Posts By :

Kat Harding

City Hearts Statement – March 2018

6144 4069 City Hearts

On 14th March, Channel 4 raised a number of concerns relating to some of the services provided by City Hearts to which we gave the following response:

“City Hearts is currently helping safeguard over 600 women, men and children – assisting them to recover from the evils of Modern Slavery. We have so far helped around 4,250 people to go on to lead fulfilling independent lives.

We seek to uphold the highest standards of excellence and diversity, and have been very disappointed to hear the allegations you have brought to our attention.

We are of course investigating these matters and in the meantime it would be inappropriate for us to comment publicly, especially in relation to the individuals involved.

We will in any event review our policies and procedures to try to make sure we are as supportive and protective as we can be in supporting people whose lives have been so badly harmed by the evil of Modern Slavery.”

City Hearts – March 2018

City Hearts Supports Survivors into Employment

1920 1080 City Hearts

Read the BBC News Article here

On 18th January 2018, City Hearts will present to a round table meeting, hosted by Rt Hon Frank Field MP at the Houses of Parliament.  The meeting seeks to engage businesses in supporting survivors of Modern Slavery with an employment opportunity after their time in a safe house.

Over the past year, we have developed a pathway which has seen over 30 survivors complete a tailored job placement with the Coop, which has transformed their lives.  City Hearts exists to pursue freedom and restore lives and we know that a stable income alongside meaningful community allows a survivor to enjoy a lasting freedom.

City Hearts is currently caring for 500 men, women and children who are survivors of Modern Slavery in our safe houses and outreach programmes.  This is part of the Government’s 45 day reflection and recovery period for victims.  Those we support have been through the most traumatic of circumstances, having been repeatedly abused and exploited.  Although much can be achieved in 45 days, to see a life fully restored requires longer term support.  This is why we developed longer term care through the Integration Support Programme (ISP).

The ISP is a safety net which prevents survivors from finding themselves in places of extreme vulnerability, such as retrafficking or homelessness.  It means no survivor is left involuntarily without support and provides a place of great community through our Drop Ins, which we aim to be the best day of someone’s week.

To accelerate someone along their pathway to freedom, the ISP connects survivors to local Coop Bright Future placements.  Under the scheme, the Coop provides survivors with a four week paid work placement with a guaranteed non-competitive interview for a job at the end.  Before, during and after this time, City Hearts support is vital.

The results have been amazing.  Peter was exploited in a car wash and then forced to open fraudulent bank accounts to aid his traffickers’ money laundering.  He is one of many, who is now working in a store.  He said, ‘I love my life now.  I enjoy waking up every morning.  This is the ideal working environment for me.  The people here are seriously nice.’

Ed Newton, City Hearts Managing Director, said ‘We are committed and honoured to play a part in the journey of recovery for survivors.  A job represents food on the table, a home and community to be part of and improved confidence.  At today’s meeting, we hope that more businesses will come on board to see many more survivors fully restored.’


 

For further information or to support us in the fight against Modern Slavery, please contact our Head Office on press@cityhearts.co.uk or call 0114 213 2063.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

3450 1925 City Hearts

…when all through the home, new memories were made and no one was alone.

For many in our City Hearts Houses, this is the first Christmas they have spent safe and loved in a very long time.

This year we invite you to bring a gift of hope to someone in our care.

Our gift list has been created so that you can be a blessing this Christmas. Please donate:

Pyjamas (men’s and women’s)*
Dressing Gowns (Men’s and Women’s)*
Slippers (Men’s and Women’s)
Family Board Games

*Please note 70% of our clients would fit small sizes and 10% are pregnant.

Drop off points:

The Megacentre,
Bernard Road,
Sheffield,
S2 5BQ

Unit 208,
The Vanilla Factory,
39 Fleet Street,
Liverpool,
L1 4AR

Police Raid on ‘Pop Up’ Brothels in Sheffield

1000 1000 City Hearts

Last week, modern slavery made the headlines in Sheffield and City Hearts were invited by South Yorkshire Police to provide victim support for women rescued from suspected ‘pop-up brothels’ in Sheffield’s city centre.

