Lighting the way to child safety

Founder: Dr Tony Bennett
Founder: Dr Tony Bennett
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A software company from Hathersage is helping to protect children and young people in Derby from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Illuminaries, which is based at Hathersage Hall Business Centre and has a staff of three, has developed a tailor-made database which is helping charity Safe and Sound Derby to store records electronically and spot connections between fragmented pieces of information relating to the sexual exploitation and abuse of children and young people.

Safe and Sound chief executive Nathalie Walters says the system isn’t just cutting down on the time it takes to enter data it is also helping the charity go manage and access the information it needs to support children, young people and families in a much more efficient way.

Illuminaries has been developing the bespoke database – known as EDIS or the Electronic Dynamic Investigation System - since 2010.

In that same year, Safe and Sound gained prominence for being instrumental in helping police to successfully prosecute nine leaders of a sex trafficking ring based in Derby.

Illuminaries estimates that the value of the work it has put into developing EDIS is around £100,000, but it decided to let Safe and Sound trial the system for three months free of charge.

“We decided not to work on a strict commercial basis for this initial stage because of the importance of the tool in protecting children and young people,” said Illuminaries’ founder Dr Tony Bennett.

“If we have protected just one person because EDIS was in place during the three-month trial, then all the work we have done will have been worth it.”

News of Illuminaries’ involvement with the charity comes a month after the company announced it had beaten stiff competition to win the contract to develop a clinical database tracking 10,000 patients from 18 NHS trusts in England and Scotland over the next two years.