The Salvation Army met on Monday 30th January with its partners in delivering the Government’s Victim Care & Coordination Contract to adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales.
The meeting at International Headquarters in London was an opportunity to share good practice between the 12 organisations who work with The Salvation Army to provide victims of modern slavery with safe, secure accommodation and culturally sensitive support tailored to the individual’s needs. This can range from intensive 24/7 support in the first stages of recovery or for people with high-level needs to counselling and help with accommodation, repatriation, finances and finding employment.
After a morning of sharing ideas and experiences, the meeting was joined by the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, who sought feedback from the group to inform him in seeking improvements to the systems for supporting victims of modern slavery and gathering information which will help in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Ann-Marie Douglas, The Salvation Army’s Project Director for Adult Victims of Modern Slavery Care and Coordination Services, then surprised the gathering with words of appreciation for The Salvation Army’s partner organisations and their incredible contribution to transforming the lives of the people in this service.
She handed over to Miriam Minty from the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit who commended the spirit of collaboration in the room and reminded the group of the Government’s commitment to tackling modern slavery in the UK, inspired by Prime Minister Teresa May, who has taken with her to No 10 the passion she developed for this agenda whilst Home Secretary.
Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland then presented representatives of each partner organisation with a framed certificate of appreciation which included the words from Nelson Mandela: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we’ve lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Mr Hyland added: “I find the incredible work that you do is inspirational and I want to thank each and every one of you for everything you do to change people’s lives.”
The event concluded with Commissioner Denise Swansbury representing The Salvation Army’ European Anti Trafficking Taskforce, who gave personal words of appreciation to Project Director, Ann-Marie Douglas.