“Sexual exploitation through trafficking is one of the most prevalent forms of modern slavery here in South Yorkshire” says Det Sgt Nikki Leach, from the force’s anti-slavery unit.

“Every survivor that has been rescued and that we can support, is another life changed. And to play any part of their journey to recovery is a privilege.” – City Hearts Team.

To read the article in the Star, click here.

City Hearts Stories: Anti-Slavery Day

3260 3276 City Hearts

It’s stories like this that make today – #antislaveryday – so significant. This is real. This is on our streets. This is something that together, we can end.

These two brothers are currently cared for in a City Hearts safe house. To help support men like these you can donate now.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? – Pathways out of the Post NRM Maze

1920 1080 City Hearts

We recently undertook a Six Month Review of City Hearts’ Integration Support Programme (ISP)

This nationally recognised programme helps survivors upon leaving Government support (NRM), preventing re-trafficking, suicide and homelessness.

This report of the ISP shows a support model using signposting and specialist case work style interventions to meet survivor needs as they arise, helping maintain stability and connection to vital support through local drop in’s and fortnightly phone calls. The goal is to reduce the number of survivors slipping into the unknown after leaving the NRM and making sure that no survivor is ever involuntarily without support ever again.

At date of publishing this report, the ISP is supporting over 100 survivors in the North West of England. The report demonstrated the models ability to continue supporting those who have moved out of the region and also repatriated. Thus maintaining crucial continuity of support for all survivors in the ISP.

The Programme has partnered with the Co-op to provide fast track to work options through project Bright Futures, offering 4 week paid work placement and guaranteed non-competitive interviews.  In addition the ISP has developed a fast response support mechanism with The British Red Cross; offering one on one crisis interventions with a trained volunteer by the side of a survivor within 4 hours anywhere in the North West.

Alongside key partners the ISP is seeking to expand to new regions of the UK so that as many survivors as possible can be supported.

Download and read the full report here.

SLAVES ON OUR STREETS: A major investigation to expose hidden horrors of MODERN DAY SLAVERY.

1920 1080 City Hearts

SLAVES ON OUR STREETS: A major investigation to expose hidden horrors of MODERN DAY SLAVERY.

“We cannot count them. But the police believe that tens of thousands of men, women and even children, are being kept captive in sub-human conditions. They are forced to work impossible hours for little or no reward in brothels, car washes, restaurants, cannabis farms, and even the houses of the wealthy.

Transported here from all over the world and often unable to speak a word of English, they fear the authorities barely less than the gangsters.”

London Evening Standard. Front Page September 12, 2017

This is happening … in your town, in your city!  But right now, our teams are working to restore the lives of hundreds of men, women and children rescued from their captors.  We cannot turn a blind eye.  Click here today to help restore a life at cityhearts.co.uk/donate

Read the full story here.

 

The Co-op Job Partnership Programme

2048 1365 City Hearts

What do you do after you’ve safe-housed and rehabilitated someone whose come directly out of the abysmal trade of human slavery? You attempt to create the first job partnership programme in Britain with one of it’s major retail businesses. You never let go of the vision of each survivor living in a free and sustainable future. This is a letter from the top brass at the Co-op. It says everything about the current direction of City Hearts.

The Co-op has a history stretching back to 1862 of standing in solidarity with those enslaved and with those who provide those enslaved with succour and support. More than that, a co-operative is all about empowering people to take control of their lives and their choices.

In City Hearts, the Co-op have found an organisation to partner with that aligns with our values as a co-operative and our desire to support victims of modern slavery. But more than that, City Hearts have provided the Co-op, its 70,000 colleagues and its 4.4 million members inspiration and belief that together we can see victims of modern slavery not just become survivors but see them thriving in their communities. The team in City Hearts and what they do has left everyone on the Co-op who comes into contact with them – including the thousands who have engaged with our AGM in May 2017 – determined to do more to help City Hearts and those they support.

