Campaigns Autumn 2017

This quarter has been a busy time at Sophie Hayes, with new members joining our team and the beginnings of new Day 46 programmes. Our awareness teams have also been busy campaigning and fundraising, to spread support and create awareness around the intricacies and realities of modern day slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Anti-Slavery Day was also a crucial time for our organisation where we ran out #playyourpart online campaign.

Here are some of our event highlights from this quarter.

Lush Fundraiser Weekend

Our ‘Hope Canvas’ created by the public at Lush Oxford Street

We were lucky enough to be nominated by Lush to be a part of their Charity Pot scheme, in which all proceeds* from the charity pot sold at Lush Oxford Street that weekend were donated to our foundation.

All hands were on deck and our team was on the shop floor in Oxford Street from Friday to Sunday, an extremely motivational and inspiring way to spend a weekend. The feedback and interactions with the public was an amazing and encouraging couple of days of awareness, fundraising, painting and discussion! Members of the public were asked to track their slavery footprint, whilst others were given the opportunity to contribute to our ‘Hope Canvas’ to illustrate hope but also how, as individuals, if we all collaborate and work together we can create something inspiring!

With the help of Lush’s gorgeous little charity pots, we managed to collaboratively raise £1090.40 to help us empower survivors of human trafficking and build hope-filled futures.

Equality Now Collaboration: Anti Slavery Week

ENUKtraffickingevent101617.3.Paula drawing Soho street wide shotArtwork by Paola Rozo

This thought provoking and interactive event was created in collaboration with Equality NowShiva Foundation and Women for Change to share a collection of powerful first-hand narratives from women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in England, through immersive audio of both personal female accounts and male reviews of sex workers; creating a disturbing and powerful juxtaposition. This incorporated a walk around Soho, known to be synonymous with the sex trade, impacting us both audibly, visually and emotionally.

The artwork featured above was created after the audio and walk experience where Paola asked participants about their feelings and reactions to what they had heard and witnessed.

Listening to the voices of women is the first step in understanding how to combat their exploitation. Discussions that followed were heavy yet encouraging. These discussions consisted of: what is the right type of language we should be using to describe trafficking (such as referencing ‘survivors’ as opposed to ‘victims’); the issues of masculinity attached to sexual exploitation (rites of passage); the visibility and invisibility of this crime and of course how we can all play our part in combatting these atrocities.

To listen to the powerful narratives recorded click here.

 A Night of Hope with the Sophie Hayes Foundation and the JAM Network

2017-10-23-PHOTO-00001487Poster designed by Ellen Lever

This awareness event was created in partnership with the JAM network. This was a beautiful and intimate evening that spoke to awareness but also hope and feelings of empowerment. A delightful collection of talented musicians shared their time and music with us, intermitted by some shared stories from Sophie Hayes team members about our work and impact.

A Day 46 graduate and survivor also read out two original poems, her contribution transforming the evening into something incredibly personally meaningful and touching.

Artwork was also displayed, sent in by contributors with the theme of hope and future, in addition to some collages created by some of our survivors at a Day 46+ workshop.

With the help of the JAM network we managed to raise not only awareness, but also a total of £549 for the Sophie Hayes Foundation.

Previous campaigns

Anti Slavery Day 2016

For our Anti Slavery Day 2016 Campaign, click on the ‘blog’ section of our website to read some stories about our work with survivors – stories of hope that inspire action!

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A codeword system set up by Sophie’s mum helped her to freedom.


How a simple conversation and an agreed sentence could save your life:

Setting up a codeword system with her mum saved Sophie when she was forced into a life of prostitution at the hands of someone who told her he loved her. Made to call her mum once a week with her trafficker beside her in order to pretend she was having a wonderful time with someone she loved, there was no way to tell anyone about the desperate situation she was in. Scared for her own life and the lives of her family who her trafficker had threatened to kill if she ever “disrespected” Sophie felt like there would never be an end to her ordeal.

What would you do if you couldn’t tell your loved ones you were in trouble? 

Sophie’s mum had told her that if she was ever in trouble but couldn’t talk she should ask her “How is auntie Linda”. When they created this system they never thought they would have to use it but this very sentence would help Sophie to freedom.

Today, we encourage you to have a conversation with your father, mother, brothers, sisters or someone you would trust your life with:

4 steps to peace of mind:

1) Start the conversation with your person

2) Agree a simple and memorable sentence

3) Have peace of mind that if you ever find yourself in a position when you can’t talk but you need help you can use your code system

4) Encourage others to do the same – through conversation, by email, through your social media channels. Share the message, share our images, ask “I’ve got #MyCodeWord – have you got yours?”

#SeeHope #SpeakHope #BeHope – because this is a conversation worth having

Sophie’s Love Story

These are the true words spoken to Sophie Hayes. This love story should never have happened. Help us give hope to survivors of human trafficking.