“SCARPA Squad is a respectful, fair, equal and non-judgmental place that helps other young people to stay safe by inspiring them to want something better.”
(SCARPA Squad 2014)
I first heard about the work of SCARPA Squad through UK Youth's 'Hearing Unheard Voices' Awards in 2012. I met some of the group over the summer and took their portraits as part of the 'Young Advocates' series for the 'Evolving In Conversation' Commission from Photoworks and Brighton and Hove Library.
As a project SCARPA works with young people who go missing and/or are at risk of sexual exploitation, they offer 1-1 support to young people around keeping themselves safe from harm and reducing any risky behaviours they may find themselves involved with.
SCARPA Squad is the group work aspect of the service, aimed at continuing to support young people who have previously accessed 1-1 support, acting as a stepping stone through the SCARPA service.
The young people offer peer support to each other as well as being involved in other work such as influencing local and national research and practice and policy around issues of missing and sexual exploitation.
The portraits are on show at Brighton Photography Biennial this Friday, October 3rd through to November 2nd as part of the Evolving in Conversation Commission, more information here: