Marsh Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight against Modern Slavery

This Award is run in partnership with the Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) and highlights the achievements of groups or individuals who fight the existence and consequences of modern slavery in the UK and internationally.

From 2021 the Award will recognise those working in four areas:

Rebuilding Lives
Reducing Vulnerabilities
Empowering Survivor Voices
Statutory Services

Nominations can be made on behalf of any individual, organisation or group based in the UK who has made a significant contribution to preventing or addressing Modern Slavery.

Nominations are made via the Human Trafficking Foundation and judged by a panel of experts from the field and the MCT.

Pictured: Anti-Slavery Event © HTF

Valentina Spencer, Nusrat Uddin, Breaking the Chains and Detective Inspector Paul Wiggett 2022

Rebuilding Lives 

Valentina Spencer

Valentina has been a support worker with the organisation Housing for Women for many years, working with women who have been released from prison or who are escaping violence and domestic abuse. She works on establishing what women need and what services are of most use to them and delivers much more than just outreach support. She ensures that the organisation finds solutions for women seeking accommodation, especially those who do not have access to housing benefit. Valentina was instrumental in setting up two 2-bedroom flats, run by Housing for Women, which provide a safe place for women to sleep upon escaping human trafficking or modern slavery. Throughout the pandemic, she worked to set up a drop-in centre where women could access provisions and could speak with support workers to get access to the services that they need to get off the streets. Valentina demonstrates passion for helping women to rebuild their lives and is committed to supporting the women she works with through every stage of the process.

Reducing Vulnerabilities 

Nusrat Uddin

Nusrat is a partner at Wilson Solicitors LLP, specialising in representing survivors of trafficking and modern slavery in strategic legal challenges. She is a brave and driven lawyer who is wholeheartedly committed to assisting vulnerable clients and her work is exclusively legal aid. Nusrat has a track record of achieving significant outcomes for enabling the rights of survivors of modern slavery and helping to provide them with a voice in strategic situations. She was recently involved in a case which changed the precedent for domestic workers who are empl oyed by diplomats to ensure that they are protected from falling into situations akin to modern slavery. Nusrat works tirelessly for her clients who are vulnerable and has secured many of them vital support and accommodation, thus reducing their vulnerability and susceptibility to being exploited once again. She has been heavily involved in media efforts to raise awareness of the issue of modern slavery and highlighting the vulnerabilities that survivors face once they escape their situation.

Empowering Survivor Voices 

Breaking the Chains

This is a partnership project between the Shpresa Programme, a user-led community organisation for the Albanian speaking community, and the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Unit at Islington Law Centre. The project works with Albanian young people who are going through the asylum and immigration system, with the aim of improving the outcomes for asylum seeking children and young people. Albania is a source, destination and transit country for human trafficking and young people find themselves particularly vulnerable to this danger. The project uses the experiences and traumas of the young people it supports to address the issues in the legal system when granting these vulnerable young people refugee status. Some of the service users have become ‘Immigration Champions’ and receive training and support to enable them to work with professionals to advance the aims of the project and ensure that their voices are heard by policy makers. The project has so far been influential in causing change in the mindsets and attitudes of professionals in this field, which will then inform change at a strategic level, all thanks to the voices of the survivors.

Statutory Services 

Detective Inspector Paul Wiggett

Paul has been with the Metropolitan Police for over 20 years and joined the Human Trafficking Unit in 2012. At the time he joined, international investigations into modern slavery were limited because communication between overseas forces was scarce. Paul forged vital links between international forces and developed the Foreign Law Enforcement Community which is still active 10 years on. He identified opportunities to not only share information, but also to utilise legislation afforded to law enforcement to investigate crimes across multiple jurisdictions. Paul has led 11 Joint Investigation Teams, allowing officers from two or more countries to work collaboratively to tackle organised crime, safeguard victims and prosecute offenders. He has worked tirelessly within this field for many years and has been at the forefront of safeguarding survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery. Paul is well-known and well-respected internationally in law enforcement, and keeps victims at the heart of his work at all times.


