Jenny Agutter appeals for your help this Christmas

This Christmas, can you help a vulnerable young person like Shelley get her life back on track?

17-year old Shelley was viciously bullied by a group of young people on her estate. With no family support and looking for protection, she started hanging around with a group of older boys. One appeared to take a shine to her and spoiled her with gifts. He asked for favours in return – things like getting her to hide money and drugs at home. It didn’t matter he belonged to a gang – she really loved him.

But things started to go wrong after Shelley’s mum kicked her out and she moved in with her boyfriend. He forced Shelley to deal drugs in dangerous, filthy crack houses. She was brutally raped when she refused to have sex with other gang members.

Then Shelley met Sandra from St Giles Trust. Shelley felt like she could really speak to her. Sandra knew exactly how difficult it is to safely leave a gang and build a new life.

First, Sandra helped Shelley escape and find a safe place to stay elsewhere. She offered her a sympathetic ear and someone to confide in. She helped Shelley realise that she had real potential and a lot to offer. After encouraging her to focus on the future and apply for college, things are now looking up for Shelley. Sandra continues to keep in regular contact to help her stay on track.

St Giles Trust works with many highly vulnerable young women like Shelley who are being groomed and exploited. These are young girls who should have their whole lives ahead of them. But they are at terrible risk of violence and abuse.

With your support St Giles Trust offers them a lifeline.

No-one is a lost cause to us. Please donate here to give young women like Shelley the gift of a safe and happy future this Christmas.

Jenny Agutter OBE, St Giles Trust Patron.