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2019 Annual Report and Accounts

Kerry Smith

A message from our Chief Executive Officer on 2019

2019 was a globally tumultuous year. Flooding and fires made it impossible for the ‘developed’ world to continue to ignore the reality of climate change – something that many across the ‘developing’ world have borne the brunt of for decades. Closer to home, the ongoing paralysis at the heart of government due to Brexit continued. In both these contexts, my first thought has been for those forced to migrate due to the toxic and rapidly increasing relationship between climate change, instability and human trafficking. My second is of the large profits that organised criminal gangs are making from desperate people, with very little risk of being caught and more often than not demand increasing due to tightening border controls.

In the UK, and across Europe and North America, the reality is that despite recognition there is an ever growing increase in human trafficking and modern slavery. What is worse is that even when an individual subjected to trafficking comes to the attention of the authorities, all too often they end back being re-trafficked or further exploited. This must end.

In 2019 the Helen Bamber Foundation not only strengthened our service for survivors of trafficking and torture but also focused on using our unique voice and expertise to influence positive change in both the refugee and trafficking sectors in the UK and Globally.

We also boosted our goal to work more collaboratively in order to deliver our mission of ensuring that all survivors get access to the support they need. We continued to partner with the Happy Baby Community, are part of a new partnership, Action to Grow with Young Roots, focused on young men, delivered Hike for Freedom - a health and wellbeing partnership for female survivors, and have co-chaired a cross sector senior leadership group on staff wellbeing and organisational culture with the Home Office. This is only the beginning of the partnership work we are seeking to deliver and support. We know that together with partners we can protect and support far more survivors than through our individual efforts alone.

The dedication of our staff, volunteers and patrons was pivotal to HBF’s success in 2019. I have also had the great pleasure to get to know more of our supporters - discussions with whom have been engaging, constructive and enjoyable. I thank you all for your support, from the bottom of my heart.
There is no doubt that in 2020 the contributions of our amazing team, partners and fantastic supporters will be critical in enabling HBF to expand the protection and care that survivors receive beyond our doors. I look forward to working with you in delivering the increased impact that is necessary.

Kerry Smith

CEO Helen Bamber Foundation