BEAM

PROJECT

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1 in 20 children are

sexually abused*

And that’s only a conservative estimate.

We’ve lived it. Now we help you to ​stop it.

No more shame. No more secrets.

Our mission is to reduce the incidence of ​child sexual abuse. We do this through ​professional training, policy advocacy and ​awareness campaigns.


We are driven by the notion of what we ​think would have helped us.


Children often struggle to disclose sexual ​abuse due to the shame and sense of ​responsibility instilled by abusers. They rely ​on adults to intervene. Our training equips ​frontline professionals with the skills and ​understanding necessary to pre-empt and ​overcome these barriers, maximising the ​likelihood that children will feel safe enough ​to disclose.


Disclosure is the goal. We want to know that ​participants have taken our insights on ​board and enabled disclosures which ​otherwise would not have happened at that ​time. Our training is therefore followed up ​with an extensive feedback process and the ​option of further support.


‘I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Siobhan since ​2018, when I was the National Lead for CSA for NHS England. She is ​professional, clear, articulate and inspiring. Her ability to inspire staff ​to place children at the centre of their work is outstanding.’


- Lisa Cooper, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Proud winners of the

Stephen Lloyd Awards 2024!

Will you #DareToAsk if a child is ​being sexually abused?

We offer a one-day (09:30-17:00) workshop, delivered live anywhere in the UK, ​and suitable for up to 60 participants. It’s called ‘Dare To Ask,’ because that’s ​what we want frontline professionals to be willing and able to do as a result of ​our work.


The topics we cover are as follows:


  • Our personal accounts of abuse, including why we kept it a secret, missed ​opportunities, and what helped us to eventually speak out.
  • The reasons why children find it so hard to tell you if they’re being abused.
  • How to help the children in your care to disclose, despite the barriers they ​face; specific examples of what to say, without asking leading questions. ​We wish someone had said these things to us!
  • How to respond supportively when a child trusts you with a disclosure.


The workshop includes plenty of group discussion and feedback, such as a ​role-play exercise in which we demonstrate the various reactions children get ​to disclosures, ranging from seriously unhelpful to excellent.


Our standard fee for a Dare To Ask workshop is £3800*, which includes:


  • A day of survivor-led training with a focus on helping children to disclose.
  • Facilitation by three trainers who all have direct experience of child sexual ​abuse.
  • Trainer expenses, including travel from London + accommodation.
  • Our follow-up process, including a 30min check-in with Siobhan 1-3 months ​post-training to understand how your organisation has integrated the ​learning into its practices, and whether any disclosures have been made ​since.


*We are offering a discounted ‘pilot’ rate of £3200 until the end of 2025.


All you need to provide is a space for us to work!


‘The three of you have been so open and honest. It has had a major ​impact. I’ve never been on a training like this before!’


- Jacqueline, #DaretoAskMerton participant.


Our team

Tim Verity is a journalist and writer who has ​worked in regional and national news media since ​2010. He is also a survivor of child sexual abuse and, ​in 2017, successfully prosecuted the relative who ​abused him as a child.

Margo Horsley is the founder of youth charity ​Fixers and an advocate for ‘voice as value’ and the ​impact it can have on people and society. She has ​had a 'high-profile' career in broadcasting and ​social action, and joins us as a Director.

David Miles is a marketing consultant and ​trainer. He works with us to help raise ​awareness of how abusers operate, and to ​campaign for the introduction of mandatory ​reporting laws.

Siobhan Ballan (born Pyburn) became the ​youngest survivor of child sexual abuse to speak ​out publicly in 2008, when she shared her story on ​regional television in the UK at the age of 17. ​Becoming a mother recently has strengthened ​Siobhan’s motivation to deliver powerful live ​training which puts direct experience at the heart ​of everything we do.



Could you be our next trainer?

