Children first - Susan Bradley

Wed 25th July 2018 at 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm


What happens to us as children has a big impact on the rest of our life, but today in Scotland thousands of children live with the daily trauma of violence, neglect, sexual abuse, lack of emotional care and/or poverty.  Unresolved trauma creates a devastating cycle that spirals through the generations, costing our children, our families and our communities.   But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our speaker Susan Bradley, the Children 1st Scotland National Community Fundraising Manager,  was accompanied by Collette Glynn, explained the background to the formation in 1884 of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, following the establishment of a similar charity in New York in the 1870’s, in response to the terrible suffering and abuse of an eight-year-old girl named Mary Ellen, at a time when the absence of laws allowing intervention left the agencies powerless to help.
It was only the inspired intervention of a missionary, under new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals legislation that allowed a successful prosecution of the adoptive parents, citing cruelty to “an animal of the human species.”   Until Mary Ellen's case, the law treated children as their parents' property; in short, parents could do as they wished to their children.
In 1995 the RSSPCC (Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) was then re-named Children 1st.
Their main aim is to help Scotland’s families put children first, with practical advice and support in difficult times.  When the worst happens, they support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood, to recover.
Children 1st aims to provide a range of excellent services to promote the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people. 
To quote, Susan concluded by showing a number of statistics about their work in Scotland (see above) and emphasised that “Helping vulnerable children and young people thrive safely within their families is at the heart of what we do” and that “We can’t do it without you!”
In the discussion and questions which followed, it was obvious that the presentation had been well received and that the club might consider future support for their projects, perhaps in conjunction with our Rotakids initiative in Nether Currie School.
In thanking Susan for her presentation, Peter McGavigan commented in his vote of thanks that the information had been very informative but at the same time very disturbing, referring to Susan’s comment that “it is the case today that on average, Police Scotland still receive a referral every 14 minutes in relation to an abused or ill treated child!”