EPIC Virtual Reality to highlight child criminal exploitation

EPIC Doncaster, part of Doncaster Children’s Services is bringing awareness to child criminal exploitation to life through a virtual reality performance.

Launching at Cast theatre this week, the new immersive and interactive learning experience aims to explain the signs, risks and dangers to children who may be vulnerable or exploitation, especially county lines.

Developed by the organisations as a result of two young peoples lived experiences, over 100 guests, including multiple representatives from 10 schools across Doncaster and Sheffield had the opportunity to experience first-hand the virtual reality drama.

The EPIC team have developed this experience in partnership with Nesta, South Yorkshire Police and have been funded by the Home Office as part of a community response to help spot the signs of child criminal exploitation across Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.

Following the event, the virtual headset experience and production will tour schools across Yorkshire until early October highlighting the risks to entire year groups across the boroughs.

Launching this project after a small delay due to Covid-19, Marcus Isman-Egal, EPIC Programme Manager for Doncaster said:

“We are delighted to be offering this new educational resource to young people, parents and professionals across these local authorities. County lines is not a unique experience, it is a common occurrence that is likely to affect someone we come into contact with so our training will allow us to provide this further support across the regions, improving care and outcomes for young people.”

James Thomas, Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust said: “The development of this exciting new initiative is welcomed and we are delighted to be working with our partners to provide this education and additional support across the Borough.”

Following the launch event at CAST, the drama and VR workshop will be used as an educational resources supporting schools to highlight the risk associated with county lines and child criminal exploitation.

To find out more about EPIC Doncaster and the work they do to please visit: www.epicdoncaster.co.uk

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