As a partner, City Hearts have both supported us and challenged the Co-op to be brave. They have been generous with their expertise, with their time and – ahem! – with their patience. They have played the crucial role in developing the most innovative scheme in the victim support debate through their Integrated Support Programme and we are just privileged that the Co-op have been able to play a role in supporting them. It is their vision and innovation that has made ISP – in the Co-op Bright Future – the success it is.

I believe that what City Hearts are doing, supported by the Co-op, is changing the debate in the UK on what victim support should be; their impact individually is huge but across society is even greater and that is built on how they operate and work. Any organisation that works with City Hearts will be a better, more educated and richer organisation than before.

The following are our 2017 projections – to safe house 185 adult survivors and 135 child survivors of human trafficking, to support 725 survivors through our outreach programs and to support 60 children in our Child Support Program, based in Accra, Ghana. Our total projection is to safeguard the future of 1,100 people in 2017, creating a total of 4,500 since the birth of City Hearts.

City Hearts Africa Update – September 17

1600 900 City Hearts

How many?!

We’re excited to announce that thanks to our generous supporters our Child Partnership Programme is growing! This year we’ve increased the number of children we support from 35 to 50. And don’t forget it’s not just the individual life that is being changed – it’s the entire family that is touched and a whole generation whose destiny is changed forever.

City Hearts Africa is continuing to grow and change more lives for the better!

Joining our new International Development Coordinator Karen in Ghana, is newly appointed Child Partnership Programme Coordinator Robyn Tate and volunteer Allison Wheedon who has given up a year to support the programme.

Having just returned back from Ghana, Lydia Beck and shares some of her story…

“During my time in Ghana I saw children graduate and go on to senior high school, more children being supported, lots of staff training, teachers and families connecting with us more and a whole heap of fun! It’s been a true privilege to be a part of the foundational years of such a thriving project.

Our focus was on fostering partnerships with key organisations and schools and strengthening relationships with the children’s families through Family Feast events, home visits, parent meetings and regular phone calls.

Our new mentorship program matches each child to a staff member who they meet with each month allowing them space to talk about their personal highlights or struggles. Through this, we were able to support children through some difficult times and celebrate them when they achieved personal goals. I’m excited for the children as I really believe through the work that we’re doing, many have the capacity to become positive and influential members of their society.”

 

Child Sexual Exploitation Update

1920 1080 City Hearts

South Yorkshire has spent the last few years in the spotlight with the revelation of numerous Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) cases in the county.

Over that time, the South Yorkshire Police have been working towards seeing the cases taken to court and for perpetrators to be convicted of the horrific crimes of abuse.

City Hearts alongside other professionals including social workers and mental health teams, were invited to support victims during the difficult and sensitive time as they prepared for trial proceedings.

City Hearts listened without judging and it made me feel safe.

When the Monroe Trial concluded we were there to support the victims and were thrilled with the final verdict.

We have a great relationship with South Yorkshire Police and will be continuing to support future victims of CSE. Due to funding, many of these women are not able to access support after the conclusion of court proceedings. Our aim is to create Drop-in’s that survivors can attend which will offer support unique to their needs through mentoring, workshops and counselling.

 

“We are touching the tip of the huge iceberg working with survivors of CSE in our pilot project but we believe every life matters, every story should be told, every voice has the right to be heard and we have a duty to restore something that was stolen from them: their innocence, hope and a future. We are excited to be a part of standing in the gap to support these survivors.”

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank the agencies we have worked closely alongside throughout our inquiry, who have played vital roles in supporting our victims and preparing them for this trial. 

“Although this prosecution is a key event in rebuilding lives, it is only the start of the process for many. Many wonderful people in the voluntary sector are committed to helping victims of abuse. Specifically I would like to thank City Hearts, an organisation and charity that helps numerous young women.”

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate

http://southyorkshire.police.uk/news-syp/group-jailed-sheffield-child-sexual-exploitation