A children’s charity is seeking help to support the hundreds of youngsters who run away from home in Chorley.
The Children’s Society says 1,623 Chorley children run away each year and many will spend Christmas away from home.
Often they want to escape conflict at home, especially during the festive period, and may decide to stay with strangers or on the streets.
But 11 per cent of runaway children in England are hurt and they are at risk of sexual exploitation, becoming involved in gangs or developing drug and alcohol problems.
The Children’s Society‘s Street Safe project works with children who have run away to support them and help to keep them safe. The charity has launched its Safe At Christmas appeal and is calling on people to make a donation to support vulnerable children.
Stela Stansfield, Street Safe service co-ordinator, said: “Unfortunately we are seeing too many young people in Lancashire on the streets and at risk of serious harm by adults looking to exploit their vulnerability. Our projects work to reduce the dangers children are exposed to and offer them advice and support to get them back on track.
“Money raised through Safe At Christmas will go towards our work which is especially important at Christmas time when the weather is cold and the feelings of loneliness can be most severe.”
To support the appeal, go to www.childrenssociety.org.uk/safe or text CHILD to 70020 to donate £3. Alternatively, visit the charity’s shop on Flat Iron Parade in Chorley.