Guests joined Sam the Mascot and the SAFE@LAST team for an afternoon of live music and performances including local artist Jay Mya, stalls, appearances from Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, fairground rides, face painting and more, while tucking into cream tea, ice cream and a BBQ in the sun.
The helpline was launched in 2004 and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Young people can contact the helpline for free via phone, text or web chat for help and advice around running away. In ten years, SAFE@LAST has answered over 4,250 contacts from young people (calls, texts, web chats and Ask Ali’s – our online Agony Aunt) and hundreds of volunteers have supported the service responding to young people’s needs.
Our Founder, Hilary Massarella, said: “We’re delighted that so many people came to the gala day to show their support for SAFE@LAST and the young people we work with. For me it was the perfect celebration rooted in the community that took SAFE@LAST to its heart from the very beginning. The event gave us the opportunity to celebrate our roots as well as our success.
I was very touched that a little girl approached me at the event and gave me her holiday spending money towards our helpline appeal. I am proud to be able to reassure that little girl and everyone that supports SAFE@LAST that their donation will ensure lots of children can get help when they need it most. This act of kindness and generosity reflects how much we mean to local people and how important they are to us.”
She added “The team at SAFE@LAST worked very hard, on top of everything else that still has to continue, to make this day happen and I feel so proud and thankful that SAFE@LAST is in the hands of such a totally fabulous group of people.”
The helpline costs £27,500 to run each year.