Hope turns to reality as Enable2 support Hope for Justice’s innovative modern slavery awareness workshops resulting in direct referrals

14 Jan 2019

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In October 2018, Bradford interpreting service Enable2 funded a unique style of Hope for Justice training across West Yorkshire and Doncaster, to raise awareness of modern slavery. Aimed at those working in frontline services such as the Police, NHS and voluntary organisations the training is unique because it features a powerful, hour-long play entitled, My Mind is Free, designed to powerfully engage delegates in the reality of modern slavery and what they can do to help.


A total of eight workshops were delivered to 305 professionals and volunteers in Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield and Doncaster with dramatic results. Sara Squires, UK Training and Development Manager for Hope for Justice said, “After My Mind is Free, Hope for Justice received three pieces of intelligence from delegates and two referrals. One referral was for a Slovakian family who our investigators visited and made the appropriate referrals for support. The other referral is ongoing as we speak. We also supported a local homeless shelter to make their own referral. The person who sought advice was a delegate. The victim has now been safely repatriated to his home country.”

The play uses a mixture of imaginative physical theatre and skilful multirole playing to tell the interlinked stories of four people trafficked to and within the UK and their horrifying tales of abuse, exploitation and enslavement. The play was nominated for best stage play by the Anti-Trafficking Foundation in 2016 and Amnesty Edinburgh Festival: Freedom of Expression Award 2017. The workshops after the play, delivered by Sara Squires and Lauren Batty, covered local information and case studies and gave those attending the chance to engage with the characters from the play in a role play exercise, highlighting the difficulties and barriers when dealing with modern slavery victims.


The training enabled the delegates to explain what modern slavery is and identify the different types that exist, recognise the signs of modern slavery, identify referral pathways and what pathway to follow if a victim or case is identified, and importantly, know how to work with and support potential victims. From the feedback delegates gave of the training, it is clear that the training has had significant impact on them and their work:


“The performance supported by the other parts is excellent training for anyone at any level of knowledge and experience. I would highly recommend it.”

“The play was absolutely fantastic and extremely powerful. I also enjoyed the last part which involved acting, it has left me with a lot to think about and ways of improving my practice.”

“One of the best training sessions I have attended. Very engaging throughout. Actors and actresses were amazing in their roles and the two facilitators were brilliant.”

“Training like this is amazing! It will really stick in my mind.”

“This type of training was so much more useful and informative than a seminar type of session.”

“Thought the play was very emotive with great impact. Very talented and conveyed the message in a brilliant format.”


The eight events were so successful that the tour is intended to run again in 2019, with Enable2 support and other funding, to a wider reach into Lancashire and South Yorkshire. Sara at Hope for Justice said: "The tour was a huge success and wouldn’t have being possible without partners such as Enable2, so thank you for funding this new and innovative training programme. We look forward to developing future events in partnership in 2019.” 


Hope for Justice trainers, Sara and Lauren have extensive experience and are well-qualified to deliver training in modern slavery. Sara Squires joined Hope for Justice in 2015 as an investigator where she supported numerous victims out of exploitation and assisted the police on multi-agency operations. In 2016, she became the UK Training & Development Manager, managing a team of trainers across the UK who provide bespoke training to statutory and non-statutory agencies. Sara and her team recently won the Gold award in the prestigious Training Journal Award 2018 for best Non-Profit or Public Sector Training Programme. Sara has an LLB Honours in Law and prior to joining Hope for Justice, was a civil service investigator working with victims of historical child sexual exploitation. 

Lauren has been a trainer for many years in the education, social care and community arts sector. Originally a performing arts graduate, Lauren now uses her energetic delivery style and passion for helping vulnerable people in the training sector. Lauren's passion lies within social justice and reform and this passion has taken her across the globe where she has worked with children who are victims of sex trafficking in Brazil to provide specialist support. She has also worked closely with Hope for Justice investigations teams and local police forces to support victims of modern slavery and facilitate their journey into safe-housing accommodation.

Modern slavery is an international, and national problem that damages society and ruins lives. Hope for Justice exist to prevent modern slavery in all its forms, working to prevent the exploitation of people, and rescue and restore lives. Enable2, as a Community Interest Company fully support this important work to reform society so that more professionals who come into contact with modern slavery can recognise and report it.