Les­ley Rudd

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

LES­LEY Rudd is a for­mer nurse from Farn­ham Com­mon who has helped pro­tect more than 800,000 young chil­dren from abuse.

Af­ter read­ing about about hor­rific sto­ries of abuse suf­fered by chil­dren in South Africa in 2004, Les­ley Rudd set up the In­fant Trust to help pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren from bru­tal­ity and vi­o­lence and help pre­vent in­fant rape.

The trust fo­cuses on em­pow­er­ing peo­ple to iden­tify pos­si­ble abuse and act on their sus­pi­cions, prov­ing train­ing in run­ning crèches as places of safety and healthy development and has now worked in five of the poor­est prov­inces.

All of the projects are run in part­ner­ship with lo­cal groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity, and Les­ley has been proac­tive in all of the projects.

Their flag­ship Car­ing for Crèches pro­gramme, de­vel­oped with Childline South Africa, is a free six­day train­ing pro­gramme which in­structs crèche lead­ers and car­ers in child care, health, nutri­tion and how to recog­nise and re­act ap­pro­pri­ately to sus­pected abuse.

This pro­gramme has trained around 2,200 women, iden­ti­fied more than 3,000 chil­dren who have been aban­doned and/or abused, helped to pro­tect over 106,000 small chil­dren and oth­ers in their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

Les­ley also sup­ports nu­mer­ous other projects which in­clude pro­vid­ing ther­apy and sup­port pro­grammes for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies who have suf­fered abuse along with a project which col­lects toys to pass on to trau­ma­tised young chil­dren.

The In­fant Trust also runs train­ing cour­ses for com­mu­nity vol­un­teers and so­cial work­ers, and car­ries out re­search into the crimes.

For­mer prime min­is­ter David Cameron said: “With the In­fant Trust Les­ley has em­pow­ered thou­sands of women across South Africa to pro­tect and safe­guard chil­dren in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“The ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing she has pro­vided has helped to im­prove the lives of over 800,000 chil­dren, tack­ling the vi­o­lence and abuse that af­fects too many of them in their early years. I am de­lighted to recog­nise all that Les­ley has done with the UK’s 489th Point of Light.”

Les­ley said: “It is a huge hon­our to be given this award in recog­ni­tion of the work we have been do­ing for 11 years.

“Whilst our fo­cus is al­ways on how we can work to help pro­tect more chil­dren, and help to break the cy­cle of vi­o­lence against the most vul­ner­a­ble in South Africa it is very re­ward­ing to have our work recog­nised in the UK.”

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