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City Hearts visit Westminster to deliver speech at launch of influential Modern Slavery report

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Our Head of Development Phill Clayton visited Westminster yesterday to deliver a speech at the launch of a unique and influential report, which has been developed by the University of Nottingham Rights Lab, alongside City Hearts.

The report evaluates the financial costs and benefits of providing victims with twelve months of support and assistance after the NRM process is concluded, as proposed by Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.

The report finds that had the Modern Slavery Bill been implemented in 2017, supporting victims for twelve months after a positive conclusive grounds decision would have produced a direct net financial benefit, estimated to be between £1.0m and £6.6m.

Phill Clayton said: “Ongoing support works. We see the reality of this daily in our support service, as we reach out through fortnightly phone calls and our Drop In network.

We have met 2295 needs in the last two and half years alone, and it is abundantly clear that regular small scale interventions stop needs escalating into more complex issues requiring more costly interventions such as homelessness, severe mental health problems and emergency medical care.

I have long awaited a report of this nature proving that not only that ongoing support works but that it makes financial sense.

The report clearly demonstrates that the direct cost of delivering ongoing support does not have to be expensive to be effective. We have found through our work that 78% of long term needs can be met through light phone calls or tailored interventions.”

Also speaking at the launch, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP expressed his ongoing commitment to the passing of the bill.

Read the full report here.

Ensuring no survivors are left behind: Our latest report on post-NRM support

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The report contains a deep-dive analysis of post-NRM support, finding that longer-term support increases survivor resilience to re-trafficking by 82%.

In 2017, The ‘Fresh Start’ report demonstrated that 76% of people leaving the NRM ended up in unknown circumstances. As a result, City Hearts built the Integration Support Programme, with an aim to reduce the risk of re-trafficking post-NRM.

Our latest report looks into post-NRM support we have provided through the ISP over the past two and a half years. Of the 291 survivors supported during this time, 2,295 needs were met. The most common needs the ISP helps with are legal, employment, housing, finance and referral to specialist support organisations.

Whilst outlining the post-NRM support model, which consists of drop-ins, phone calls, tailored interventions and regional support lines, the report also explores the reasons survivors get knocked off course in their post-NRM support.

“City hearts is passionate about seeing lives fully restored, moving people from trauma to transformation. Our heart is that no survivor would be left behind.

We are proud to be working with the largest group of survivors in longer term support. This report shares our insights and the impact longer term support can have.

It is a privilege to work with almost 300 survivors post-NRM who would otherwise be without support. In two and half years we have seen hundreds of survivors, bring thousands of needs, which we have been humbled to help them with.

This report shows that longer term support works and does not have to be overly expensive or necessarily intensive to enable survivors to become resilient to increased vulnerability and at worst re-trafficking. My hope is this report will help us all to continue to rebuild lives, leaving no one behind.” – Phill Clayton, Head of Development.

To read more, download the full report here

City Hearts Statement

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Statement from City Hearts in relation to allegations concerning its conduct in Channel 4 Report March 2018

City Hearts (UK) exists to help some of the most vulnerable and exploited members of society. It works nationwide and is currently helping over 600 women, men and children. Thanks to City Hearts, around 4,250 people are now leading fulfilling, independent lives.

Ed Newton, City Hearts’ CEO, said:

“The charity was deeply shocked by the allegations made to Channel 4 by two former clients and one former staff member. The City Hearts Trustees took the allegations extremely seriously and immediately carried out a thorough internal inquiry, then voluntarily employed an independent investigator to review historic and current practices and to ensure that the right systems are in place, so that clients’ needs are met in a safe and suitable environment.

“The investigation found that the allegations dated back to 2011-12 and related primarily to City Hearts Recovery programme for women with life controlling issues, a service which was replaced in 2012. At that time the charity had a very small number of staff and very limited finances. As many clients and staff from 2011-2012 as was possible to contact were invited to speak to the investigator. All current City Hearts staff were given the same opportunity.

“Many of the accusations were found to be unsubstantiated and the findings and recommendations have been voluntarily shared in full with the Charity Commission. Nevertheless, we would like to apologise to the clients to whom we caused distress during this time.

“We have already taken substantial action to improve staff training, and have been working robustly to ensure our policies and values on inclusion, equality and diversity are followed throughout the organisation.”

In June 2019, the Charity Commission closed the case involving City Hearts, finding that the charity’s various policies & procedures, and subsequent correspondence, provided confirmation that:

  • A lengthy independent investigation was performed to consider the allegations that had been raised against City Hearts
  • Some practices and policies had changed since the alleged incidents, further improvements had been made during the investigative process, and further actions are planned post investigation
  • The City Hearts Trustees will adopt a plan of action to implement outstanding improvement measures
  • Policies are in place that support the charity’s commitment to protect staff, volunteers and those connected with the activities of the charity, from harm.

ENDS

For media enquiries, contact press@cityhearts.co.uk

Launch of South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership

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On Wednesday, City Hearts attended the launch of the South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership. Funded by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,  the partnership is led by  City Hearts, Snowdrop, Ashiana and South Yorkshire Police. It aims to tackle modern slavery across South Yorkshire through a collaborative approach, to ensure the region is a place of safety for survivors and a hostile region for those who exploit others.

Representatives from several organisations across South Yorkshire attended the launch to discuss the pressing issue of modern slavery, and have been invited to work in partnership to improve the region’s response.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Slavery is not a thing of the past but takes modern forms.  People are trafficked into this country by ruthless gangs and exploited in places of work, as domestic slaves and for sexual purposes.

 “This network brings partners together so that we can understand what is happening, help the victims – who are often intimidated and afraid – and prosecute the offenders.  Above all we need to rescue people from the appalling lives they lead once they are caught up in these different forms of modern slavery.