Previous Winners

The West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network Safe Place, Paul Withrington, Migrants at Work and The Willow Team

Rebuilding Lives – The West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network’s Safe Place Project
The Safe Place Project is an independently supported, pre-National Referral safehouse for men who have experienced exploitation, addressing a gap in the sector’s support provision. The project initially focuses on the men’s basic needs such as food, clothing, accommodation, subsistence and access to medical services. The project then considers each individual’s rights and entitlement to support as a survivor of Modern Slavery. Safe Place has Advice and Advocacy coordinators who work with other key organisations to help service users understand what help they should be getting and how they can advocate for themselves in the future. The key principle of the project is choice for the service user. Although the project’s support is often short and temporary, the long-term impacts for the survivors can be drastic. Survivors leave Safe Place with a greater understanding of their rights, and with an ability to advocate for them in the future.

Reducing Vulnerabilities – Paul Withrington, Porchlight
Paul has been going over and above in his duties for survivors of Modern Slavery, proactively identifying and safeguarding victims since 2019. He champions for improvements to the Modern Slavery response, not only within his organisation Porchlight, but also within his network of safeguarding colleagues. Historically, Porchlight has always worked within the homelessness sector, but has not always identified exploitation and human trafficking. Prior to Paul joining, they had 26 internal reports of suspected exploitation in three years, but during Covid alone they have had over 70 reports of various levels of exploitation among clients. Paul has also started an innovative drop-in clinic, in partnership with the Medaille Trust, for vulnerable female clients who are experiencing Modern Slavery or Domestic Abuse. There have been numerous occasions where Paul has picked up on cases that are Modern Slavery related and that others have missed. Paul always goes above and beyond for clients that are vulnerable and has built a support infrastructure to improve the positive outcomes for survivors.

Empowering Survivor Voices – Migrants at Work
Migrants at Work tackles labour exploitation and work-place discrimination of migrant workers and is led by those with lived experience of these issues. One area they focus on highlights issues caused by the Home Office’s ‘Right to Work Check’ system, through which migrant workers are regularly, mistakenly, told they do not have a legal right to work, thus losing jobs in part through errors in the system. This then heightens the risks of them becoming victims of Modern Slavery, as they find themselves put into a vulnerable economic position. This issue is not currently well understood by employers or migrant workers, which makes the work of this organisation all the more important. Migrants at Work works in partnership with migrant communities, individual migrant workers, employers, Government departments, NGOs and EU Embassies to raise awareness and understanding, and to seek policy change and legal challenge around this dangerous issue.

Statutory Services
– Willow Team, Hampshire Children’s Services
Willow Team is a specialist, multi-agency team working to support children that are missing, exploited and trafficked. They provide a holistic approach to supporting young people being exploited through Modern Slavery. ‘Frankie Workers’ offer a dedicated counselling service for child victims of sexual abuse, named after Frankie, an adult survivor of child sexual abuse who is now in her 20s. Willow Team’s interventions include exploring risk-taking behaviours, understanding grooming and exploring exploitation to help children better understand their previous experiences and help promote change. While they predominately work directly with children, they also offer advice and support to other services on exploitation. They have close links with partners across health, sexual health, education, the third sector and police special teams. The Willow Team work had in a busy, demanding, and dynamic area of Children’s Services. The team have a shared desire to improve the lives of the children they support by looking to improve outcomes across their various spectrum of needs.

Kate Roberts, Ahmed Aydeed and The Jericho Foundation

Reducing Vulnerabilities: Kate Roberts
Kate Roberts is associated with the Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) an has spent many years passionately providing high quality care to survivors of human trafficking. Kate has utilized this experience to push for legislative change, further protecting and assisting survivors. While at HTF, Kate successfully advocated for clear and enforced regulations regarding care centres. After the government agreed to adopt HTF care standards, Kate worked with many other NGOs to ensure that the standardised care is as affective as possible at reintegrating survivors back into normal society. Standard of care legislation was a massive victory for the entire anti-human trafficking sector, particularly the survivors who are now ensured valuable resources during their recovery. Despite her vast efforts in advocating and mediation, Kate remains foremost concerned with being an active part in the lives of recovering survivors at the HTF.

