Sheffield Businesses Together support City Hearts to create first Restoration Hub for human trafficking survivors

This 18 October is the start of World Anti-Slavery Week, and to show support for some of our city’s most vulnerable people, the Sheffield Business Together community are rallying to support a Restoration Hub for trafficked men, women and children.

The Hub will be set up and maintained by Sheffield-headquartered national anti-trafficking and crime-free futures charity, City Hearts.

City Hearts’ head of development, Phill Clayton commented: “We are enormously grateful to Carolynn McConnell from Sheffield Business Together (SBT) for helping us make a Restoration Hub for the survivors we support a reality. Carolynn in partnership with the Sheffield Chamber is enthusiastically rallying support from member businesses to provide as many of the items required in a Survivor Restoration Pack as they can in the month of October.

A cross-section of our staff in our new innovation group came up with the idea of a ‘Restoration Hub’ earlier this year. The Hub is basically a storehouse from which we could provide items which give people back their dignity and help them feel cared for. We’re aiming to raise a total of £62,000, which will cover the costs of the Hub set up and running for the first year. After the success of our first Sofa to Summit challenge this summer, we still have £33,000 to raise, so the in-kind or cash donations from SBT members will help us get closer to supporting every man, woman or child who arrives traumatised at our safe houses.”

Carolynn McConnell who is on secondment to Business in the Community and has played a leading role establishing and running Sheffield Business Together adds: “For over 15 years, City Hearts have supported some of society’s most vulnerable and exploited people. We want survivors who find themselves in local safe houses to feel welcomed to this great City of Sanctuary from the moment they arrive. That could be providing a pair of comfy slippers or pyjamas, fresh bedding or toiletries and a bar of chocolate in their welcome pack to help someone feel valued. When they’re ready to move into their new home, which for many is a major step in their journey to independence, we want to join the highly committed team at City Hearts to provide the kind of items which make a house a home, like a kettle, toaster, lamps, pictures and rugs.”

Chamber Executive Director Louisa Harrison-Walker concluded:

“Sheffield Chamber is delighted to support this excellent campaign which will be announced with a bulletin to SBT and Chamber members on Monday 20 September. We will be encouraging our businesses to donate any items for the welcome packs between 1 and 29 October. Several local businesses have already told us their people are keen to get involved and donate items as a team effort for an amazing cause.”

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