I had the distinct pleasure to perform at the 30th Anniversary of the Ann Craft Trust, which engages in dedicated work to provide guidance, research, and policy inputs around safeguarding.
The trust is a national charity which exists to minimise the risk of abuse of disabled children and adults at risk. Its world leading research focusses on forced marriage, child sexual abuse, domestic abuse, financial abuse, and disability hate crime. The Trust was established in 1992 by Dr Ann Craft (left image below), a specialist in disability. Ann Parke (right image below) led the Trust between 1997 and 2002, followed by Deborah Kitson (middle image below).
The Anniversary event also celebrated the retirement of Deborah Kitson , who has had an unstinting commitment to safeguarding work, leading the Trust for 20 years.
The evening included a gathering of the fabulous staff at the Trust, its patrons, and many supporters. In many ways, the work of the Trust remains unseen, as deep research, confidential interviews, and policy advice are carried out on this significant and troubling topic.
Their work has extended to safeguarding in sports, education, professional organisations, magic societies, and other organisations, where the risk of abuse against vulnerable individuals remains high. Contexts and settings in which interpersonal trust and relationships are assumed to be safe, can at times be compromised and exploited, where victims and survivors find little to no support, or legal recourse.
The work of the Trust sheds an important light on these risks and advocates for legal change, raises awareness in the public consciousness, and works with survivors of abuse.
Events such as these are a combination of celebrating the long years of dedication and hard work of the staff and supporters, while remaining mindful and respectful of all the victims and survivors who have been supported. Moreover, the work of the Trust is also preventive through its research, awareness raising, training, and impact.
Magic provides light relief, but also an alternative way to communicate during our difficult times. The guests should all be celebrated for their hard work in this area. It was an honour and a pleasure to join in these celebrations.
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