The Maggie Oliver Foundation Team Building Day

26 April 2022

In Manchester City centre our team came together to “drop anchor” at fabulous Bar Impossible, donated free to TMOF for the day by the lovely Charlotte! Whilst our mission can often seem overwhelming, every one of our team possesses a fierce fighting spirit and a determination to make a real difference in this world, and we were all really excited for the Team Day ahead!! Our ambassadors come from across the country and are from a wide range of backgrounds some themselves survivors, ex police workers, counsellors, well-being workers, psychotherapists, principal teachers to mums! This gives the foundation a multi-disciplinary approach when supporting our survivors; it ensures we have a holistic, supportive, wrap around approach. our common ground is our shared values, which are fierce, but without “our Maggie” leading the pack, we would never have come together. With Maggie as our captain and between us all, we have enough passion, strength, and determination to take down a ship! Please see some of our ambassadors below on the morning of our team day.

Blog team day 2022 2 2 1

Our expert Dean from Urban Pure Solutions kicked the day off with his brilliant training on county lines. County lines is shockingly becoming ever more prominent in communities up and down the country, irrespective of geography, social class and age. The one thing that is a key factor in making this criminality successful is vulnerability. Vulnerability in terms of mental capacity, lack of social networks and/or a lack of love. Within the process of county lines, the mobile phone LINE is key in order to take the drug orders. Drugs are moved across police and local authority boundaries often by children who are coerced into doing so by gangs. We know that typically both vulnerable adults and children can fall victim to this.

The training was invaluable, it helped us to understand the level of manipulation and calculation used in the process of county lines and how sexual, physical and economic abuse is part of this process. The level of trauma inflicted within communities is hard to measure, but we know that it affects long term life outcomes, which is why our work within the community is so vital and why all our ambassadors undergo trauma training. From our Support lines, to creating partnerships to pushing the agenda for the need for justice for those that have been sexually exploited. Urban Pure Solutions powerfully illustrated various elements and examples of how county lines works by real life role-playing with our ambassadors.

image 3

“You’re here with us now, you are safe” (The invisible man, 2020)

Drop Your Anchor

We alluded to the ship metaphor earlier, which comes from a therapeutic grounding tool we practice with our survivors, called “drop your anchor”.

Please do give it a go ❤️

A= Acknowledge your thoughts & feelings
C= Come back into your body
E= Engage in what you are doing


County Lines: “A term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of deal line. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence including sexual violence and weapons” (NCA).

Cuckooing: When dealers take over a property, often the home of a vulnerable person and use it to run their criminal operation from or ‘run a line’

image 4

There are warning signs to look out for in children who are possibly being criminally exploited. Some of these include:

  • Staying out all hours or not returning home
  • Tired and lethargic
  • Social isolation
  • Connections with others in criminal activity
  • Mood swings/lack of concentration
  • Truanting from education
  • Spontaneous new items of clothing/phones/footwear from a ‘friend’
  • Exposed to alcohol and drugs
  • In possession of large amounts of money

Who are the most vulnerable to county lines?

  • Poverty
  • Children in care
  • Children subject to sexual abuse, neglect, physical harm
  • Homeless
  • Suffers from mental health
  • Alcohol/drug misuse
  • And anyone else!!!!!

image 2

What happened next…?

We then had a visit from ‘Shay Doyle’, ex police officer and now author of “Deep cover”. Shay spoke to us about his experiences of being an undercover cop and also working alongside Maggie in GMP Major Incident Team in fighting gang crime across Greater Manchester. Shay’s real approach in talking about what he experienced was both inspiring and fascinating. Shay is an advocate for mental health, given his experiences at GMP and is also a real ambassador for change within policing. We at the TMOF feel our values are very much aligned to Shay in so many different ways and thank him for taking the time to come and meet us all. He had this to say of TMOF;

“I saw through my police career the impact that poor police work can have on victims and I was always very focused on the rights of victims of crime and putting them at the centre of how I operated. This is why I feel so passionate about the work TMOF does giving survivors of horrific crimes a voice and feeling that there is someone in their corner fighting for them”.

Please check out Shay’s Instagram account at @shaydoyleuk to hear more about his good work. Both Dean and Shay reported how such work was exhausting for them mentally, and further reinforces why support within policing is so vital to ensure justice for all the victims. Shout out to Paul Moore our amazing photographer who is full of comedy value too! Check out Paul’s website

Maggie is and continues to be our absolute inspiration and models true determination in the fight for justice for victims which is the glue that holds all our fantastic team together. We thank Maggie, Rick, Chaz & Jennie for arranging our amazing team day and giving us a space to come together to celebrate the work we do as ambassadors which is an absolute honour to be part of.

The day was made complete when we went for an ‘all you can eat Chinese’ and then of course a few alcoholic beverages and music rounded off what was a fantastic day! Our team feels like a real family, and it’s these ‘in person’ get togethers that make the bonds between us ever stronger! Onwards and upwards, and to continuing to grow our TMOF family as we support and advocate for victims and survivors, many of whom would have no voice without our help.

Let’s keep pushing for change, and fighting for those too often forgotten!

Love Emma and Jess & TMOF Ambassadors ❤️

Before you go, Guess what?

The phone line volunteers gave over 105,954 minutes of support to survivors of childhood sexual abuse since 2021.

To help us keep the phonelines running, we welcome all donations, however big or small. We welcome regular monthly donations or a one off donation. To find out how please go to

Ambassador Feedback:

'The presentation last weekend was absolutely amazing! I feel very grateful to have been given the opportunity to listen and be part of it. Definitely up there with one of the best training sessions I have received. Dean made a tough topic area light hearted yet so informative and captivating. Big thank you to Maggie and the team for organising it!' - Codie

'I thought it was very sad, thought provoking and scary for all the children living in our communities and across the country. It was a very worthwhile training day and added to what I already knew but in an informative and refreshing way. l enjoyed the way Urban Pure Solutions delivered the training so thoroughly and in such a truthful manner. He did not beat about the bush but told it how he found it and I thought that his delivery was superb. I felt full of thought when I left the course and have thought a lot about it since it was a great day for getting the facts. It was a great opportunity to meet the rest of The Maggie Oliver Team who I met in person for the first time, so thank you to everyone involved but in particular Dean & Shay.'Maureen

'The presentation on County lines and street crimes from Dean at Urban Pure Solutions, was really powerful. Delivered with true grit, honesty and even humour. It was really thought provoking, and quite scary hearing the information of what is going on in the streets. Really gave me food for thought. Dean ensured that he involved everyone in the training, a great teacher. And as always, it's amazing to be together as a whole group. Meeting some of our ambassadors for the very first time, after working alongside them for a year, is a very special experience. Bonds are strengthened when we are together, which allows us to form strong relationships, trust that forms to help us to support those that need us.' - Chaz

Please note, our team are taking a short break over Christmas as will not be checking emails regularly. We'll respond once we are back on Tuesday 3rd January. Thank you for understanding.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

If you would like to be updated on news from The Maggie Oliver Foundation and subscribe to our Newsletter then please enter the preferred email address below:

I consent to the Privacy Policy and to my data being used to process this form.

© Copyright 2024 Maggie Oliver Foundation | CIO REG: 1185267

Website design by Beyond Your Brand

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Read our Privacy Policy to find out more.