Enabling and Supporting Survivors Rights and Entitlements: Ahmed Aydeed
Ahmed Aydeed is a very talented human rights defence lawyer who has been working with victims of human trafficking to challenge the UK government on their policies regarding those who escape from captivity. Ahmed was the acting solicitor in a recent case wherein he successfully justified that two victims were not being offered the benefits guaranteed by the European Convention Against Trafficking (ECAT). Additionally, he worked on behalf of clients whose cases were determined to be under the Detained Fast Track Rules, successfully arguing that the statue was unlawful and ultimately causing its nullification.

Rebuilding Lives: The Jericho Foundation
The Jericho Foundation operates five rehabilitation centres in Birmingham that provide job training, work experience, and employment opportunities for survivors of human trafficking. Additionally, they share an office space with the Equiano project, a partner of Hope for Justice to ensure that survivors can easily access and utilize their resources. The project relies on a team of mentors who help clients prepare for both voluntary and paid work experience opportunities. Approximately half of their clients have moved onto sustainable employment, while seventy five percent improved their employability in general. The Equiano project provides an essential step in victim rehabilitation, beginning to fill a need that is nowhere near adequately addressed in the United Kingdom.

David Camp, Iwona Twarda, Flourish NI

Reducing Vulnerabilities – David Camp

David has passionately pioneered an innovative approach to working collaboratively with businesses to reduce vulnerability to modern slavery in businesses and supply chains and drive industry wide change. Through the initiative Stronger Together, David developed collaboration between the nine largest supermarkets in the UK and their suppliers to help them detect, deter and deal appropriately with forced labour and other means of exploitation. This proven model has now been rolled out to other at-risk industries including the construction sector in the UK. He is also the founder of Fast Forward, a next-generation labour standards improvement programme working with many high street brands to support systemic change in supply chains, uncover exploitation and drive collaborative continuous improvement within the sector. David is unique in influencing and promoting good practice amongst labour providers and has influenced UK policy.

Enabling and Supporting Survivors’ Rights and Entitlements – Iwona Twarda, SIFA Fireside

SIFA Fireside work with partner agencies to address the needs of homeless and vulnerably housed people in the wider Birmingham area. They run a Drop In Centre which provides a warm welcome and can direct vulnerable people to appropriate services, including Modern Slavery signposting support. Iwona Twarda is a highly motivated and dedicated outreach worker who displays a passion and a keen interest in Modern Slavery and the surrounding issues above and beyond normal service levels. She frequently gives time beyond her working hours to support her Modern Slavery clients in providing pathways to support, restoration and prevention. She has developed and provided innovative Modern Slavery prevention and counter methods which have so far proved to be successful. Thanks to her training, in just two years, Iwona has identified over 100 victims of Modern Slavery to Hope for Justice and ensured that they got the help and support that they deserve as victims.

Rebuilding Lives – Flourish NI (Jill Robinson and Elizabeth McKee)

Flourish was founded by Jill and Elizabeth in March 2014 and has established itself as a highly professional and well-respected organisation that serves the survivors of human trafficking in Northern Ireland and their families. They provide tailored support to survivors including advice on benefits and housing, helping to find employment, English classes, life skills and helping them reunite with family members. Their support ‘starts where statutory services finish’ and they have an open and inclusive approach to their work and will help anyone who has experienced exploitation at any point in their lives. In a relatively short time, Flourish has provided solid practical support and has brought so much joy and hope to survivors of human trafficking in Northern Ireland largely thanks to the dedication of volunteers.

Karen Anstiss, Cristina Gavrilovic and Hope for Justice

Karen Anstiss

Since June 2015, Karen has been the manager of Bakhita House, part of Caritas Westminster, and the service has become an example of best practice in the support of survivors of slavery. Bakhita House provides personalised accommodation, rehabilitation and support to women who have been trafficked. The system means that women can be housed at short notice, outside of the constraints of the National Referral Mechanism, and can be fully supported until they are ready to move on. Karen leads a holistic and genuine approach to rehabilitation for the women and encourages partnerships across the anti-trafficking sector to ensure that guests receive the support they need to rebuild their lives. Karen is professional with clear boundaries but is flexible and responds to the needs of her guests and she generously shares her vast experience and knowledge with the anti-trafficking sector.


