Modern Slavery Helpline
The UK’s enhanced Modern Slavery Helpline, operated by Unseen, went live on 3rd October. Our founding partner, British Telecom, hosted an event on Anti-Slavery Day inviting a range of businesses, NGO’s and government representatives to discuss how we work more effectively together and use technology in the fight against modern slavery.
The Helpline is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. The Helpline provides guidance to potential victims, businesses, frontline service providers, submits important intelligence to police, and collects key data to better inform the fight against modern slavery.
Unseen's Chief Executive, Andrew Wallis said:
"The helpline is a lifeline for many who find themselves in exploitative situations. The helpline is already making a key difference to the lives of others and I am privileged to be a part of such a worthy initiative."
Steve Chapman, Wales Anti-Slavery Coordinator, also commented:
“If the helpline helps one person out of an exploitative situation, it will be worthwhile.”
The Modern Slavery helpline pnone number is 08000 121 700.
Unseen’s Neon Night Walk
Our first Neon Night Walk on 22nd October was a big, bright success, raising over £5k to date – and rising! Nearly 40 intrepid walkers and runners gathered in Bristol’s Leigh Woods to follow the 2.5k route, wearing their brightest neon. Owls could be heard, meteors were spotted and one of our walking pairs even took the opportunity to catch up on a podcast of the Archers on their way round!
Top prizes went to Team ASP (from Avon & Somerset Police) who completed 40 laps between them and the top fundraising prize went to Kathy Longley for raising £731. Huge thanks to our amazing organising team, Jill and Anna, our team of volunteers, Enlightened Lighting for making the event village magical with coloured floodlights, Adam King for giving up his time and expertise to install them and to photographer Chris Dobson for documenting the event.
Let's Nail It!
To help highlight the huge numbers of victims being exploited in the UK, we’ve launched an ambitious campaign, Let’s Nail It! We aim to get 13,000 people - one for every slave currently in the UK - painting their nails and standing in solidarity with victims and survivors. We are asking people to ‘paint and donate’ and raise £200,000 to keep our safe-houses open over the next 12 months.
We’ve had a great response so far, with police, clergy, school children, gymnasts and celebrities painting their nails for us! To take part, simply take the pledge on our website, donate and challenge your friends and family to do the same. Even some of the survivors at our men’s safe-house got involved! So what are you waiting for?
Women's Safe House News
The residents have been thoroughly enjoying the garden recently. For many, spending time relaxing in the sun, watching birds at the bird feeder or maintaining the garden is very therapeutic and so the garden is a significant part of life at the house.
Earlier this year, we were awarded a grant to spend on the garden, which the residents chose to spend on gardening equipment and furniture, indoor plants and a BBQ. As a result, over the summer they’ve
enjoyed relaxing on the loungers, pruning bushes, planting vegetables, flowers and herbs and picking fresh flowers to brighten up the house. Currently they are enjoying the vegetable harvest, used in communal house meals. Communal meals are a wonderful part of life at the safe house where women can prepare food for each other, experience different cuisines, but also spend quality time together - often with lots of laughter in the process!
Above is a photo of the beautiful natural autumnal mandala which residents made over the weekend. One of our support workers led the activity and the sun came out just at the right time!
Cooking at the Men's Project
We are aiming to inspire residents to creatively use the ingredients from FareShare to cook yummy meals, without having to spend too much on additional items. Last week we cooked a lamb and vegetable pie, and a vegetable crumble. Residents were brilliant at making the crumble topping, and there was lots of laughter in the
process as well as quite a mess to clear up! The sessions have gone down well and have been really enjoyed by both staff and residents.
The manager of the men's project commented:
‘Today, one of the first questions I received on shift was, 'Will we do another cooking lesson today?' Our residents are constantly seeking paid employment, so we are encouraging them to think about budgeting and spending. Therefore, understanding how to make simple, affordable meals is really important and will come in handy when they leave’.
We have recently received 30 copies of The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons from Macmillan Publishers. Emma said on Instagram, “Oh I’m so touched that you got our books and that they can help in any possible way.”
We also received 5 large colouring books,
2 postcard books and many bookmarks by Millie Marotta from Pavilion Books. Frida Green from Pavilion Books said, “I hope they will bring many hours of joy.”
All projects have been very grateful. These resources are helping women to cope during night time, difficult phone calls and the men at MAP are enjoying them too.