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Child exploitation

Music to My Ears: Annual report 2022-2023

Side-profile image of a woman wearing a pair of on-ear headphones.

“I felt myself getting pulled into gang life. I saw gangs as my only future, my only friends, and my family.  It wasn’t just the music that helped me see what a healthy relationship was… it was everything MTME did for me. I have a future now.”

– Service user

Music to My Ears (MTME) has two main aims:

  • to support young people who have been identified as being involved in, or at risk of, Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE), and
  • to reduce their contact with the criminal justice system.

This is achieved by using a number of creative engagement tools such as music production, photography, film making, baking, health and fitness, and creative writing. We support young people to use these creative processes to explore their feelings and issues that are problematic for them.

When a young person is in service, we take on the role of advocate, supporting them to address issues around education, engagement with local police and supporting appointments such as CAMHS, out of court disposal meetings, Child in Need meetings, or any other statutory or non-statutory appointment they would like support with. Young people will work with a dedicated support worker that will be with them throughout their whole journey.  They will learn what healthy relationships look like and discover how to increase life opportunities while learning how to step away from engaging in criminal activity.

We aim for young people to be able to leave service with renewed confidence, emotional health resilience tools, better engagement with partner agencies, trust in other services, and develop new skills and hobbies that will allow them to thrive as they grow as individuals.


This year, 47 young people (at the time of writing this report) received one-to-one support from Music To my Ears, with a further 60 at-risk young people receiving CCE-specific education in small group settings. Group settings have included short-stay schools, looked after child settings, youth centres, and traditional education settings as well as outreach work at local youth hot spots.

  • 94% of young people reported an increase in trust and hope.
  • 98% reported improvement in identity and self-esteem.
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