Cristina Gavrilovic

Cristina is the Anti-Slavery Partnership Coordinator for the Serious Crime Detectorate at Kent and Essex Police and has brought dynamism, drive, compassion and a practical ‘can do’ attitude to leading the partnership. She is active in creating and working in partnership with colleagues inside and out of the police for the benefit of victims of slavery, in identifying problems and looking for solutions. As well as making sure she has an impact at an awareness raising and policy level, Cristina works at a practical level to support and build the trust of the victims who come into contact with the Kent and Essex police. In June 2017, Cristina was awarded the Police Staff Member of the Year Awards from the British Association of Women in Policing.


Hope for Justice

Hope for Justice are a charity which focuses on identifying and rescuing victims of modern slavery, advocating on their behalf to achieve restoration, and seeking legislative and policy reform. The organisation also provides awareness training for law enforcement, front line social services and other NGOs as well as working with significant UK companies to help them assess and identify slavery in their supply chains. Hope for Justice are unique in that they offer services which cover all aspects of modern slavery from training, prevention, partnership work, advocacy, campaigns and policy creation, investigation and rescue, long term assistance, holistic support and aftercare and perpetrator accountability.

The Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit, Shpresa Programme, Kalayaan

The Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU)
Since they set up three years ago, ATLEU has worked for long term solutions for victims of modern slavery by helping them to obtain safety, recovery and redress. They work to secure immigration remedies, compensation from traffickers (they are the leading organisation in the UK for making these claims) and housing for their clients. The ATLEU works in partnership with organisations across the anti-trafficking field and they have worked single-mindedly to bring test cases to clarify and extend the legal protections for victims in a political and public landscape where victims’ interests and rights are too often overlooked. The ATLEU has had a number of key achievements including successfully bringing the first judicial review under the Modern Slavery Act to ensure that government agencies provide the assistance that victims are entitled to under law and bringing the only two trafficking cases ever brought to the Supreme Court.

Shpresa Programme
Shpresa works with over 2,000 Albanian speaking refugees and migrants, providing direct support and fostering their integration into their new society. It is a user-led organisation run by and for the Albanian speaking community in the UK, founded by and for refugees and asylum seekers from Albanian speaking countries. Shpresa carry out a women’s support project which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Albanian speaking women, tackling depression, isolation and social and economic exclusion and also providing targeted services to women who have been trafficked or have fled domestic or honour based violence and abuse. The programme also runs an unaccompanied asylum seeking children’s service which was founded in 2014 in recognition of the needs and experiences of children and young people who arrive in the UK as unaccompanied minors.

Kalayaan has brought to public attention the issue of the abuse, exploitation and enslavement of overseas domestic workers. Their meticulous gathering of evidence from domestic workers has raised public support for the right of these workers to obtain decent work and forced the issue on to the political agenda. Kalayaan provides direct casework support, and uses its experience of supporting workers to build up an evidence base on the treatment of domestic workers and through doing this influence policy. Kalayaan has ensured that its voice is both linked to others in broader campaigns and is informed by effective and valid research findings.

Rachel Witkin, Professor Gary Craig and Bronagh Andrew

Rachel Witkin

Rachel has worked with the Helen Bamber Foundation for over seven years, working first hand with men and women who have survived human trafficking and providing them with psychological counselling to help them rebuild their lives. Rachel is compassionate, understanding and highly professional in her work, going above and beyond the call of duty by taking on the most difficult cases and dedicating herself to them until they reach a successful outcome. Rachel has also contributed to a number of national and international publications about the application of basic therapeutic principles for all who work with survivors, both within and outside the clinical field. These focus on the essential need of establishing trust with survivors, enabling disclosure and ensuring their ongoing safety for sustained recovery. Rachel’s commitment to her work has already empowered dozens, if not hundreds, of survivors to rebuild their lives – and her success is set to continue.

