Only Nine Refuge Beds for UK's 100,000 Runaway Children

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St Christopher's releases animations to raise awareness of plight of UK runaways.

Young people's charity St Christopher's Fellowship is set to release a series of animations over the Christmas period, appealing for people to donate and support efforts to help the 100,000 children that runaway each year.

Roy O'Shaughnessy, Director of Development at St Christopher's, says, "Of the 100,000 children under the age of 16 that runaway each year, 15,000 are thrown out by parents who abuse, neglect and reject them. It is illegal in the UK for hostels to allow children of this age to stay without permission of their parents. For many, dedicated refuges are the only safe place that they can turn to."

"St Christopher's runs one of the only such refuges in the UK, with a total of six beds. We receive children from across the UK, however there is currently not capacity for all of the admission requests received, and an urgent need for more beds to provide a safe haven."

Of the young people staying at the St Christopher's Refuge, almost 60 percent of children have runaway as a result of conflict with family members. Seventy-five percent are girls below the age of 16.

Upon admission to the Refuge, children are referred to a doctor if necessary and their needs assessed, paying particular attention to issues of abuse. Parents are informed that their child is safe, but the address is kept confidential.

The 180 Degree campaign will incorporate a number of short films, with youth-styled animation being designed to protect young people's identities as they recount their real-life experiences as a looked after child.

"These animations have allowed us to let the young people talk about their experiences themselves, bringing the challenges they face to life for other people," adds Roy O'Shaughnessy.

Each animation deals with very specific issues that young people can face, from running away from home, to problems with drugs or getting their life back on track.

All animations for the St Christopher's Fellowship 180 Degree campaign have been designed by Dirty UK and produced by Mix TV.

Donations can be made at http://www.stchris.org.uk.

Contact
Graham Lee - E: graham.lee@onlinefirepr.com; M: 07725 783 933
James Fitzgerald - E: james.fitzgerald@onlinefirepr.com; M: 07779 014 796
onlinefire PR

About St Christopher's Fellowship
St Christopher's is a charity and housing association providing care, accommodation, education, training and support to children, young people and vulnerable adults. It runs children's homes, fostering services, supported housing and hostels, along with education, employment training and outreach services.

For more information or to make a donation please call 0208 780 7800, email info@stchris.org.uk or visit http://www.stchris.org.uk

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Graham Lee

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