Sharon

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Sharon started her career in journalism as a crime reporter, before progressing to work as a newsreader on national and international television.

Following a serious accident in 1995, Sharon decided that she wanted to use her journalistic skills to make a difference. With her husband, Neil, a former Metropolitan Police officer, Sharon opened a hostel for vulnerable families and ran this for almost four years. Through this, Sharon saw first-hand the full range of challenging and frightening issues that children were dealing with on a daily basis.

As a child, Sharon herself suffered domestic violence in her childhood home and sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather: the result of which was that she could not read or tell the time until she was seven years old. Throughout that period, she could not understand why no one knew what was happening to her.

These combined experiences inspired Sharon to develop the Dot Com programme: a character-led journal for children that allows them to talk about their feelings and know immediately who they can turn to, even if something feels so small or so awful. Dot was the friend that Sharon wished she had had as a child.

Sharon has also worked extensively with the police to highlight the issue of child sexual abuse in the UK: by talking openly about her own childhood experience, Sharon has played a crucial role in increasing awareness of the prevalence of child sexual abuse. In recognition of this, Sharon was asked to sit on the original panel for the independent inquiry into historic child abuse.

Sharon’s goal is to get the programme into every school, so that every child knows what it is to feel safe and has the tools to protect themselves from risky situations.