A charity that works to rehabilitate paedophiles has defended its decision to raise money through a family fun day after some parents reacted angrily.
Held to raise funds for the Safer Living Foundation, which aims to “promote the rehabilitation of persons who have committed or who are likely to commit sexual offences against others”, a poster for the event at Keyworth United football club in Nottinghamshire stated the event was in aid of the charity.
But it made no mention of the type of work it does, which includes the aim to prevent sexual crime.
Some of the parents who attended said they would not have chosen to support such an organisation had they known what it did.
Photos from the day show games, a bouncy castle, a live band and face painting.
But this has not stopped some from condemning the charity’s decision to raise money from a family day.
Taking to Facebook, Grace Le Seaur wrote: “As a parent, I am disgusted that they didn’t make people aware of what the charity actually supported. It’s plain wrong. Family fun days shouldn’t be about supporting such charities.”
Another, Amy Curson, said: “It clearly states on their website that they do work on prevention but also that they try and rehabilitate people who have already offended. I can’t believe that family fun days are allowed to support such charities."
Helen Joyce commented: “I know victims of paedophilia and they would be very offended by this. These people can ruin lives and the victims don’t get a second chance.”
But others came to the defence of the charity, which was established as a joint venture between Nottingham Trent University, HMP Whatton, the National Probation Service, Nottinghamshire Police and Circles UK Representatives.
Paul Heard said: “Looking at it, this charity isn't set up in any way to benefit paedophiles, more to minimise any further re-offending and keep communities safer.
“Until the Government changes our laws and keeps such sick and twisted individuals off our streets, then if it really does work surely we need charities like this to help try and protect innocent people from monsters?”
And Claire Limon wrote: “I'm not just going to sit back and be a party to a witch hunt and slagging off of a fun day that people will have put much effort into for a reputable and well known charity, not acceptable in my eyes at all."
Professor Belinda Winder, co-founder of the Safer Living Foundation and Head of the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, said money from the event would go towards creating a new prevention project.
"The Safer Living Foundation works to reduce the number of victims of sexual abuse," she said. "The charity supports the rehabilitation and treatment of sexual offenders to reduce the likelihood of them ever reoffending.
”The money raised from the family fun day will go towards a new 'prevention project', one of the first in the UK which will seek to provide psychological treatment to those who have never committed a sexual offence but are concerned they may do in the future.
“It was made clear that the money raised was going to the Safer Living Foundation, but we're sorry that some people weren't aware of the charity's aims. We work to protect children, adults and communities because we know that sexual abuse destroys lives and devastates families."