Rob Webster

Reflections By Rob Webster

The Samantha Sykes FT is a social movement raising awareness of the injustice, inequality and discrimination faced by looked after children, care leavers and victims of child sexual exploitation. 

Reflections by CEO Rob Webster….South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust

This week, it was a genuine privilege to hear our own Julie Warren-Sykes, assistant director of nursing, talk about the PREVENT agenda and the missed opportunities that could have prevented the murder of her daughter and her friend. It was a tough slot covering radicalisation, child sexual exploitation and atrocity. Julie’s courage, humanity and ability to simplify what was needed into a simple message we all understood was one of the most profound and powerful things I have seen. Out of personal tragedy she brought the following wisdom for each and every one of us:

  • Be professionally curious always;
  • Really listen to the person in front of you and think about what life is like for them when seeking to understand their actions;
  • Never forget your safeguarding duty, ever.

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity” takes on a new meaning in this context. Follow the above messages and the likelihood will be reduced and lives saved. The standing ovation and tears in the room suggested many will have these messages etched in their memory.

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As long as young people, either in the local authority care system or care leavers are disadvantaged and young people remain victims of child sexual exploitation, missed opportunities, injustice & violence persist. While this is happening, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life. Get in touch with the Samantha Sykes Foundation today and start making the difference.