation concerns in Bedfordshire

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Educational play, Chelsea’s Choice highlights the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation.

This week, Wootton Upper School hosted a production of ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ for pupils, parents, carers and professionals working with young people.

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, was in attendance for his first ever viewing of the powerful play.

Chelsea’s Choice is currently being performed in upper, secondary and special schools across the area.

The production shows how young people, boys and girls, are groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives.

It tells the harrowing true story of a young girl ‘Chelsea’ from Northamptonshire who was groomed and held captive for the sexual gratification of her captors.

Michael Gleeson, principal of Wootton Upper School, said: “We are grateful to Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board for funding this production across all Bedford Borough schools with Year 9 children.

“The powerful portrayal of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Chelsea’s Choice really makes an important part in keeping our children safe from the risks of CSE. We would encourage parents and carers to try to attend a public performance.”

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This is a hard-hitting and harrowing play, but it serves a hugely important purpose.

“Raising awareness of the psychological techniques used by those willing to exploit children and young people is an important part of the crucial work to stop this appalling crime.”

By the end of the three-week run it is expected that more than 2,500 pupils across Years 9 to 14 will have seen the production by Alter Ego.

For more info on Chelsea’s Choice, visit www.alteregocreativesolutions.co.uk/chelseas-choice/