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Statement from City Hearts in relation to Charity Commission Case Report, November 2019

Statement from City Hearts in relation to Charity Commission Case Report, November 2019 591 591 City Hearts

The Charity Commission has now closed its investigation and published its report into City Hearts charity after allegations were made against the organisation in a televised broadcast in March 2018.

City Hearts’ senior management team and board of trustees worked in close co-operation with the Commission throughout and demonstrated the charity’s full commitment to strengthening its safeguarding procedures and governance.

The Charity Commission found the allegations centred on historic incidents dating to 2011-12 and was satisfied there were no associated live risks.

City Hearts (UK) exists to support 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.

Said City Hearts CEO Ed Newton: “We offer a profuse and heartfelt apology that a small number of clients were let down by insufficient reporting and channelling of complaints within the charity.

“The Commission verified that we had already improved a number of our processes, policies andprocedures before the allegations were in the public arena. Throughout this process, we have also continued to make improvements, including all recommendations from the Charity Commission.

We voluntarily launched our own independent investigation immediately after the Television report and prior to the involvement of the Commission.

That independent investigation was lengthy and thorough and we have acted upon its findings. As a result we improved staff training and have been working robustly to ensure our policies and values on inclusion, equality and diversity are followed throughout the organisation.

“In addition, new and independent trustees have been appointed and we are currently in theprocess of recruiting more. We remain committed to the continuous improvement and developmentof the charity.”

Background:

The Channel 4 report included allegations made by two former clients and one former staff member, which 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.

The City Hearts Trustees took the allegations extremely seriously and immediately carried out a thorough internal inquiry, then voluntarily employed an independent investigator/solicitor to review historic and current practices and to ensure the right systems were in place, so that clients’ needswere being met in a safe and suitable environment.

The independent investigation’s findings and recommendations were voluntarily shared in full withthe Charity Commission.

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

Louise’s favourite things – Sheffield Telegraph

Louise’s favourite things – Sheffield Telegraph 3730 2487 City Hearts

City Hearts, Italian food and Bole Hills – our head of services Louise Durham spoke to the Sheffield Telegraph about her favourite things in Sheffield…

“Little did I know that volunteering at City Hearts as a student in 2006 would change my life in such a profound way, helping to forge what I now feel is my life’s mission to help those who have lost hope and vision.

I think my Christian faith has also been fundamental in my motivation to help others. I am a firm believer that no problem is too big to overcome; sometimes it is just a matter of restoring safety, hope and security to people which can help them see there is another way. I will never forget one of my first experiences of meeting a survivor of human trafficking. She asked me to confirm what country she was in and was overwhelmed by having her own bedroom and clean pyjamas.

That image stays with me and always motivates me to help others who have had their freedom robbed from them.”

To read the full article, visit https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/opinion/sheffield-has-been-my-blood-early-age-816129

Modern Slavery is closer than you think…

Modern Slavery is closer than you think… 5190 3460 City Hearts

Anti-Slavery day may be over, but we continue to raise awareness of modern slavery. Kirsty recently spoke to Woman Alive magazine about how modern slavery is closer than we may think, sharing stories of those we have supported and how we have helped them to overcome the traumatic effects of their exploitation, both physical and psychological.

The article shares information on modern slavery, including what it is and the estimated number of people enslaved worldwide.

To read more, visit https://cdn.flipsnack.com/widget/v2/flipsnackwidget.html?hash=fzcl7yyfu&t=&fullscreen=1

“Yorkshire charity empowering women held back by control issues”

“Yorkshire charity empowering women held back by control issues” 5472 3648 City Hearts

Jess has shared her story throughout the year, hoping to raise awareness of eating disorders, OCD and the work we do as a charity to support women facing life-controlling issues such as these.

Jess recently spoke to the Yorkshire Post about her own battles, how she overcame them with the support of City Hearts, and how she now supports others through her role as a caseworker.

Jess’ story continues to inspire us, her dedication to caring for our clients and helping them to heal is evident in all she does.

Our Restore programme offers holistic support through counselling, life skills, personal and social development and health and wellbeing support.