As part of our mission to reduce child sexual abuse, we anticipate a need for ​new trainers towards the end of 2025. We will be looking for people who are ​able to talk about their experiences of child sexual abuse to a room full of ​strangers, which is no small ask! So far, we have enjoyed the opportunity to turn ​our collective childhood trauma into something beneficial, with a view to ​reducing the suffering of today’s children. If you think this might be for you, ​write to us at info@beamproject.org. P.S Time is money, so our trainers get ​paid.

Our values

The following principles underpin all of our work:


1. ‘Nothing about us, without us!’ SURVIVOR ENGAGEMENT is a top priority and, in ​the longer term, we will look at how we can get more survivors involved. For now, ​our starting team includes those who have delivered training with us in Beam ​Project’s previous iterations. Siobhan and Tim have direct experience of abuse ​within the family, whereas David’s personal experience is of abuse within an ​institutional (school) setting.


2. TRANSPARENCY. We have hidden a terrible secret for most of our childhood ​and we aren’t hiding anymore. We welcome participants to ask us anything ​during our training. That also goes for how our organisation is run: we will share ​everything from our annual report to our pricing and strategy, where not listed ​publicly then available on request. Please let Siobhan know, for example, if you ​would like to see scans of the original feedback forms from our training events ​held in 2017-2019 which say things like:


very inspiring and illuminating, emotive issue but presented in a very effective ​manner,’ and ‘your input and honesty, learning, developmental areas, and ​overall presentation will be invaluable to their [child protection police officers’] ​training’.


Short of inventing a time machine to show you our previous live events, we will ​do whatever it takes to prove that our approach has value to our funders, ​clients, and other stakeholders.


3. CANDOUR. We’ve noticed that there is a lot of problematic jargon in ​safeguarding. We want to be known for straight-upness and empathy. Siobhan ​feels that jargon sometimes gives stigma a place to hide. We therefore aim to ​‘write how we talk’, and to talk how we talk, as much as possible whilst also ​recognising that this issue is complex and requires a nuanced view in so many ​respects.


4. EFFECTIVENESS. Does our work actually work? No one has the ‘answer’ to child ​sexual abuse, but we want to be able to say our work reduced it. We are keen to ​receive and review regular feedback (including from our funders) so that we ​can continue to build a case that what we do matters. It is almost impossible to ​prove in a straight line that we were directly responsible for a reduction in child ​sexual abuse, but insofar as we can collect evidence to suggest the same, we ​will do that.

Did you know? There is no legal duty ​to report CSA to a local authority in ​England.

Not even if you’re a teacher.


You’re thinking ‘that can’t be right. Didn’t I go to a safeguarding training one ​time where they said it was a requirement to pass on any child protection ​concerns? But I’m a paediatrician. Of course I have to refer. I volunteer with the ​Scouts. I’ve read the latest version of ‘working together to safeguard children’, I ​don’t believe it.’


The statutory guidance does not amount to a legal duty, which makes the term ​‘statutory’ redundant. There is no mandatory duty to refer even known abuse ​contained in any statute in English law. It does not exist. Well-meaning ​professionals are often shocked to learn that the current framework is full of ​could, should and would, but no must.


The independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse ran a series of consultations ​about this in 2019 (why would they spend time debating whether professionals ​should have a legal duty to report, if it already existed?). They ended up ​recommending the introduction of mandatory reporting. But the version that the ​government responded with, in 2024, is not the real McCoy. See Mandate Now’s ​analysis of why.


Here’s Siobhan’s contribution to the aforementioned seminar:


Work with us

We offer powerful survivor-led training to health, police, education and social ​work staff; in other words, anyone who works with children. To enquire, please ​see our Dare To Ask section.


Siobhan also consults with organisations such as the Centre for Expertise on ​Child Sexual Abuse. If your organisation, event or project would benefit from ​her input, please contact us at info@beamproject.org.

© 2024 Beam Project CIC. All Rights Reserved. Companies House registration number: 15635388