Young People produced an amazing 'KNOW Project' poster which now takes pride of place in the school reception area!
Marticka a keynote speaker on child sexual exploitation at The International Women's Policing Conference
The KNOW Project
Supporting Young People
Marticka spoke on child sexual exploitation at the YJB Youth Justice Convention, as part of the Youth Empowerment Seminar
Founder, The KNOW Project
The KNOW Project is the brainchild of Marticka Sampson. Marticka has worked with vulnerable and disaffected young people for nearly 10 years. The KNOW Project provides unique and specialist services to support young people at risk of sexual exploitation, or those at risk of entering the criminal justice system, or those at risk of social or economic exclusion through difficult lifestyle experiences or negative choices. In a nutshell, Marticka creates an arena for young people to explore who they are and what they want; inspiring and promoting safe and positive lifestyle choices and empowering participants to make better sense of the world around them as they transition into early adulthood.
Marticka is a well known and well respected figure around Kent and Surrey schools, having worked in over 100 mainstream schools and most of the alternative and special school provisions. She established herself as a lead facilitator and trainer with the now defunct crime diversion charity, Youth Empowerment Crime Diversion Scheme. In 2015 she established The KNOW Project, utilising her personal and professional experience. Marticka IS The KNOW Project and has gone on to build a reputation in her own right; securing long term contracts, social enterprise funding and philanthropic interest. Most importantly, she provides information, support, inspiration and hope to thousands of young people. During 2017-18 she single-handedly delivered over 100 child sexual exploitation awareness assemblies to Kent secondary schools as part of Kent Police Child Sexual Exploitation Team "Operation Willow" Schools Campaign, reaching over 18,000 young people. The Detective Inspector heading up the team said, "As a direct result of this work we have had a number of young people coming forward raising concerns about themselves or others. You played a vital role in regards to rolling out this campaign and we can not thank you enough" (DI Ros Thornton, Kent Police).
But who is this quiet, unassuming women who is fast becoming a leading social entrepreneur in her field?
Marticka was adopted at birth, never knowing her real parents and growing up in a never ending cycle of foster and residential placements. "I always felt different and always stuck out from my peers. I was the black kid with white parents. People would always ask me questions and I hated being different. I rebelled and took my anger out on everyone and everything. I lost count of the number of "homes" I had growing up, always on the move and always in trouble. Like so many young people in the care system, it was not long before I was in trouble with the police. I do not blame anyone for how I grew up as I know today that I still had choices and as I got older I could have made far better lifestyle choices; I just got lost and did not know who or what I had become." At the age of 33, having spent many years in the criminal justice system, Marticka decided enough was enough. "I always say now that I matured and grew up in my thirties. I had enough of living on the edge of life - I wanted something better for myself. I had experienced the care system, gangs, drugs, criminality, sexual exploitation - I just wanted it all to end. I got involved in education, changed who I hung around with, changed the area I lived in and started to think differently. I took every bit of help I could get (instead of pushing it away!) and slowly my life started to improve. My life today is a million miles away form the one I used to have. I have been lucky to have received the support and encouragement of some key people who believed in me (they know who they are!). Today, I use my past experiences to connect to young people who may be experiencing some of what I used to experience. The KNOW Project is about building relationships with the young people I work with based on identification. I tell them a bit about me and they tell me a bit about them. We are then able to work together to consider things like anger, risk taking behaviour, peer association, our attitudes and beliefs, change that could benefit us. It just works. I am very proud and privileged to be in a position where I can have a positive influence, even inspire, young people. I am particularly impassioned to work with looked after children and young females vulnerable to sexual exploitation. I love my work and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to use my past experiences in a positive way."
The KNOW Project offers the following services:
The Sexual Exploitation and Healthy Relationships Programme
The Risk Reduction Group Work Programme
One-to-One Mentoring and Support
Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Assembly Presentations
County Lines - Drugs and Gangs Awareness Assembly Presentations
Crime Diversion and Safer Choices Assembly Presentations
For further information on services please contact:
For more Information on The KNOW Project, including our current capacity, our future plans and how to book, please click on "The KNOW Project Plans" above.