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The Story: August 2016 Newsletter 4th August 2016

Welcome to the next edition of our newsletter. At the Helen Bamber Foundation, we are dedicated to supporting survivors of torture and human cruelty and passionate about sharing our work. We are delighted so many new and enthusiastic supporters have joined our community in recent months. Together we will ensure that survivors’ voices are heard.

Huge Success Of Our First Summer Open Office Evening

In July, we hosted our first ever Summer Open Office Evening. The event featured an outstanding performance from our Refugee Choir, Woven Gold, as well as talks and workshops from members of the team.

Professor Cornelius Katona, Medical and Research Director
outlined our pioneering clinical research programme, which seeks to improve understanding of the long-term impact on the mental health of survivors, and subsequently to improve the care and support available to them both in the UK and internationally.

Emily White, Welfare & Housing Casework Coordinator
explained the welfare and housing crises suffered by our clients and our focus on education, employment, access to community groups and prevention of homelessness and destitution.

Rachel Witkin, Lead Counter-Trafficking
spoke about the Foundation’s unique multi-disciplinary approach to supporting survivors of human trafficking to ensure that clients are not re-victimised and have access to appropriate protection.

Dr Jane Hunt, Medical Advisory Clinic
discussed the complex healthcare needs of survivors of torture and human cruelty, and the integral part that healthcare plays in their journey to recovery.

Hannah Sampson, Creative Arts Coordinator
presented a creative arts exhibition featuring work created by clients, followed by a talk on our programmes which teach new skills, build confidence and help clients re-connect with their pre-trauma identity.

Dr Katy Robjant, Head of Therapies
described Narrative Exposure Therapy, a specialist trauma-focused therapy which helps survivors suffering extreme trauma symptoms to address and overcome their experiences.

Andrew Leak, Lead Medico-Legal Services
explained the importance of Medico-Legal Reports which document the impact of trauma for survivors who are seeking legal protection in the UK, and the part our reports play in securing criminal convictions for traffickers and criminal gangs.

Thank you to everyone who attended the evening. Due to such a positive response from guests, we will host another event next summer. We look forward to seeing you there!

Helen Bamber Foundation Football Team Takes First Place in Red Cross World Cup
In July, the Helen Bamber Foundation football team competed in the 2016 British Red Cross World Cup. Eight groups participated in the tournament, and we are hugely proud of our players who took first place in a nail-biting final against a very talented Red Cross squad. Congratulations to the HBF football team and everyone involved in making this an inspiring event and a wonderful success.

In The Spotlight: Medical Advisory Clinic
Access to medical treatment is vital to well-being. Sadly, many of our clients have never had access to appropriate healthcare. Our clients often suffer from complex health problems as a result of horrifying physical violence in their pasts. Serious conditions including neurological disorders, badly healed fractures and wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders and rape injuries are often undiagnosed and untreated because clients are too afraid or ashamed to go to the hospital or tell their doctor. Our Medical Advisory Clinic, run by Dr Jane Hunt, offers clients specialist medical advice on-site at the Foundation. In extended consultations, with the support of appropriate interpreters, our specially trained GPs discuss symptoms, undertake clinical examinations, explain possible diagnoses and discuss treatment options. With the client’s permission, our GPs write to NHS doctors to support clients in accessing appropriate medical care. The Medical Advisory Clinical is a key element of our work, helping survivors overcome their experiences by addressing the physical symptoms of torture, human trafficking and human cruelty.

“I met Helen Bamber when one of her clients came to my surgery. It wasn’t long before Helen persuaded me to volunteer at the Foundation, and over the last five years the Medical Advisory Clinic has evolved into an integral part of our model of integrated care. We have three doctors, and in the next few months we should see this increase to five. We also help clients register at GP practices when they are ready, and produce pamphlets for clients encouraging good healthcare and advice on how to access appropriate NHS services. ”
– Dr Jane Hunt

Frieda’s Story
Frieda is a survivor of modern slavery from East Africa. As a young girl, Frieda’s father sold her to a man to pay off his debts. The man treated Frieda as a slave, repeatedly raping and systematically starving her. When Frieda first came to the Helen Bamber Foundation, she was suffering from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was painfully underweight. Through intensive therapy, we helped Frieda to reduce her panic attacks and worked with her to build her self-esteem and confidence. In the Medical Advisory Clinic, Dr Hunt helped Frieda understand what she needed to eat to provide her ailing body with the nutrition she was deprived of for so many years. In the past six months, we have been delighted to see Frieda achieve a healthy weight and have enough energy to become a regular participant in our weekly yoga classes.

* Frieda’s name and some details have been changed for her protection.

The Conversation: A Date For Your Diary
Following our sold out event in 2015 with Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Fergal Keane and James Naughtie, we are excited to announce that the second annual Conversation will take place on 8th December 2016. Hosted once again by our President, Emma Thompson, the evening will include inspiring stories of refugees told through theatre, art, music and conversations.

Thank You!
We would like to send a big thank you to Tim and Michelle Hoiles for hosting a beautiful afternoon tea in support of the Helen Bamber Foundation and raising more than £3,000 to support our work with survivors of torture and human cruelty. We would also like to thank Fortnum & Mason, Dulwich Vintners, Yama Momo and Jessica Walker Jewels for the fantastic raffle prizes.

Can You Support Our Work?
We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter and we invite you to share it with your friends and family. We can’t wait to continue to get to know you better in the future!

Until our next newsletter, here are some great ways to get involved:

• Commit to a regular donation.
• Give a onetime donation.
Volunteer with us.
• Take part in a local running event on behalf of the Foundation.
• Team up with your colleagues to fundraise for the Foundation.
• Contact us with your fundraising ideas.

If you would like to find out more, we can be reached by email at or 0203 058 2020. We look forward to continuing to share our work with you. In the meantime, you can support us here and follow our progress on our website, facebook and twitter.

Warm regards,
Helen Bamber Foundation