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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

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

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

City Hearts Statement

City Hearts Statement 591 591 City Hearts

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

Launch of South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership 2048 1838 City Hearts

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!

Celebrating our volunteer in The Sheffield Star! 4032 3024 City Hearts

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

Asda and City Hearts launch pilot health and wellbeing intervention for survivors of Modern Slavery 783 304 City Hearts

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.”