Professor Gary Craig
In 2000, Professor Gary Craig became the world’s first Professor in Social Justice when he was appointed to the role at the University of Hull. He now holds the positions of Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at Durham University, and Emeritus Professor of Social Justice at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull. Gary is very highly regarded in the academic world and he co-wrote the first major study of modern slavery in the UK. His influence stretches much further than academia however, since Gary has played a vital role on highlighting the significant problem of forced labour and shaping the UK Modern Slavery Act. His efforts to raise awareness and understanding of the issue of forced labour have significantly enhanced widespread understanding of the problem, enabling it to be addressed in a manner which would not otherwise have been possible. The anti-trafficking movement is indebted to Gary for his dedication and commitment to the cause; reaching out far beyond his academic work to help shape our response to the issue.

Bronagh Andrew
Bronagh has worked with Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS) for more than 10 years and has played a pivotal role in developing the care and support provided by the TARA (Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance) project; ensuring that the highest possible standards are maintained and that the needs of the women involved are met. The TARA project was established in 2005 to help identify and support women who might have been trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Bronagh approaches her work in a kind and sensitive manner, identifying and prioritising the needs of the survivor. She has played an important role in policy development and delivered key evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee in relation to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill. Bronagh also takes the time to assist in raising awareness and enhancing public understanding of human trafficking, supporting grassroots, community-based campaigns and ensuring that the public has an accurate understanding of the nature and scale of the problem of human trafficking. Her willingness to contribute to the fight against human trafficking in so many ways reveals Bronagh’s determination and dedication to confront and eradicate such exploitation.

Christine Beddoe, Peter Cox, Charlotte Kirkwood and Sister Ann Teresa

Christine Beddoe

Christine first became interested in child protection when she worked in Cambodia and India and was faced with severe cases of child abuse. She became head of ECPAT UK in 2000 and led a number of investigations and reports to expose child slavery in the UK, highlighting especially the number of children who went missing while in the care of local authorities or applying for asylum. Christin has been an advisor to the UN World Tourism Organisation and the European Economic and Social Council on the protection of children from exploitation in tourism. She continues to commit her time and energy to the field of child protection and is considered a leading expert in this area of work.
Peter Cox

For ten years, Peter has been Chair of Croydon Community Against Trafficking on a voluntary basis and has led significant community action to eradicate human trafficking. He has helped services around Croydon to improve their support for victims of human trafficking and how they can disrupt trafficking activity. He recently launched the ‘Your Community Against Human Trafficking’ campaign and has helped community groups in a number of areas who are starting out in the field or looking to develop their existing activities. Peter is a pioneer in grassroots social action against human trafficking and his campaigns have ensured that those in authority are aware of the problem and that it remains high on their agenda.
Charlotte Kirkwood

Charlotte was a volunteer assisting victims of human trafficking in the care of Migrant Helpline, before moving to take on more victim support roles and becoming the organisation’s Head of UK Victims of Slavery Services. Charlotte has overseen the support of over 1,300 victims of human trafficking and has established services for men and women throughout the UK. She has supported police and various organisations, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Human Trafficking Centre, on UK wide operations to fight trafficking and often in a personal and frontline capacity. She has delivered international training and consultancy work and now works on human trafficking issues at the Medaille Trust.

Sister Ann Teresa
Sister Ann Teresa first started supporting women being trafficked in her local community when she retired to a convent in Southampton, cooking a meal for them twice a week and opening the convent to those in need. In 2006, she founded the Medaille Trust, where she remains to this day as the Chair of Trustees. Since the safe house first opened its doors, Sister Ann has worked tirelessly to gather support, including securing a grant from Comic Relief, and has gone on to set up five more homes, helping more than 500 people. She has worked closely with the police, UK Immigration officials and The Salvation Army to ensure that girls are referred to the houses wherever possible. She continues to work day after day on human trafficking issues and is an inspiration to those around her.

Megan Stewart, The Snowdrop Project, Jackie Paling and Pauline Monk

Megan Stewart
Megan is the Reconnections Manager at Thamesreach, a homelessness charity in London. She became involved in anti-trafficking work after seeing that men were becoming homeless after being trafficked and that traffickers were specifically targeting daycentres and soup kitchens for the homeless to recruit victims. Megan works with great passion to alert other homeless charities to these dangers and to ensure that the sector is aware that homeless men are especially vulnerable. Megan also works as a volunteer leading the re-launch of the Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Trafficking Hotline. She has planned a range of activities to educate Londoners about modern slavery and encourage them to use the Hotline number to report suspicious activity linked to trafficking.

