A Derby-based charity is asking people to be a Festive Fool for the day to raise money for its specialist work across the city and county to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Safe and Sound’s Festive Fool Fortnight, which this year will run from December 10 and 21, has been held for the past two years.
Supporters have previously raised thousands of pounds to fund the charity’s work with victims and young people at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as far-reaching education and awareness raising amongst local communities and with fellow professionals.
Individuals, teams or entire workforces can sign up for the sponsored Festive Fool challenge and wear a festive outfit for the day during the fortnight.
Everyone is encouraged to post their Christmas creations online under #FestiveFool and the best outfit will win a bluetooth speaker donated by Derby business Century Mobile which is a long-time corporate supporter of the charity.
Festive Fool is the brainchild of Safe and Sound marketing manager Rhiannon Hulse who has dressed up in different costumes herself to support the initiative in previous years.
Rhiannon explained: “We were delighted with the response last year from a wide range of individuals and businesses as well as BBC’s ‘Three Girls’ actress Molly Windsor, Great British Bake Off’s Andrew Smyth and local comedy legend Isy Suttie.
“Although this is a light-hearted campaign – Festive Fool Fortnight supports a very serious issue which deeply affects all sections of our local communities.
“All of the money raised goes directly into our specialist work to support young people aged 18 and under across Derby and Derbyshire who are experiencing or are at risk of being groomed, raped and sexually exploited.
“Just £50 provides a vulnerable young person with a vital first session of support. Moving forwards, the process to move them to a place of physical, mental and emotional safety and help them come to terms with their experiences is complex, highly skilled and costs, on average, £1,800 per young person.
“Our supporters’ ‘foolishness’ therefore really makes a difference to the lives of many local young people.”