Tender announces a star-studded line up of new ambassadors to mark its 20th anniversary

Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people, has announced its new celebrity ambassadors to mark their 20th anniversary.

A host of stars from the acting world including Jodie Whittaker, Ben Whishaw and Aisling Bea have joined long-standing patron Olivia Colman as ambassadors for the charity. This year marks 20 years since Tender was founded and registered as a charity. To celebrate the milestone, Tender has teamed up with stars from stage and screen including Aisling Bea, Amy-Leigh Hickman, Ben Whishaw, Jessie Buckley, Jodie Whittaker, Josh O’Connor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Priyanga Burford and Rebekah Staton to launch their new Ambassador Scheme to reach more young people and supporters.

Tender runs drama-based workshops in schools to promote healthy relationships amongst children and young people. Tender’s projects enable young people to recognise the early warning signs that a relationship could become abusive: empowering young people to spot unhealthy behaviour early and prevent abuse from escalating. As Tender ambassadors, they all share the charity’s mission of preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence and promoting healthy relationships among young people. They will support Tender by raising awareness of the charity’s work and will help to leverage funds by supporting fundraising campaigns and activities. This may include taking part in drama workshops in schools, speaking at fundraising events and supporting the charity on social media.

The new ambassadors were introduced to the charity by award-winning actress and Tender’s long term patron, Olivia Colman. Since her role in Paddy Considine’s 2011 film ‘Tyrannosaur’, in which she played a survivor of domestic abuse, Olivia has played an instrumental role in helping Tender grow and this year celebrates her 10th year as patron.

CEO of Tender Susie McDonald said: ‘We are thrilled to be welcoming our new ambassadors to provide support and drive the charity’s work forwards. For 20 years, Tender has worked to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people and the rates of domestic abuse in the UK remain consistently high. Our innovative, arts-based programmes reach over 30,000 young people aged 8 – 25 years every year and our inspiring new ambassadors will allow us to continue to deliver workshops across London and national hubs, as well as raising awareness of all services available through the charity.’

New ambassador Aisling Bea said: ‘I’m honoured to be a Tender Ambassador. Olivia [Colman] brought me into the fore earlier this year and I got to meet the people who do the workshops and see the care and thought they put into what they do. Learning how to have safe and healthy relationships early on in life is something which could literally save your life as an adult. It’s something we do not focus enough on in schools and it’s just as important as Maths and English, no matter what your background. By supporting Tender, by standing with them and working together, we can make a difference in the lives of young children, today and in the future.’

Jodie Whittaker said: ‘Most of us know someone who has experienced an abusive relationship and many of us have felt at a loss as to how to support them, or to understand why it has happened. Tender makes our response a simple one; listen, believe, support. Their work with adults with safeguarding responsibilities enables them to further develop knowledge, support and safeguard young people. By supporting Tender, I know we are working towards helping every child have a safe space, to get the support they may need and teaching them what healthy, happy relationships look like.’

Tender Patron Olivia Colman commented: ‘I have been the proud patron of Tender for 10 years! In that time children have grown up – they have become more empowered – to make their own decisions about the relationships they have and to be able to speak out when something doesn’t feel right. I love that Tender’s sole focus is on prevention. Stopping something from ever happening is a big ambition, but an absolute necessity to protect children and young people.’

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