 “But there is a role for all of us to be alert and be willing to tell the authorities if we suspect something that seems wrong. Employers have a responsibility to ask questions about the firms they deal with.  We all have a responsibility to think about the services we access and who is working there.”

Kirsty Wilson, City Hearts South Yorkshire Regional Manager said, “We believe that partnership plays an integral part in our efforts to eradicate modern slavery. We are thrilled to be part of the South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership, and look forward to working together with other anti-trafficking organisations to provide better survivor care.”

Celebrating our volunteer in The Sheffield Star!

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Our wonderful volunteer Claire, who is a trained hairdresser and massage therapist, gives up her time each week to cut and style our clients’ hair.

The positive difference a haircut can make to the confidence of survivors and their sense of identity is amazing to see.

Claire says “Women from all walks of life feel happier about themselves after a haircut. But for women rescued from trafficking, the experience makes them feel feminine again. A new image even signals a new direction for their lives.”

We are so thankful to Claire, and to all of our volunteers, for the work they do to support City Hearts and our clients.

Read the full story here – https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/how-hairdresser-claire-is-helping-to-give-trafficked-women-in-sheffield-a-new-beginning-67201

Asda and City Hearts launch pilot health and wellbeing intervention for survivors of Modern Slavery

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Yesterday four survivors of modern slavery took part in the first stages of Ingredients 4 Life, a pilot developed in collaboration between City Hearts and Asda, aimed at increasing confidence and independent living skills through cooking and healthy living recipes.

The course was delivered by Head Innovation Chef Mark Richmond in the aspirational environment of the innovation kitchens in Asda house.

City Hearts Head of Development Phillip Clayton said “we strive to put survivors front and centre in any aspect of development. Ensuring that their voice is part of the process leads to outcomes that are truly survivor focused.  We have found Asda’s approach to be innovative and sensitive, it is a pleasure to work with them to help survivors take their next steps.”

Forging Ahead programme leads to employment for three individuals

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Forging Ahead provides pathways to permanent employment for individuals seeking a life away from crime.

We work alongside Total Training Provision, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, South Yorkshire Police and a range of employers, to deliver a three week training course which provides skills and qualifications crucial to moving forward into employment.

Three individuals recently completed the training programme, gaining permanent employment with Amey Sheffield.

“Forging Ahead combines the passions of individuals from within the criminal justice and charitable sectors. Together, our aim is to create opportunities of employment for individuals with a history of offending behaviour. We want to change the landscape of employability for ex-offenders” – Stu Otten, About Face and Forging Ahead Co-ordinator.

Our current partner employers include Amey Sheffield, Sainsbury’s, Gripple, Timpson’s and Sheffield International Venues (SIV).

We are currently in the process of partnering with more employers and discussing future plans for apprenticeships, sponsorship, donations and endorsement.

If you are interested in partnering with us, email info@cityhearts.co.uk

City Hearts and Hope at Home partner to support survivors of Modern Slavery

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City Hearts have recently partnered with Hope at Home, a charity that provides housing for survivors of Modern Slavery, including those who have who have no recourse to public funds.

They provide ‘move-on accommodation’ by matching survivors who are exiting safe houses with volunteer host households.

City Hearts will be working alongside Hope at Home to provide specialist support to survivors being hosted, including training and other support around the long term needs of survivors.

“Hope at Home offer an excellent service that meets a real gap for survivors, offering them a safe place to stay when other options are bleak. We are excited about partnering with Hope at Home to offer specialist support to survivors who are being hosted by them, to ultimately accelerate survivors into lasting freedom.”

–          Phill Clayton, Head of Development for City Hearts

 

“It’s wonderful to partner with City Hearts and benefit from their expertise in supporting people as we know that collaboration is the key to bringing about sustainable freedom in the lives of survivors.”

–          Jared Hodgson, CEO of Hope at Home

City Hearts Launches in Mainland Europe

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We are excited to announce the launch of City Hearts in the Netherlands. We are working in collaboration with a number of individuals from C3 Rivers, a local church based in Arnhem, to offer practical support to women through a drop in, language café and life-coaching sessions.

“We are delighted to be taking our expertise and experience of supporting thousands of vulnerable and exploited people to Arnhem.  In the team in the Netherlands, we have found local partners who carry our values and desire to bring meaningful change to some of society’s most vulnerable, and we cannot wait to get started” – Ed Newton, CEO of City Hearts.

Though in the early stages of development, the Netherlands team are passionate about bringing real change to the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and have already began offering practical support to women.

Together, we are excited to embark upon this journey of pursuing freedom and restoring lives.

If you would like to get involved in supporting City Hearts Netherlands, you can email infonl@cityhearts.co.uk

City Hearts launches Emerging Voices project in Ghana

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2019 sees the beginning of innovative research project Emerging Voices, which aims to explore the next generation’s awareness of historic and modern slavery in Ghana, and to understand how this can help develop antislavery strategies.

The Antislavery Knowledge Network (AKN) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Network Plus call offers the first extended effort to address slavery as a development challenge in sub Saharan Africa via innovative approaches from the arts and humanities.

Emerging Voices builds on the existing work of City Hearts Africa’s unique educational development programme. The project will work with 60 young people living in the capital city of Accra, where many children live in poverty and thousands have already fallen into slavery and exploitation.

Visual and digital art sessions delivered by local art teachers will be used to explore awareness of forms of slavery and the impact they have. During the project the children and young people will visit sites, meet and hear from heritage experts and Ghanaians who have been exploited.

The project aims to equip children with the knowledge needed to build community antislavery strategies.

“Emerging voices is a bold, new and exciting project using the arts, heritage and technology as tools to explore past and present slavery in Ghana. The project will inspire young people to influence social change, creating a future free from slavery.”

 

– Phill Clayton, Head of Development