The Snowdrop Project
The Snowdrop Project is a volunteer-run initiative based in Sheffield providing essential support to trafficked women after they have left short-term government-funded shelter accommodation. Lara Bundock and Tim Elverson, the project’s founders, identified a real gap in support provision for victims exiting shelters and observed first-hand how, without support, victims face social exclusion, further abuse and, often, re-trafficking. After receiving comprehensive training on securing housing to trauma, volunteer caseworkers help vulnerable women to set up for life in the UK and gain independence; this may include securing and furnishing a home, applying for benefits, resolving their immigration status and equipping them for work and education.

Jackie Paling and Pauline Monk
The Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women. Since 2008, they have run the volunteer led Purple Teardrop Campaign which aims to end human trafficking by raising awareness, supporting shelters and working to suppress the demand for trafficked people. The Soroptimists, led by Jackie Paling and Pauline Monk, have also launched a ‘Call to Action’ across their UK network, encouraging colleagues to speak to their MPs about the need for a Modern Slavery Bill to strengthen the UK’s response to trafficking. The intention is that MPs, once briefed by the Soroptimists, write to the Home Secretary calling for such a Bill, and this scheme has already shown some promising results.

Ben Wells, Trish Davidson and Mwenya Chimba

Ben Wells
Six years ago Ben gave up training to be a doctor to deliver a project that combats human trafficking in Romania, in association with the organisation Nightingales, a UK based charity providing educational, vocational and pastoral support through a community centre to hundreds of children and adults, who are at risk of being trafficked. They have an innovative and flexible approach to their work, including finding work opportunities for the young people they care for and who would otherwise be at risk of falling prey to traffickers. Ben has worked closely with Nightingales founder, David Savage, and taken part in projects such as setting up a small business which manufactures windows, and provides employment to many young men and women in the area. Despite dealing with difficult living conditions, Ben’s enthusiasm and determination shines through in his work, and he has played an instrumental part in the service that Nightingales provides, as well as the fight against human trafficking. In 2006 Ben was awarded the Beacon Fellowship prize of Young Philanthropist of the year, further recognition for all the hard work that people put in running Nightingales.

Trish Davidson
Trish is the founder and director of Unchosen, a charity which promotes film campaigns aimed at combatting human trafficking across the UK. Through these films as well as documentaries and interviews, Unchosen raises awareness on the various elements of human trafficking. For Anti-Slavery Day last year, Trish organised a nationwide film campaign and persuaded Costa Coffee to screen films across the country. Trish runs an active website which details what films are showing and when they screenings will be. The site also lists recent news items which have raised awareness of human trafficking. Trish’s role is completely voluntary and she has shown extraordinary passion for her work.

Mwenya Chimba
Mwenya works for the Black Association of Women Step Out (BAWSO), a charity which provides specialist services for black and minority ethnic women and children across Wales, who have been victims of domestic abuse. Mwenya works with a range of agencies to ensure that their needs are addressed sensitively and effectively. Her commitment to tackling the issue of human trafficking in Wales has ensured that it is a priority for all agencies working with vulnerable women and children.

Lois Hamilton

Lois Hamilton is an immigration solicitor with the Northern Ireland Law Centre and a key player in the fight against trafficking within the nation, representing several trafficking victims and other vulnerable migrants in Northern Ireland. She is the driving force behind much of the inter-agency practice which is being developed in relation to all forms of trafficking in Northern Ireland.

Not only does Lois focus on victim care in her work, she has a commitment to reducing, if not stopping altogether, the trafficking of vulnerable people. She frequently provides training to other practitioners and statutory agencies and seeks to influence regional and national policy to improve services and practices for trafficked people. She is considered Northern Ireland’s expert on trafficking and has recently contributed to a forthcoming legal publication on the UK’s response to trafficking.

The Northern Ireland Law Centre provides extensive information to migrants and vulnerable indigenous communities on their employment and immigration rights. It has developed an effective poster and information campaign aimed at encouraging those facing exploitation to seek assistance and support and is leading a working group to address the particular needs of unaccompanied minors in Northern Ireland.