Trafficking survivor forced into modern slavery is now fundraising for Sheffield charity that saved him
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The charity, Sheffield-based City Hearts, supported Mominul Hamid when he managed to find a phone and call a friend who gave him the number of a helpline. City Hearts will launch their ‘Sofa to Summit’ campaign in July in the hope of raising £30,000 for victims of modern slavery.
Mominul said: “City Hearts helped me in my journey tremendously. My case worker was always there for me. But being a man and a victim of modern slavery is hard.
“People ask me why I didn’t just leave. But at the time I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I had to accept it as I didn’t have documents and couldn’t work. And I didn’t want to leave my child.”
Mominul, originally from Bangladesh and now living near Newcastle, was trafficked to the UK and exploited by his abusive father-in-law, who had promised he could live in the UK once Mominul had married his daughter.
As the couple were expecting a baby, the family demanded money and land in exchange for Mominul’s visa and access to his son, and forced him to work long hours with no pay in the family’s restaurant where he was assaulted, given little food, and under constant watch.
Mominul managed to find a phone and call a friend who gave him the number of a helpline. When the police arrived, he was taken to a safe house run by Sheffield-based charity City Hearts.
The money raised by this year’s event will go to City Hearts’ Integration Support Department, which runs programmes aimed at increasing the confidence, self-worth, and resilience of survivors.
The event is from July 4 – July 10, and will feature an in-person guided hike of the Yorkshire Three Peaks on July 9, however supporters can also cover the 25.5 mile distance virtually by running, hiking, swimming, or cycling their own equivalent route.
Mominul continued: “The money raised from this challenge will bring comfort and relief to traumatised victims, especially in recovering their mental health and their overall wellbeing.
“I would urge everyone who cares about transforming vulnerable people’s lives to sign up for the challenge, either virtually, or if you have time to enjoy the experience with like-minded people, come and enjoy the day in person.
City Hearts has already received £5,000 from supermarket Aldi, and moral support from their very own Cuthbert the Caterpillar who will accompany the team during their challenge.
Liz Fox, Corporate Responsibility Director at Aldi UK, said: “We are delighted to support the Sofa to Summit event to help City Hearts continue the important work they do in helping those who have experienced modern slavery rebuild their lives.
“Good luck to MD and all those taking part in the challenge.”
You can sign up to the ‘Sofa to Summit’ challenge here: https://cityhearts.enthuse.com/cf/yorkshire-three-peaks.