Play your part in tackling modern slavery

8th June 2023

The next Hidden Voices course takes place at St Francis Church, Bridgwater, starting on Tuesday, 27 June 19:00 to 21:00) and running for the following two Tuesdays (11 and 25 July).

Hidden Voices Somerset (HVS) is the social justice training course, facilitated by the Diocese of Bath and Wells in partnership with The Clewer Initiative. It is designed to enable a local response to modern slavery, trafficking and all forms of exploitation.

Sian Owens, the local coordinator for Hidden Voices Somerset, says, “Despite people’s expectations, modern slavery is happening across our diocese. It is not just to people trafficked from other countries but also o vulnerable local people, young and old.”

She adds, “The Hidden Voices course will help you identify ways to help your community build resilience against this exploitation, to spot signs of the activity and to understand the steps that can be taken to safeguard any individuals. I would hope all churches have a social justice project and with modern slavery and human trafficking being on the rise, our hope is that every church will have at least a couple of people who have attended the course, so together we can make a difference. Anyone can attend the training, church-goers and non-church goers alike, so please spread the word.”

More information about the Hidden Voices course can be found on The Clewer Initiative website. They state, “We hope that churches who do the Hidden Voices resource will feel inspired and ready to start a project of their own by the end. They might not have all the answers, but they will certainly know where to start.”

As well as being the local coordinator for Hidden Voices Somerset, Sian is a local champion for modern slavery in her community, Bridgwater. This June, she and other volunteers will be heading out into their community on Thursday. She said, “We tend to head to those areas where the young people congregate and talk to the them about all kinds of issues, including modern slavery, county drug lines and knife crime."

Sian hopes to run a further training course in the autumn, but churches can also register to hold their own training sessions. Please email Hidden Voices Somerset if you would like more information. 

Can’t attend a course, but want to raise awareness in your church? Why not visit the Clewer website and download their ‘Spotting the signs’ poster.

Find out more about Sian’s work 

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