To read the full articles, or watch the video, visit: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/health/yorkshire-woman-so-close-to-death-from-anorexia-she-planned-her-own-funeral-credits-charity-that-saved-her-life-1-10058190 & https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/health/yorkshire-charity-empowering-women-held-back-by-control-issues-1-10058218

Anti-Slavery day: “Trafficking is happening right now on our doorstep”

Anti-Slavery day: “Trafficking is happening right now on our doorstep” 2800 2800 City Hearts

Modern Slavery is hidden in plain sight within our communities. Latest statistics indicate there are as many as 136,000 modern-day slaves in the UK.

We shared information on modern slavery with The Sheffield Telegraph and the Yorkshire post, highlighting the prevalence of slavery within the UK and the need for people to take action and look out for the signs in their local communities.

We also shared two powerful stories of freedom from survivors we have supported, and what to do if you think someone is a victim.

Our CEO Ed Newton said “People are trafficked into sectors which rely on casual labour. You might see them every day, working in roles that make your life easier, and not realise their plight. They are visible, yet invisible.”

To read the full articles, visit https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/people/trafficking-happening-right-now-our-doorstep-sheffield-814585 and https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/heritage/human-trafficking-is-happening-on-our-doorstep-says-head-of-sheffield-anti-slavery-charity-1-10053865

For information on how to Spot the Signs, visit https://cityhearts.co.uk/spotthesigns

How cooking is helping survivors of modern slavery

How cooking is helping survivors of modern slavery 4362 2908 City Hearts

Our HR administrator Kathijee is helping our clients increase their confidence by teaching cooking as a life skill.

Kathijee teaches a range of easy-to-make meals that can be recreated by clients. She talks the women through each step and makes it alongside them, then everyone sits down to eat and enjoy together.

“It is wonderful to be able to combine my love of cooking with my passion for helping others. I have always seen food as a way of bringing people together. I see all the women from different backgrounds come together to cook. It is so rewarding to see the joy these classes bring to the women, and to know that they are learning valuable life skills to increase independence, that they may not have had the freedom to develop during their time in exploitation.”

Read the full article here https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/people/how-cooking-is-helping-victims-of-modern-day-slavery-1-10041296

Our operations assistant in the Yorkshire Post & Sheffield Telegraph

Our operations assistant in the Yorkshire Post & Sheffield Telegraph 4483 2989 City Hearts

Our operations assistant Kathija has been working with City Hearts since January, she previously worked within the NHS as Outpatients Co-ordinator and Health & Safety Officer.

Kathija recently featured in the Yorkshire Post, where she discusses her love of cooking, what she’d do if she won the lottery and Yorkshire Puddings being the best thing about Yorkshire!

To read the full article, visit https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/on-the-spot-kathija-wood-city-hearts-sheffield-1-9942364

Keeping with the theme of cooking, Kathija also shared her favourite dish, cooking tips and the best meal she’s ever had in the Sheffield Telegraph’s Food for Thought feature, which you can read here: https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/my-south-african-heritage-has-helped-me-embrace-diverse-food-options-491110

City Hearts in the Yorkshire Post

City Hearts in the Yorkshire Post 5190 3460 City Hearts

Our South Yorkshire regional manager Kirsty recently featured in the Yorkshire Post. Kirsty shared her experience supporting survivors of modern slavery, the joy of seeing lives restored and the prevalence of modern slavery in the UK.

Kirsty also highlights the key places to look out for victims of modern slavery, including hand car washes, nail bars, takeaways and airports.

Sharing the powerful journey of her first client, a 26-year-old woman who was rescued from the side of the M1 and was seven months pregnant, Kirsty recalls “Her hair was matted, she couldn’t make eye contact and would not talk, I showed her to her room and she immediately shut the curtains.”

“On Christmas day that year, we got a smile as she received her first gift. On Valentine’s Day she gave birth to a daughter and becoming a mother gave her something to call her own.”

Read the full article here.

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

City Hearts visit Westminster to deliver speech at launch of influential Modern Slavery report 2246 1500 City Hearts

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

Ensuring no survivors are left behind: Our latest report on post-NRM support 1400 1400 City Hearts

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