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Restore Hope West Somerset was originally established as a Christian grant giving charity and until 2018 made grants to a number of enterprises designed to support those in need. This activity has now ceased and the charity has established the Sparrows Project designed to raise awareness of modern day slavery and to support those who are or have been enslaved. It is a terrifying fact that slavery has survived the efforts of abolitionists such as Wilberforce and is flourishing in this country.
Slavery is a hidden evil in the UK and takes many forms be that in the fields of forced labour, sexual exploitation, enforced criminality, child slavery, domestic servitude or organ harvesting. It is a practice which is generally described as hidden in plain sight and we seek to publicise the signs of its occurrence and the areas where it may occur.
More British Citizens are in slavery than foreign nationals and it is the most vulnerable in our society who are at risk including young adults, people with mental health issues, refugees and asylum seekers. Statistics are imprecise but it is generally accepted that currently over 130000 individuals are held in slavery in the UK.
We also provide temporary accommodation for women to provide security and support in the immediate aftermath of their escape from slavery and from where they can make preliminary decisions about their future. Such provision as exists is limited with a result that survivors are at risk of being re-exploited. Our aim is to make that provision from permanently rented premises with the support of a full time manager.