Unseen Week is fast approaching!

Don’t let our first Unseen Week 8-15th June pass you by! We’re introducing this annual fundraising week to help generate vital funds, and 2013 happens to coincide with our 5th birthday. So we’re kicking off with a Gimme 5 Challenge. The aim is to fundraise using the number ‘5’ and we’ve had some great ideas so far: a 5-a-side frisbee tournament, a 5-table ping pong tournament, Food for Thought dinner parties, and a Kick for Freedom football challenge. All details are on our website unseenuk.org. Keep sending us your ideas and photos and we’ll publish them online: admin@unseenuk.org.

Don’t worry if you can’t fundraise during that particular week, we’d just love you to be involved and hear what creative ideas you’ve come up with to help support our work with survivors of human trafficking.

Start-up funding needed for our new Children's Project

Unseen is excited to be moving ahead with developing plans to open our first accommodation support and care service for child victims of trafficking, but we need your help! There’s an urgent need for a new model: shockingly, around 60% of children that are identified as trafficked go missing from care within the first 72 hours, only to return to their trafficker or become re-exploited. 

Unseen will be working in collaboration with other charities and local authorities to meet the complex needs of this extremely vulnerable group, and we’re now seeking funds for a one-year pilot project. At a later stage, we will be looking for specific items to help furnish the project, but right now we need start-up donations and a family a car.

If you can help with either of these, or if you have a suggestion for funding opportunities, please get in touch!
New Resettlement Worker joins the team
Following research we undertook with women who’ve moved on from our women's WATER Project, it became clear that on-going support is fundamental to help them continue on their journey to rebuild their lives. So in January, we employed a Resettlement Worker. It’s already proving to be a very popular service. Click here to read the full interview and hear how she’s helping women integrate into their new communities.
Our tips on ethical products and companies
One of our lovely supporters raised a good question after our last Newsletter: How do we know which companies are ethically sound and have slave-free supply chains? It’s a difficult one to answer and the reason we’re trying to get businesses to sign up to a Transparency in Supply Chains Bill. We advise buying locally-sourced goods, and look to see if the company openly promotes their ethical practices in publicity material.

Here are two companies we’re currently impressed by:
1.  toms.co.uk – they offer a one-for-one programme links up with community partners to provide shoes and eye care to those that need it. So for every pair of shoes you buy, they’ll donate a pair to a child that needs them. Neat.
2.  Neal’s Yard Remedies – they’ve pioneered organic remedies and skin care products since starting in 1981 and design, test and make their products in Dorset. And the reason they use those quirky blue bottles? It keeps the sun out and their products last longer. Smart.

Update from WATER Project's Manager

Our in-house our Butterfly Project continues to offer the women a safe and informal opportunity to learn. We offer individually tailored, one-to-one sessions in Maths, English, Computers and Arts & Crafts. Since it was developed by one of our Key Workers last August, we have awarded 37 certificates to women who’ve taken part.
Women have also been enjoying time in the garden, planting seeds (pictured) and making the most of the few days of sunshine with a BBQ. Plans are also in progress for a day trip to the seaside – so let's hope the weather improves!

Fundraising antics

Mixing it up
A big thank you to Year 7 Curie at Walling High School for Girls, Sutton, who organised a range of fundraising events, from a sponsored pyjama wearing day, to name the bear, a teddy bear lucky dip and a book sale. They raised a fabulous £200 and came 2nd in the school’s Charity Cup for their efforts – go year 7!
Cutting edge fundraising
Dedicated school girl Moyo Amoo-Peters decided to raise her stash of cash by cutting her hair for Unseen in March! As well as collecting close to £600, she is also on a mission to raise much-needed awareness of human trafficking and has already asked her family’s church and others to support Unseen.

Chancellors’ Snowdon climb
A big thank you to Chancellors' School, who took their fundraising to new heights (sorry, couldn't resist). This is what they got up to, in their own words:

"At Chancellors School, we have held various fundraising events for Unseen UK; including head shaving and pie throwing! However, on Friday 12th April 2013 15 Sixth Formers and our Head of Sixth decided to take our fundraising to a whole new level and climb Snowdon in Wales. We figured a challenge on this scale would gather plenty of attention from our friends, family, teachers and peers, and in turn help raise awareness for Unseen. We set up a JustGiving page and shared this on every social networking platform available to us and we also managed to get an article printed in our local paper. We raised close to £2,000, much more than our target of £500.
We were surprised at how little people knew about human trafficking but we are pleased to have helped increase understanding and show others the impact that human trafficking can have on its victims and their families. The Snowdon climb was scary and challenging, but we had a great time and enjoyed raising awareness for Unseen. We will continue to hold events to raise money for this wonderful and important charity."

Essential items for women leaving our services

When women come to make the transition from being supported by the Resettlement Service into independent living, this often means the move into unfurnished rented accommodation. We try to help where we can but always need help to secure items such as:
  • Cookers
  • Fridges
  • Sofas
  • Curtains
  • Duvets
  • Bed linen
  • Kitchen equipment.
If you have any of these item you’d like to donate to help women start a new chapter in their life, please contact us.
Don't forget, you can donate to Unseen directly through our site!
You can set up a direct debit or pay by debit or credit card directly via our website, and also sign up for our Room Sponsorship scheme. And if you're thinking of doing an event for us like Gimme 5, why not set up a Virgin Money Giving or JustGiving account so your friends can see how much you've raised? If you need any fundraising advice or help with an event, do get in touch.
As always, special thanks go to the charitable trusts and organisations who continue to support us: Comic Relief, Network for Social Change, The Salvation Army, Sir Halley Stewart Trust, The Tudor Trust and Working Links.

Gift Aid

Make your donation go further by Gift Aiding it! For every £1 given by UK tax payers, Unseen can claim an extra 25p! Click here to download a form.
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