Sheffield businesses show support for city’s trafficking survivors

Sheffield businesses have joined forces with an anti-trafficking charity to create a ‘restoration hub’ to help the city’s most vulnerable trafficked men, women and children.

By Lisa Wong
Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:34 pm
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:35 pm

The Restoration Hub was an idea created earlier this year by City Hearts, a Sheffield-headquartered anti-trafficking and crime-free futures charity.

The initiative is being supported by Sheffield Business Together, who is encouraging businesses to donate items as part of the charity’s Anti-Slavery month appeal, running throughout October in line with Anti Slavery Day on October 18.

City Hearts’ head of development, Phill Clayton, said: “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.

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Launch of Restoration Hub appeal. Pictured L-R: Louisa Harrison-Walker (Chamber), Deb Noble and Rosanna Memory (City Hearts), Carolynn McConnell (SBT) Will Morgan (Chamber)

“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, said: “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.”

Louisa Harrison-Walker, Sheffield Chamber executive director, added: “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.”

The Hub will be run by City Hearts and the charity has asked people to donate new items such as towels, duvets, toiletries, sanitary products, colouring books, toys, chocolate, and more.

Donations can be made by different methods; via a specified donation point on business premises, at drop off locations at Sheffield Chamber or Voluntary Action Sheffield, by purchasing and donating items at Ecclesall Road Waitrose, or purchasing items from the online wish list.

For further information, visit here.